No. 15 Villanova Gets by Manhattan to Go 7-1

VILLANOVA, Pa. - The 15th ranked Villanova Wildcats (7-1, 0-0) secured a 10-6 victory over Manhattan (1-8, 0-0) on Saturday afternoon, earning their sixth straight win of the season.

Junior C.J. Small (San Diego, Calif.) tied a career-high performance with four goals, while classmate Kevin Cunningham (Garden City, N.Y.) tallied five points for the day.

Villanova dominated the Jaspers, outshooting Manhattan 32-20 and winning 14 of 20 face offs. Freshman Thomas Croonquist (North Caldwell, N.J.) led the team with six ground balls and had a near-perfect day from the X, winning 11 of 12 attempts, good for a win percentage of 92%.

The Wildcats got off to a quick 3-0 lead bridging the first and second quarters. Sophomore Nick Doherty (Bernardsville, N.J.) gave Villanova the first score of the day just over a minute into the start of the game, while Small followed just 40 seconds later to put the 'Cats up, 2-0 at the end of the first. Small would go on to open the second quarter with a score off a Michael Vigilante (Massapequa, N.Y.) feed for the 3-0 lead.

Manhattan continued to fight despite being down 3-0, climbing back from their deficit to go on a three goal run with scores from Brian McGrath, Justin Jensen and Mike Llewellyn. Villanova's Jack Rice (Baltimore, Md.) responded with a quick 1-2 feed at the top of the crease from Cunningham, while Small bookended the quarter with an unassisted tally to round out the half, 5-3 in favor of VU.

Coming out of halftime, Cunningham would net two scores less than a minute apart to increase the Villanova lead to 7-3, while Manhattan would go on a three-goal unanswered run with scores from Brett Miranda and Brian McGrath, cutting the lead to 7-6 with 5:32 remaining in the third stanza.

The Wildcats would solidify the victory with three unanswered scores from Max Hart (Bethesda, Md.) Small and Rice to finish the contest, giving Villanova the 10-6 win.

Defensively, sophomore keeper Billy Hurley (Morristown, N.J.) captured three saves in the victory while MC's Matt Solomito made 11 in the loss. Senior Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.) tallied five ground balls and three caused turnovers while sophomore close defenseman Chris Creighton (West Chester, Pa.) captured four ground balls and one takeaway.

Villanova will host their first Big East contest of the season on Saturday, March 26th when they host No. 1 Syracuse in Villanova Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 7:00 pm.

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RIVERDALE, N.Y. - Manhattan rallied from an early three-goal deficit but could not find the equalizing score late in a 10-6 loss to No. 15 Villanova Saturday afternoon at Villanova Stadium.

Pitted against their fourth ranked opponent this season, the Jaspers (1-8) battled the Wildcats (7-1) for 60-minutes despite giving up big advantages in shots (32-20), ground balls (27-16) and face-offs (14-6).

Offensively, Villanova's C.J. Small led all scorers with four goals while Manhattan sophomore attacker Brian McGrath (Garden City, N.Y./Carey) had a career-high three tallies.

Putting Manhattan behind early, the Wildcats used a strong start to take a 3-0 advantage behind the efforts of Nick Doherty and C.J. Small. Combing on the game's first three goals, the duo each scored once in the opening quarter to make it 2-0 Villanova, with Small adding his second goal at the 13:30 mark of the second quarter.

Regrouping on their end, the Jaspers then strung together a scoring streak of their own. McGrath got the action started with a goal off an assist from senior midfielder Brett Miranda (Ossining, N.Y./Ossining) to make it 3-1 Villanova at the 10:29 mark of the second.

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