Mother Nature played another role in the game yesterday afternoon. After the game against Georgetown was postponed due to the snowfall, this time Mother Nature brought the rain and the clouds. Villanova raced out to a quick 4-1 lead over Penn State. An Austin Frederick goal gave the Wildcats’ their fourth goal of the game with 10:56 left in the second quarter. Penn State broke a scoreless drought that spanned for almost 15 minutes, with 7:25 remaining in the second half. However, Villanova would answer back seconds later, off of a goal by Frederick. It was Frederick’s third goal of the game. T.J. Sanders and Shane Sturgis added a pair of goals in the closing minutes of the first half to bring the score to 5-4. It looked like the score would hold, but Villanova’s Kevin O’Neil had a last second goal just before the half ended. The Wildcats took a 6-4 lead into the half. There was not much of a disparity in amount of shots taken, unlike the previous game against Georgetown. The Wildcats edged the Nittany Lions 16-13 in shots.
The Wildcats opened up with two quick goals to build onto their lead. Tom LaCrosse had a goal that would close out the third quarter. Going into the fourth quarter, the score was 8-5. Penn State’s Sturgis scored a goal to cut the lead to two. Shortly after, Villanova’s O’Neil cut right towards the goal and launched a shot that would find the back of the net. Later in the quarter, Penn State would score again. Michael Richards’ shot bounced off the ground and into the goal. The score was 9-7 with just under four minutes to go in the game. The Nittany Lions rode the momentum and kept on firing, hoping to make a comeback to the tie the game. However, the Wildcats’ freshman goalie Dan Willis would make three crucial saves down the stretch to deny Penn State.
The Wildcats have won three straight now and improve to 4-5 overall. O’Neil and Frederick both got a hat trick. Villanova will return home to host #6 Denver on Friday, April 4th at 7 p.m.