Men’s soccer falls to Bulls after red card

Brendan Bianowicz

The men’s soccer team (8-6-2 overall, 4-4-1 Big East) lost a critical Big East Red Division game 3-1 to the USF Bulls this Saturday, after the Bulls were able to score three consecutive goals following a costly Villanova red card in the second half.

The Wildcats had control in the beginning of this night match at USF’s soccer stadium in Tampa, Fla. ‘Nova’s offensive chances started early as senior Mike Seamon continued to build upon his October success, notching his fifth goal of the season and second in as many games, to give the ‘Cats the lead just 6:38 into the match off an assist from freshman Kyle Soroka.

“Mike got us the lead, and we really thought there were chances for it to be a two or three goal lead,” Carlin said. “We were playing that well. I thought we disrupted their rhythm and bottled up their midfield.”

Just as quickly as Seamon put the ‘Cats ahead, the momentum shifted to USF. In the 60th minute, Seamon and a USF player became entangled. Once the whistle blew, the Villanova senior was shown a red card and was automatically ejected from the match, leaving the Wildcats shorthanded for the remainder of the game.

“Before the red card we were exactly where we wanted to be,” stated Villanova Head Coach Tom Carlin.

After a turn in the Bulls’ favor, they wasted little time to capitalize on the shorthanded opportunity. Over the course of the final 30 minutes, USF came back to score three times.

“It’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes,” said Carlin. “We tried to hold on, down a man, but they’re a very good team, and they found ways to put us back on our heels.”

Ejection was not the only penalty that Seamon would face. With a red card, the receiving party was also hit with an automatic one-game suspension. This means that Seamon, Villanova’s leading scorer and one of the Big East’s top assist men, will not be in uniform when Villanova visits Rutgers on Wednesday night in another critical Big East match with postseason implications.

“I feel badly for Mike that he won’t get a chance to play in that game,” said Carlin of his senior, whose hometown of Rahway, N.J., is near Rutgers. “He was looking forward to playing in his home area one last time as a college senior, and now that isn’t going to happen. But we’ll go home and figure out a game plan on how we can succeed without Mike in the lineup.”

Sophomore Will Ogden received a pair of honors last Monday after posting the first two-goal-game of his college career in last Saturday afternoon’s 4-2 victory over DePaul.

The Big East Conference tabbed Ogden as its Offensive Player of the Week for his performance against the Blue Demons. In addition, the Philadelphia Soccer Six chose Ogden as co-player of the week with Temple’s Tyler Witmer.

The Wildcats look to prepare for their last two Big East matches, Wednesday night at Rutgers, and their regular season finale on Halloween afternoon at 1 p.m. against division-leading Louisville at the West Campus Soccer Complex. The game will factor in the team’s Big East tournament seed.