MSOC: Wet weather slows down ‘Nova’s offense

Michael Zipf

Approaching the weekend’s matchups on a two-game winning streak, the Wildcats aspired to extend their undefeated streak into Big East Conference play. However, the ‘Cats lost 1-0 in overtime to the Pirates and tied Georgetown with no score last weekend. The games brought Villanova’s Big East record to 2-1-1.

The first half of their game against Seton Hall featured limited scoring opportunities with the Pirates and Wildcats registering only six and five shots on goal, respectively. Although slick playing conditions reduced scoring opportunities, the Pirates nearly grabbed an early 1-0 lead. Villanova freshman goaltender Chris Bresnahan, who currently has five shutouts on the season, made a leaping save, blocking a 28-yard blast from Seton Hall forward Brayan Martinez.

The Wildcats’ best scoring opportunity occurred during the second half when sophomore Sean Mergenthal, who leads the team in scoring, managed to weave his way through the Seton Hall defense, but his shot sailed just wide of the net. Minutes later, senior captain Joe Taylor appeared to propel the Wildcats to victory. However, a sliding Pirate defender blocked his wide-open shot to extend the game to overtime.

With a few minutes left, the Pirates managed to close out the Wildcats to secure the victory. Seton Hall’s Dritan Sela gathered a loose ball and rocketed a shot past a diving Bresnahan.

Hoping to rebound from their loss, the Wildcats faced the nationally ranked Hoyas team. The Wildcat offense continued to struggle, failing to capitalize on several opportunities.

“I think we are a team that is still somewhat finding ourselves and our style of play,” senior midfielder Miles Harrison said. “We are still growing as a team.”

Villanova dominated the first half of the game, recording advantages in time of possession and shots on goal. Hooper collected a rebound shot from Taylor, but Georgetown goaltender Matthew Brutto made a diving save after Hooper lost his footing on the shot.

During the last 15 minutes of play, neither team could move the ball with any cohesion due to the poor field conditions caused by the downpour. Finally officials called the game after regulation instead of heading into overtime, giving both the ‘Cats and Hoyas a point.

Next up for the ‘Cats is a Saturday matchup against Cincinnati.