March 15, 2011

Monster Night from Karalunas Leads Villanova Upset Over Princeton

from press release

PRINCETON, N.J. - Once again, the Princeton men's lacrosse team couldn't overcome its own early three-goal lead.

For what has now been four times in four games, Princeton built a three-goal first quarter lead, and for the third time, that lead got away. This time, it came at the expense of 15th-ranked Villanova, who turned around the early deficit, went on a big run of its own and then held off a late Princeton charge for a 10-9 Wildcat win in front of 1,025 at the Class of 1952 Stadium.

The loss dropped Princeton to 1-3, while 'Nova is now 6-1. The Tigers, who played without All-America attackman Jack McBride for the third straight game, open their Ivy League season Saturday afternoon at Penn.

Villanova All-America longstick midfielder Brian Karalunas had a monster night with eight caused turnovers and eight ground balls. He also held Princeton's leading scorer, freshman Tom Schreiber, without a goal or assist and with just two shots.

"You have to give Villanova credit," said Princeton coach Chris Bates. "They possessed the ball. They had excellent wing play on face-offs. They played very well."

The game against Villanova was eerily similar to Princeton's previous game, a 9-5 loss to North Carolina Friday night. As in that game, Princeton this time led 3-0 in the first quarter and then gave up the next seven goals of the game.

Princeton went 26 minutes between its third and fourth goals against Carolina; against Villanova it was 31:11. Princeton took 10 shots in the first quarter against North Carolina and then 11 in the second and third combined; against Villanova, Princeton took eight shots in the first quarter and then nine in the third and fourth.

The biggest difference between Friday and the Villanova game was the way it ended. Princeton, down 7-3 going to the fourth, scored six times in the final 15 minutes. After taking 17 shots in the first three quarters combined, Princeton took 17 more in the fourth quarter alone.

"We needed to play with that kind of intensity for the whole game," said Princeton's Cliff Larkin, who had the first three goals of his career to go with two assists for a career-best five points.

Princeton trailed 10-6 when Jack Rice scored his fourth of the night with 3:45 to go, but the Tigers didn't go quietly. Tyler Moni scored his second of the game, and Princeton cut  it to 10-9 on a pair of Larkin goals with 26 and 13 seconds to go. Jeff Froccaro then won the face-off, but Villanova's Nolan Vihlen foced a turnover that ruined the Tigers' last chance.

Princeton led Hofstra 4-1 in the first quarter of its opener before seeing that lead get away and then led Johns Hopkins 3-0 in the first quarter in its second game, which became an 8-3 Tiger win.

Chris McBride had two goals for Princeton, while Jeff Froccaro had a goal and two assists. Forest Sonnenfeldt had a goal, giving him seven for the year and at least one in every game.

Kevin Cunningham had two for Villanova, while Matt Bell had three assists.

Both goalies, Princeton's Tyler Fiorito and Villanova's Billy Hurley, made 10 saves.

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