FH: Wildcats improve to 9-1 after weekend win

Alex Gallucci

The field hockey team picked up yet another win, defeating Lehigh on Sept. 28. The decisive 4-1 victory was the team’s ninth this season, as its current record stands at 9-1.

Several of the team’s younger members rose to the occasion, particularly sophomores Meg Ryan and Meredith Sabatini, who combined for three of the Wildcats’ four goals. The offensive action began on a penalty corner by the duo of Sabatini and red-shirt freshman Abby Sordoni. Sordoni’s perfect shot to the middle of the arc allowed for an easy tip in for Sabatini’s first goal of the season, while Sordoni recorded her fifth assist this year.

In the 31st minute, Sabatini showed her strength again when she received the ball from a rebounded shot that led her to strike from seven yards out, bringing the Wildcats’ lead to two.

Just two minutes later, the Mountain Hawks made their first offensive attack, as their leading offensive player, sophomore Taryn Hartzell, managed to slip one past the Wildcat defense on a penalty corner. The Villanova lead narrowed to one, but the Wildcat offense was not done.

Sophomore Dana Ramsden contributed by putting her eighth goal of the season on the board. In the 44th minute, she brought the Wildcats to a 3-1 lead as her penalty shot flew past Lehigh goalie sophomore Lilia Stefaniwsky. Ramsden continues to lead the Villanova offense, as she is first on the team in both goals and points.

Ramsden was named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on Monday. It is the third time that she has been named to the award this season. Ramsden has been a rich source of offense for Villanova so far this seaon not only in scoring goals but for setting up her teammates as well. The second-year player has four assists this season to go along with her eight goals.

The Wildcat offensive action continued until the last minute of the game, when Ryan scored off an assist from Ramsden, marking her second goal this season.

Sophomore goalie Maura McCormick had six saves against the Mountain Hawks. This season, she has allowed only seven goals in 10 games and has recorded a total of 42 saves. Freshman Megan Goelz also saw a bit of action on Sunday, as she finished the last 10 minutes of the game in goal for the Wildcats.

Undoubtedly, the Wildcats’ success has stemmed from their virtually unstoppable defense. They have held their opponents to 78 shots, compared to the 148 shots they have taken. Their ability to keep possession of the ball has been a key factor in giving the Wildcat offense more scoring opportunities.

“We’re trying to improve on taking advantage of the opportunities that we get to really capitalize on offense,” McCormick said.

“It’s hard to have a personal goal because the defense is such a great unit. I’m just trying to play my best to help the defense continue to play their best. We always help to pick each other up after mistakes and congratulate each other on great plays.”

The Wildcats traveled to take on Monmouth University in New Jersey yesterday, but will return home for their weekend game. Villanova will take on Providence at Villanova Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m. The match against Providence is the Wildcats’ second Big East Conference game of the season. ‘Nova won their first conference matchup against Rutgers on Sept. 19, 3-1.

The Friars are 6-4 entering their Wednesday match versus Boston College, but are 0-2 against Big East teams so far this season. Providence is strong on both sides of the field, posting three shutouts while outscoring its opponents by a 26-16 margin.