Bucknell vs. Villanova
April 2, 2003
The Game Story:
LEWISBURG, Pa. Chris Cara had five assists and Patrick Christensen scored a pair of goals to lead the Bucknell men's lacrosse team to its fourth win in a row, 7-6 over 18th-ranked Villanova on Wednesday evening in a battle of conference leaders at Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium.

The Bison (6-2) won their second straight one-goal decision and improved to 4-0 at home this season. Villanova, the Colonial Athletic Association leader, had its three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-2.

Goals figured to be hard to come by in this one, as Villanova entered the game ranked first nationally in scoring defense (4.2 GAA), while Bucknell was third (6.6 GAA). Both teams lived up to their reputations early in the contest, as Villanova's Brian Marks goal at the midway point of the opening quarter was the game's only tally over the first 22 minutes.

The Wildcats took a 2-0 lead on Matt Starker's goal before Bucknell surged ahead with a 6-1 run. Christensen and Worthy Sanders tied the game with second-period goals, and the teams went to the locker rooms in 2-2 deadlock.

Brendan O'Donnell opened the second-half scoring just 1:24 into the third-period, but the Bison pocketed four in succession to open up a seemingly commanding 7-4 lead. Senior middies John Terracciano, Kelly Hogue and Andrew Copelan all scored in a span of 3:20 in the third quarter, then after Villanova picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the quarter expired, Wes Fetchet tacked on an extra-man goal just eight seconds into the fourth period.

Villanova made the Bucknell partisans nervous when Starker and Matt Lucas scored less than a minute apart, the latter coming with 3:18 left in regulation, to make it a 7-6 contest. The Wildcats won the ensuing faceoff and Bison goalie Justin Sussman made a terrific stop on Villanova's leading scorer, Marc Creegan, with 2:30 remaining.

The Wildcats had two more possessions, first turning the ball over on a bad pass with 1:08 remaining, then after Bucknell stepped out of the box, Villanova was whistled for offsides with eight seconds to play.

Sussman, who entered the game as the nation's leader in save percentage (.700), made 12 saves, while Villanova netminder Joseph Canuso made six stops. Villanova had a 26-19 shot advantage and won 10 of 16 faceoffs.

Cara assisted on five of Bucknell's first six goals, marking the second time this season he tallied five assists in a game. Christensen had his second multi-goal game of the year, while Copelan had a two-point night with a goal and an assist.

Marks led Villanova with two goals and two assists. The seven goals were the most allowed by the Wildcats in a game all season.

Bucknell returns to Patriot League action on Saturday against Lafayette. The Bison wrap up a five-game homestand with a 1 p.m. start against the Leopards.