Men’s soccer plays to scoreless tie against rival Penn

Andrew Gordon

The men’s soccer team tied Philadelphia Soccer Six adversary University of Pennsylvania in what proved to be a defensive struggle on Labor Day afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex.

The Wildcats have advanced their season record to 1-1-1, with their win coming against then-ranked No. 18 Loyola.

The majority of the first half consisted of a midfield battle, with neither team showing a true possession advantage. With numerous possession battles and scraps for the ball at midfield, the number of scoring chances for both the ‘Cats and the Quakers were limited.

Villanova finished the first half with four shots, only one of which could truly be considered a scoring opportunity. Penn tallied five shots, three of which had the potential to find the back of the net.

Fortunately for the Wildcats, sophomore keeper Chris Bresnahan was extremely stingy, turning all three shots away. Bresnahan continued his strong play for the second half as well as both overtime periods, making five saves.

The majority of scoring chances came in the second half of regulation. Sophomore Matt Margiotta nearly capitalized on a pass from senior Mike Seamon just six minutes into the second period. Margiotta registered two shots on goal in the contest while freshman Emerson Lawrence and Seamon each added one.

Seamon looked like a true field general all day, showing his senior leadership skills and setting up many chances for his teammates. Senior defender Adam Amann displayed his offensive abilities, accounting for four shots, including one which missed the net and bounced off the crossbar in the 86th minute.

The scoreless deadlock was unbroken through two 10-minute overtime periods, as both defenses stepped up and prevented any true scoring chances by the end.

With the tie, Villanova has experienced a win, loss and tie on the season. The Wildcats have shown grit and perseverance in all three games, having to play under virtually every scenario. ‘Nova’s only loss came as a result of an early deficit to Temple, in which the Owls capitalized in the 12th minute of regulation.

On the other hand, in the season-opening victory over the Loyola Greyhounds, Villanova played a defensive style of soccer from the opening whistle, with freshman Kyle Soroka breaking the scoreless tie late in regulation.

To compete with the nationally ranked Big East foes, Head Coach Tom Carlin will rely heavily on the play of Seamon and Bresnahan.

Seamon has been the cog of Villanova’s offense for each of his prior three seasons, and will need to continue to create offensive opportunities for his teammates. Bresnahan played every minute in net for the ‘Cats last year in his rookie campaign, posting seven shutouts and a 1.01 goals against average.

With two shutouts this season already, Bresnahan looks like a major focal point of this Villanova team this season.