FH: Field hockey sweeps another home weekend

Alex Gallucci

The Wildcats had yet another busy and victorious weekend, as they took on Brown on Sept. 12 and Missouri State on Sept. 14 in Villanova Stadium. Coming off a 3-1 loss to Drexel on Sept. 10 that ended the Wildcats’ four-game win streak, the Wildcats successfully recorded their fifth win and shutout against Brown. The team followed this with a 3-1 victory over Missouri State.

“Drexel was a very tough and physical team, but we were able to turn our play and teamwork around to come back and get two wins against Brown and Missouri State,” sophomore forward Dana Ramsden said. “The team is unbelievable in terms of dedication, pride and passion, and we are really working well together.”

Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Maura McCormick once again topped her own records against Brown, recording her fifth shutout this season, in addition to a season-high eight saves, against the Bears. A strong showing by the Wildcat defense was the key to victory, as sophomore Lauren Wuzzardo’s late first-half goal was the only scoring action in the game. The Brown defense could not stop Wuzzardo’s blast from the top of the circle, marking the sophomore midfielder’s third goal this season and the only point in a 1-0 win for Villanova.

On Sept. 14, the Wildcats returned to a blisteringly hot and humid Villanova Stadium, eager to repeat their success as they took on the Missouri State Bears. The Villanova offense saw considerably more action in this game, scoring on three occasions to secure the win. Redshirt freshman Lyndsey Natale started the Villanova scoring 26 minutes into the game, recording the first goal of her career. Natale’s goal came off an accurate pass from senior Sam Coveleski, giving her her first assist this season. Five minutes later, the Bears tied the score at 1-1 to end the half. This marked just the fourth goal scored on the Wildcats in their first seven games this season.

Second-half scoring began with a goal from sophomore forward Dana Ramsden, who currently leads the team with six goals this season. With just six minutes remaining in the game, freshman Michelle Arfuso’s spot-on pass to redshirt freshman Abby Sordoni pushed Villanova’s lead to 3-1, marking a career-first assist for Arfuso and the second goal of the season for Sordoni. Freshman Megan Goelz also made her debut as goalkeeper in the last few minutes of play against the Bears.

Once again, the near-flawless Wildcat defense was a strong force in the team’s victory. The Bears had only seven shots on goal – a third of Villanova’s 21 – while McCormick added another two saves in goal.

“We carry with us a lot of experienced players and are more than ready to take on any challenge and competitors that come our way,” Wuzzardo said.

The Wildcats will travel to Rutgers tomorrow to take on the Scarlet Knights in Piscataway, N.J. This will be their first Big East game of the season, and according to Ramsden, “It’s going to be quite a battle.” Not only is Rutgers the Wildcats’ first Big East game, it is their first contest against an opponent from a major conference.

Rutgers looks to be Villanova’s toughest battle of the season thus far; the Scarlet Knights enter the game with a 6-0 record and are ranked No. 17 in the nation according to the latest STX/National Field Hockey Coaches Association poll.