Cardinals Fall to Southern Virginia in Season Opener

Cardinals Fall to Southern Virginia in Season Opener

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Catholic University men's lacrosse junior Vince Catenacci totaled five points and four goals, both career highs, but Southern Virginia scored 14 first-half goals, including eight in the second quarter en route to a 20-14 victory Wednesday at Cardinal Stadium.

The Cardinals (0-1) had won their last five season openers. It was also their first loss in the last 15 home openers under 22nd-year head coach Brooks Singer. Before today, the last time the team had lost a home opener was back on Feb. 21, 2004 against No. 1-ranked and defending national champion Salisbury.

Catholic had more shots, more ground balls and won 25-of-36 faceoffs, but the Cardinals could not contain the Knights' duo of Zach Danneman and Shawn Lamb. The two combined for 11 goals and 14 points, including seven goals and 10 points in the first half as the Knights built a 14-5 halftime lead.

After Southern Virginia (1-0) jumped out to a 2-0 lead, Catenacci got the Cards on the board just 54 seconds later before finding junior Brendan Leniw to tie the game at 2-2.

With the game tied at 3-3, the Knights closed the first quarter with three unanswered tallies in the final 4:35, including a strike from Tennison Schmidt with one second remaining to take a 6-3 lead.

Freshman Brendan Dulin netted his first career goal just eight seconds into the second quarter before Southern Virginia added three more to push its lead to five, 9-4, with 11:10 left.

Junior Griffin Smith scored his second goal of the game just 19 seconds later off a feed from freshman Chris Novella, but the Knights closed the half with five-straight goals in the final 8:34 to take a 14-5 halftime advantage.

A long pole from Mechanicsburg, Pa., Smith has four career goals and has already matched the total from his first 25 games.

Catholic came out firing in the second half, scoring the first four goals to pull within five, but Southern Virginia scored the final three to take a 17-9 lead into the final quarter. Novella had a goal and an assist during the Cards 4-0 run while Catenacci opened the scoring with a man-up tally.

The Cardinals were 3 for 7 on the man advantage, including 2 for 3 in the second half. Catenacci had a hand in all three, totaling two goals and one assist.

Catholic outscored the Knights 5-3 in the fourth quarter, but tallied three of their five goals in the final 2:17 with Southern Virginia leading by nine.

Nine different players scored at least one goal for the Cardinals while 11 had at least one point. Leniw finished with two goals and one assist while Novella and junior Mark Tocchio each had one goal and two assists.

Catholic used three goalies in the contest with sophomore Kevin Malone getting the start and playing 30 minutes. Junior Alex Mulyk played just under 30 minutes and made three saves.

In his first career game, freshman Mike McShea won 24 of 34 faceoffs and picked up 21 ground balls. He also had one caused turnover.

The Cardinals travel to Randolph-Macon on Saturday for a noon start against the Yellow Jackets.