VILLANOVA, PA -- Using a four-goal second quarter, No. 1 seed Villanova defeated No. 4 seed Georgetown 15-12 in the BIG EAST Men's Lacrosse Championship semifinal on Thursday, May 2 at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats advance to play No. 2 seed Syracuse in the title game at 12 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.
The first quarter was back-and-forth as each team scored three times in the first 10 minutes of the contest. Georgetown scored on each of its first three shots to take a 3-2 lead with six minutes remaining in the first quarter, with senior Dan McKinney scoring the first two goals for the Hoyas.
The Wildcats broke open the tie with four straight goals in the second quarter by seniors Jack Rice, Nick Doherty, Will Casertano and sophomore Eric Gartner. Villanova took a 7-3 lead into halftime, holding a 23-10 edge in shots. VU held Georgetown scoreless for a span of 21:56, including the entire second quarter.
But the Hoyas came out for the second half firing, scoring twice in the first minute to make it a two-goal game. Senior Travis Comeau and sophomore Reilly O'Connor netted goals and three minutes later, senior Brian Casey brought the Hoyas within one.
Villanova regained the momentum in the game, as freshman Tim Mulrenan and Rice scored within 32 seconds of each other and Casertano added a goal with 12 seconds remaining in the third. VU netted the final three goals of the quarter to give the Wildcats a 10-6 cushion heading into the final 15 minutes.
In the fourth quarter, Hart scored his second goal of the contest with 13:40 remaining, but Comeau matched it with his second and redshirt-junior Zac Guy's tally pulled Georgetown within three (11-8).
Rice found the back of the net twice within 18 seconds to push Villanova ahead 13-8 with just over seven minutes left to play. Comeau responded for Georgetown with his third goal of the game.
Over the last 5:03, the Hoyas outscored Villanova 3-2, but could complete their comeback.
Comeau finished the game with three goals, marking his 17th career hat trick. Redshirt-junior Tyler Knarr became the all-time leader for Georgetown in single-season ground balls with nine. He won 19 of the 30 faceoffs.
Rice finished the game with five goals for Villanova, while Casertano finished with four points on two goals and two assists.
O'Connor finished with six points for Georgetown, scoring three goals and dishing out three assists. Brian Casey had four points on one goal and three assists.
"It was an interesting game," said Villanova head coach Mike Corrado. "We made enough plays to win and get to play on Saturday, which was our goal."
In the regular-season matchup, Villanova defeated Georgetown 8-6 at home on April 3. Villanova went 5-1 in conference play to earn a share of the regular season title. The Wildcats took the No. 1 seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker with Syracuse earlier in the season. Villanova and Syracuse met earlier this year, with Villanova posting an 11-10 win at home on March 23.