Women’s soccer plays to scoreless tie with Pitt

Sean McManus

The women’s soccer team battled the Pittsburgh Panthers to a 0-0 tie on Sunday afternoon at Eastern University Stadium in St. Davids, Pa. The game was originally scheduled to be played at ‘Nova, but it was moved to the turf surface at Eastern University due to inclement weather.

The match between Villanova and Pittsburgh celebrated Senior Day for six members of the team. Goalkeeper Molly Williams, defenders Samantha Moskal and Kelly Eagan, forward Grace Hawkins and midfielders Jessica Carnevale and Erin Byrnes were honored before the game for their four outstanding years of commitment.

After two extra sessions of play and a combined 34 shots on net, the game was stopped in a scoreless tie. This marked the third-straight year without a goal between these two Big East foes. The Wildcats (10-3-4, 3-3-3 Big East) relied on another impressive effort by Williams who stopped three shots on goal. Williams posted her third consecutive shutout and fifth of the season.

Pittsburgh appeared to control the pace of the game in the first half, as the Pittsburgh strikers continually tested the defensive prowess of Villanova. Pittsburgh managed to outshoot the ‘Cats 5-3 in the first half.

However, the Wildcats turned the tide in the second half and managed to rifle 13 shots on goal to Pittsburgh’s three shots. Villanova took a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks in the second half. Despite the up-tempo pace set by Villanova in the second half, Panthers’ goalie Morie Kephart remained steadfast in goal and recorded seven saves.

Pittsburgh’s best scoring opportunity came in the first overtime off of a Panthers’ corner kick. Liz Carroll corralled the kick and fired a shot that was deflected by the Villanova defense. Her second shot was thwarted by Williams at point-blank range.

The closest Villanova came to scoring was in the second overtime when senior Hawkins blasted a shot on net from the 18-yard box with 1:36 left. Hawkins’ shot ricocheted off the right goal post, teased the crowd by traveling the length of the goal line, and finally bounced away from the net.

Carnevale controlled Hawkins’ deflected shot and rifled a shot of her own that missed to the left.

Villanova’s last scoring attempt came off a Panther penalty with 49 seconds remaining in double overtime and a resulting Wildcat free kick. The free kick set up a header for senior defender Kelly Eagan which was saved by Kephart.

Villanova will carry out their final two games of the regular season on the road tomorrow against Notre Dame.