Field Hockey: Wuzzardo leads ‘Nova past Rutgers, Lehigh



Allison Venella

By Allison Venella

Staff Reporter

In another exciting weekend of games, field hockey scored a total of seven goals en route to two huge wins over tough competition. On Friday night, the Wildcats traveled to Rutgers and beat the Scarlet Knights 2-1, and on Sunday afternoon, the team beat Lehigh 5-2.

The team’s star of the weekend was freshman Lauren Wuzzardo. She had nine shots on goal with three goals and two assists. She has earned a starting spot on the offensive end for the Wildcats and has already made an impact in the short time she has been playing, being named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week. Since Wuzzardo is a freshman, she is adjusting to playing on such a competitive and different level.

“The intensity in the Big East games is very high,” Wuzzardo said. “The games are very different from games I’ve played in the past. Playing in college is a whole different game, and my teammates are all awesome players as well. I’ve definitely had to adjust to the college level of play, but I felt well prepared by my coaches to do so.”

Rutgers got off to a strong start, scoring in the first half while keeping the Wildcats without a goal at halftime. But after a short break, the Wildcats were awakened by fast action, impressive defense and quick sticks. Senior Steph Campbell took a shot from outside the circle only to have it saved by the Rutgers goalkeeper. When the ball was not cleared properly, freshman Meg Ryan was able to put the ball in the net and the Wildcats on the board, tying the game 1-1.

The Wildcats continued to pound away at the Scarlet Knights and shortly after the first goal, Wuzzardo was able to steal the ball from a Rutgers defender in the backfield. She took a quick shot on goal that the goalkeeper could not save, putting the team up 2-1.

The Rutgers team did not give up, however. Even though the Wildcats dominated for the majority of the second half, defensive efforts led by junior Sam Coveleski and senior Jenny Nelson solidified the win by protecting their net along with red-shirt freshman goalkeeper Maura McCormick.

With the help of Wuzzardo, the field hockey team beat Rutgers. The team outplayed its opponents, beating them in a close game by the score of 2-1.

After a win against Rutgers, the Wildcats faced the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Sunday afternoon. The team was able to pick up its sixth win of the season by the score of 5-2.

The win marked Villanova’s fourth in a row with four different players scoring. Wuzzardo had a stellar day, netting two goals. Fellow freshman Ally Smith got her first collegiate goal, and junior Allison Boris and sophomore Emily Donaldson both scored goals to contribute to the winning efforts of the team.

“Beating Rutgers and UConn were two awesome experiences,” Wuzzardo said. “As a team, we prepared so well for the games and transferred it into the games. It was a great feeling. Those two wins are a huge impact on the rest of our season. We are excited to continue working hard in practice and in games and to continue our success.”

After being on the road for several weeks, the field hockey team returned home this week to face West Chester yesterday. They travel to La Salle University this Saturday.