Villanova vs. Notre Dame
March 28, 2005
The Game Story:
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After three unanswered goals by the Wildcats in the third period, it looked as though Villanova (5-3) was on the verge of rallying from a large halftime deficit. However, a six-goal margin proved to be too much to overcome, and No. 9 Notre Dame (5-1) hung on for an 11-7 victory during a heavy rainstorm at Villanova Stadium on Monday afternoon.

The Fighting Irish, who never trailed, opened the scoring just nine seconds into the contest and led 3-0 before the midpoint of the opening quarter. The Wildcats scored back-to-back goals in a span of a minute midway through the period, but Notre Dame answered back with two more tallies. The Fighting Irish stretched the lead to 8-2 with 5:14 remaining in the first half, and the teams traded a pair of goals before the break.

Senior midfielder Dan Fanelli (Wantagh, N.Y.) and freshman attack Tim Atkins (West Chester, Pa.) led the Wildcats with two goals and one assist each. Each of Fanelli's goals were assisted by junior midfielder Matt Starker (Summit, N.J.). Sophomore midfielders Mike Haas (North Wales, Pa.) and Eric Heidenberger (Washington, D.C.) each scored once, as did senior attack Marc Creegan (West Babylon, N.Y.).

For much of the third quarter, it looked as though the game's momentum had shifted to the Wildcats during halftime. Fanelli scored his first goal of the game just 3:44 into the third quarter, and Villanova added two more goals in a span of 51 seconds late in the period. A goal by Fanelli with 3:19 left in the quarter would be the Wildcats' last one of the game, as Villanova was unable to complete the comeback despite a 26-14 shot advantage in the second half. Notre Dame goalie Joey Kemp made 16 saves for the game, with 11 of those coming in the final 30 minutes.

Jim Morrison led the Fighting Irish with five goals, while Matt Ryan and Colin Fatti had two goals apiece. Taylor Clagett added a goal and an assist for Notre Dame.

The Wildcats had a 40-37 edge in shots for the game, with junior goalie Joe Canuso (Moorestown, N.J.) making 14 saves. Canuso remained steady under constant pressure from the Fighting Irish, making seven saves in each half.

Villanova will continue a demanding schedule for the week when they play their second league game against Hofstra. The Wildcats visit the Pride on Friday evening for a 7:30 p.m. contest.