Star of the Week: Goalkeeper wins Big East Rookie honors

Kaitlin Santanna

Most freshmen are expected to be nervous in their first collegiate game and to make mistakes because of those nerves. Most freshmen, however, are not like men’s soccer goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan, The Villanovan’s selection for Star of the Week.

Entering the fall season, goalkeeping was the major question mark for the men’s soccer team. The two starting goalies from last season had graduated, and the only remaining ‘keeper with any collegiate experience suffered a knee injury in the spring that will keep him out for a year. Due to these key losses, the Wildcats had to bank their presence in goal on two freshmen, Bresnahan and John Fogarty. While both newcomers had a solid preseason, Bresnahan got the nod for the starting position in Villanova’s first game of the season last Friday against Temple. Despite his inexperience, Bresnahan shined in his Villanova debut.

In the match against Temple, Bresnahan made four saves en route to a 3-1 victory on Villanova’s home opener. The Wildcats decided to stick with Bresnahan, and once again the freshman came up with some major saves versus Hofstra on Sunday evening.

The Hofstra game was close throughout, but the ‘Cats called upon their rookie goalkeeper late in the first half. Despite a 6-0 Pride lead in shots, Bresnahan made several key saves to keep the game scoreless going into the half. Villanova and Bresnahan held up the defensive stronghold while piling on the offense in the second half to beat Hofstra by a 1-0 margin. Bresnahan made three saves in the contest and recorded his first career shutout.

Bresnahan’s stellar play this past weekend did not go unnoticed by the conference. He was named the Big East Rookie of the Week on Monday. In his first weekend of action, Bresnahan allowed just one goal in 180 minutes of play, creating a 0.33 goals against average for the weekend.

Bresnahan hails from McLean, Va., located near Washington D.C. The 6-foot-2-inch freshman attended Gonzaga High School and played for the school’s soccer team that was ranked 25th in the nation during the ’07 season. Bresnahan was the captain for this Gonzaga squad his senior year. Gonzaga, a school located in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, captured consecutive WCAC championships in 2006 and 2007. During these two seasons, Bresnahan was named the defensive player of the year. Along with playing for Gonzaga High School, Bresnahan also played for RFC 89, a club team based in Northern Virginia.

The ‘Cats will need Bresnahan to continue his stellar play this weekend in the Adidas/Brown Classic set to be played in Providence, R.I. Villanova will take on Boston College tomorrow before playing difficult host team Brown on Sunday afternoon. With a long history in the Ivy League that includes 19 league championships and 23 NCAA tournament appearances, the Brown Bears will be the Wildcats’ most formidable opponent so far this season.

If Bresnahan continues with his strong play, however, Villanova will be a team to be defensively reckoned with, not only for this season but for years to come as well.