Season Recap: Women’s Soccer

David Cassilo

Expectations were high for the women’s soccer team in 2006 following a strong season the year before. The season started off with a bang as the Wildcats went undefeated in their first 15 games before dropping a heartbreaker to West Virginia. The team was an impressive 15-2-2 in the regular season which gave them a first-round bye in the Big East tournament. After struggling down the stretch going into the tournament, the Wildcats saw their Big East hopes fade with a disappointing 1-0 loss to lower seeded Marquette. However, Villanova had still caught enough national attention to be given a spot in the NCAA national tournament. In the first round, Villanova trounced Toledo University 5-1 with junior Nikki Mabery leading the charge with two goals. A tough matchup against in-state rival Penn State was the last game Villanova played in 2006. A tough 2-0 loss to the No. 2-seeded team marked the end of an exciting season.

Numerous players had impressive seasons. The explosive scoring ability of forward Mabery was crucial to the offensive attack of the Wildcats. She led the team with 13 goals and 29 points. Junior goaltender Jillian Loyden also had a tremendous year for the Wildcats. She had a 0.45 goals-against average and only allowed two goals in the team’s first 15 games. Both players will be back to lead the charge for next season.

Much can be said about this past season in women’s soccer at Villanova, but it appears as though the team is only scratching the surface of its potential. The Wildcats will be losing a few key seniors, but with a nucleus of returning stars still intact, they will most likely have an even better season next year.