Records Fall as Hood Wins First Commonwealth Conference Game

Alex Villegas
Alex Villegas

READING, Pa. - Hood College scored a school-record 21 goals and Alex Villegas (New Market, Md. / Francis Scott Key) matched a Blazer record with five goals in a 21-3 victory at Alvernia in Commonwealth Conference play.

The victory was Hood's first over a conference opponent in men's lacrosse since joining the Commonwealth before the 2013 season.

The 21 goals surpassed the old record of 20 against Penn State-Abington on March 3, 2010.

Villegas joined teammate Brett Humphreys (Newark, Del. / Sanford) and Jason Anderson as the only players in school history to score five goals in a game. Villegas also become just the fifth different player to reach 20 goals in a season in program history. He finished the game with 32 points, tied for the second most in a season in school history.

Three other Blazers added hat tricks in the win. Randolph Clark (Chesapeake Beach, Md. / Northern) and Sean Murphy (Chesapeake, Va. / Grassfield) had five-point days with three goals and two assists apiece. Chris Wilbur (Boxborough, Mass. / Acton Boxborough Regional) finished the day with three goals and one assist for four points. 

Tai Foster (Honolulu, Hawaii / Punahoe) and Humphreys finished with two goals and an assist.

Clark went 12-of-17 on face offs and had 10 ground balls. James Weger (Shrewsbury, Pa. / Susquehannock) had a huge game on the defensive end with 11 ground balls and five caused turnovers. 

Hood (4-9) jumped ahead 2-0 in the first quarter. Villegas scored a man up goal midway through the quarter and Foster put the Blazers up by two with 2:17 to go. Rick Reid cut the lead in half with 1:35 left in the quarter, but Murphy found the back of the net at the buzzer for a 3-1 lead.

Murphy's goal at the end of the first started an 11-goal run for Hood that stretched into the second half. Wilbur had a hand in the first two goals of the second period. He assisted on a Villegas score with 10:30 left in the half, then picked up a goal of his own two minutes later. After Wilbur's goal, Clark won the face off and found Villegas for a 6-1 lead midway through the period. Goals by Wilbur and John Martin (Thornton, Pa. / Garnet Valley) extended the lead to seven goals before the Blazers took advantage of some Alvernia penalties down the stretch. Villegas scored his fourth goal of the half off and assist from Patrick O'Brien (Ridley, Pa. / Ridley) with 4:57 left in the second and Humphreys recorded his first goal of the afternoon with 1:50 on the clock for a 10-1 lead at the half. 

Murphy, Foster, and Brandon McCormick (Lancaster, Pa. / Penn Manor) each scored in the opening five minutes of the third quarter to make it a 13-1 contest. Man up goals by Reid and Colin Gallagher halted the Blazers' run and made it 13-3 with 7:47 remaining in the third. 

Hood tacked on three more goals before the end of the third quarter to take a 16-3 lead into the fourth. Clark scored an even strength goal with 7:18 to goal and Villegas took a feed from Chris Patschak (Woodsboro, Md. / Walkersville) for a man down goal with 1:54 left. Wilbur scored the final goal of the third quarter with just 15 seconds left, taking advantage of an Alvernia (2-11) penalty.

The Blazers added five unanswered goals in the fourth to put the game away. Murphy scored the first goal of the period, then assisted on the next two goals. He hit Billy Larrimore (Baltimore, Md. / Lansdowne) for a goal with 11:27 left in the game, then fed Humphreys with 7:45 left. Clark scored a man down goal with 5:03 left, then finished the scoring with 3:22 to go.

Joseph McCulloh (Westminster, Md. / Winters Mill) played the first three quarters in goal, making 12 saves. John Hoffman (New Market, Md. / Oakdale) and August Schoenfelder (Mount Airy, Md. / South Carroll) combined for a shutout fourth quarter, with Hoffman making a pair of saves.

Reid had two goals for Alvernia, while Gallagher notched a goal and an assist. Mikhail Gardner made 17 saves. 

Hood held a 53-34 advantage on ground balls and outshot the Crusaders 66-26. The 66 shots are a new school record. 

The Blazers were 4-of-9 on man up chances, while squashing nine of Alvernia's 11 tries.

Lebanon Valley visits Thomas Athletic Field on April 17 at 4 p.m.

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