Men’s soccer loses on Senior Day

Andrew Gordon

The men’s soccer team battled the fifth-ranked University of Louisville Cardinals to no avail as the Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 5-0 on Senior Day at the West Campus Soccer Complex.

Seniors Adam Amann, Connor Esposito, Drew Heinold and Mike Seamon were honored in a pregame ceremony to pay tribute to their contributions to the Villanova soccer program throughout their careers.

Louisville wasted no time in opening the scoring on Saturday, as Cardinals midfielder Paolo DelPiccolo assisted a streaking J.T. Murray on a low blast past sophomore goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan from just outside the box in the ninth minute of play.

The Cardinals struck again at 24:20 when Colin Rolfe blasted a shot at Bresnahan from inside the box. The rebound bounced to Mark Knight, who tapped the ball into the net to give Louisville a 2-0 edge.

The ‘Cats’ defense continued to struggle as play resumed, and the Cards took advantage. Exactly one minute after the last goal, a Louisville corner kick was launched into the box and found the back of the net off the head of Freddie Braun to increase their lead to 3-0.

The Wildcats pulled things together for the final 10 minutes of the first half, generating a multitude of shots, all of which missed the mark except for one, which was turned away by the Louisville keeper.

To start the second half, fellow sophomore John Fogarty replaced Bresnahan in goal for the Wildcats.

Villanova carried its momentum into the second half, creating two solid scoring chances early, but was unable to cash in on either opportunity. The Cardinals countered in the 55th minute as Rolfe displayed some fancy footwork and scored with his left foot on an impressive individual effort to beat Fogarty.

The fifth and final Louisville goal came at the 71:56 mark as Braun tallied his second goal of the day on a header off of a free kick from DelPiccolo.

Appropriately, Seamon led the Wildcats in shots on senior day, tallying three rips, as did freshman Kyle Soroka and junior Sean Mergenthal. Mergenthal, along with redshirt sophomore Jake Heyer and junior Chris Christian, each accounted for one of Villanova’s three shots on goal on the day.

Despite a 19-18 shot advantage on the day, the Wildcats couldn’t capitalize and Louisville secured their place atop the Big East Red Division heading into the postseason.

Villanova was assured a spot in the conference tournament and played their first Big East tournament game yesterday.

The seniors honored on Saturday have had very successful careers at Villanova, especially Seamon, who has led the team in points each of his four years on the team. Combined, the four seniors ‘Cats have accounted for 22 goals and 18 assists in four years.