WASHINGTON - The Catholic University men's lacrosse team kicked off the 2014 season in impressive fashion, shutting out Southern Virginia 19-0 inside Cardinal Stadium.
It was a bittersweet win for the Cardinals, who took the field for the first time since losing teammate Brendan Englert in a tragic accident last spring. Playing with 'BE3' patches on their jerseys in his memory, the Cards came together to produce one of the most dominant performances in CUA history.
Catholic didn't waste any time getting into its offensive rhythm, as Billy Kirmsse ripped off a goal just 2:11 minutes into the contest off of an assist by Walter Hickey. The Cardinals won the ensuing faceoff, and stayed on the attack as Brian Keith found the back of the net just 50 seconds later to go up 2-0.
Freshman attacker Tony Fisher scored his first collegiate goal with 7:31 left to push the lead to three. Walter Hickey dished out his second assist of the night as he found William Cowan with just over a minute left in the quarter.
Keith was quick to keep the Cardinals moving as he opened up the second quarter action with his second unassisted goal of the night at 13:49. Just 45 seconds later, Bobby Kusbit put CUA up 6-0 with 13:04 to play.
The offensive display continued as the Cardinals scored two goals in nine seconds. William Cowan scored his second goal of the contest at 10:29 in the second quarter. Victor Licata won the faceoff, charged down the field and got past the Southern Virginia goalie to push the Cardinal's lead to 8-0.
Catholic scored three more goals from Ethan Rodriguez, Cam Feldman, and Hickey to take a commanding 11-0 lead into the lockerroom. At the half, goalie Kevin Cardillo had one save on one shot faced, thanks in part to the CUA defense forcing 15 Knights' turnovers and never letting SVU get settled offensively. The Cardinals were 9-of-12 on faceoffs and were successful on all eight of their clear attempts.
As the second half got underway, the Cardinals scored three goals in the opening five minutes. Dylan Neville and Sean Cummins each found the netting for the first time, while Kirmsse registered his second score of the evening.
Mark Destro came in and relieved Cardillo for the second half. He turned away two Knights' shots in the third quarter to maintain the shutout for the home team.
Dan Miltner score back-to-back goals in the 4th to push CUA to its largest lead and final score, 19-0.
Catholic dominated the Knights in every statistical category, holding the advantage in shots (46-to-8), and ground balls (31-to-22), turnovers (23-32). CUA was 16-of-17 on clear attempts, while the Knights were 8-of-20.
CUA's scoring was spread out, as 13 players registered a goal, and eight players handed out an assist.
The Cardinals return to action this Saturday when they travel to Frostburg St. for a non-conference tilt at 2:00 p.m.