WSOC: Tough trip for ‘Cats

Kate McAvey

It was a winless weekend for the women’s soccer team, as it tied Pittsburgh 0-0 on Oct. 17 and fell to West Virginia 2-1 in overtime on Oct. 19.

The Wildcats shutout the Panthers at the West Campus Soccer Complex but failed to find the net, resulting in a scoreless draw. This was the second consecutive year that this matchup has ended in a 0-0 tie.

The ‘Cats had an edge over their opponent, outshooting the Panthers 12-10 for the game and 4-1 in the two overtime periods.

In the 96th minute, during the first overtime period, the Wildcats came close to putting themselves on the board. Senior Laura Sylvester blasted a shot on goal after blocking teammate senior Erin Hardiman’s initial attempt, but the ball flew just wide of the goal. Junior Molly Williams kept an impressive watch on goal, totaling five saves and earning herself her fifth solo shutout in the last six games.

Two days later, the ‘Cats found themselves tied with 20th-ranked West Virginia as the clock neared the end of regulation at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium. West Virginia capitalized quickly in the first overtime period, defeating the Wildcats 2-1.

Villanova got on the board first, scoring in the first half against the competitive Mountaineers’ defense, which had only eight goals against on the season coming into the game. Sophomore Justine Wollner found the net during the 63rd minute of play. Wollner intercepted the ball as the Mountaineer defense attempted to block Ryan’s run toward the goal. Wollner quickly booted the ball past the Mountaineer goalie into the right side of the net.

The ‘Cats stayed ahead for less than 10 minutes before West Virginia retaliated. Amanda Cicchini sent the ball past Williams to tie the game at one apiece. Williams guarded the goal to force the game into overtime by stopping a blast by West Virginia in the 74th minute and saving a close call off a corner kick during the 75th minute of play. Williams totaled six saves for the day, helping to keep the game close against the highly ranked West Virginia squad.

The Mountaineers claimed the lead and the win in the first minute of overtime. Williams blocked an initial shot on goal by West Virginia’s Deana Everrett, but Mountaineer Blake Miller captured the rebound and sent the ball to the back of the net.

West Virginia had the edge on shots the entire game, finishing off the match outshooting ‘Nova 23-7.

The season is coming down to the wire with just two regular season games left for the Wildcats. The team needs to come up with at least one big victory for a shot to qualify for the Big East Championship. The team will play Cincinnati tomorrow night at 7 p.m. and will then head to Kentucky to face Louisville for a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday.