Soroka’s goal gives men’s soccer 1-0 win over Friars for first Big East victory



Andrew Gordon

For the fourth time this season, the men’s soccer team came out on top of a one-goal contest, beating Providence 1-0 on Sunday afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex. After playing from behind for the majority of the second half in a disappointing 2-1 loss to UConn on Friday, the Wildcats jumped out to an early lead as freshman defender Kyle Soroka found the back of the net four minutes into the match.

This early tally came on Villanova’s first true scoring opportunity, as the ‘Cats capitalized on their first corner kick of the game.

A give-and-go, set up with a pass from Soroka to classmate Emerson Lawrence and a return pass to Soroka, led to a blast from 22 yards out that beat a number of defenders as well as the Friars’ goalkeeper Tim Murray. The remainder of the half was relatively uneventful, with ‘Nova registering five shots, three of which were on net. Providence took three more shots in this period, with two of them challenging sophomore keeper Chris Bresnahan.

The Wildcats hoped to put the game away in the second half with a second goal. Instead, they found success in a stifling defensive effort. Providence stepped up their offensive performance in the final 45 minutes, generating numerous solid scoring chances. Fortunately for the ‘Cats, the defenders were up to the challenge. Led by field general Bresnahan, the `Nova resistance turned away a potential scoring shot in the 55th minute as a Friar forward fired a blast at Bresnahan.

Providence accounted for nine of their 12 shots in the second half, including a rip in the 70th minute that appeared to be marked for the back of the net before Bresnahan stepped up for a vital save. ‘Nova responded with a great opportunity from sophomore midfielder Stephen Paresi, only to be obstructed by Murray. The Friars made a solid push to tie up the game in the final minutes of regulation, climaxing in a header that barely passed above the Wildcat crossbar.

Bresnahan finished with four saves on the day, and the team tallied 13 shots. Soroka led the way with three shots, while senior forward Adam Amann, junior Anthony Griffith and Paresi each recorded two, and a handful of Wildcats added one tally each.

With the win, Villanova earned its first conference win of the season, improving their record to 4-2-1 overall, 1-1-0 in the Big East. Providence fell to 3-3-0 overall, 0-2-0 in conference play.

The team returns to the field tomorrow at 4 p.m. as they travel to Washington D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas. The last three matchups between the Hoyas and Wildcats have proven to be defensive struggles, with each team winning a 1-0 contest, and the most recent match ending in a 0-0 draw early last season.

Despite a torrential downpour during last season’s game, then-sophomore Brent Hooper led the way with four shots, two of which were on target. The ‘Cats will look to Hooper to create opportunities again against the Hoyas, as well as to Bresnahan, who has been the focal point of the Wildcat defense all year long.