Women’s teams continue to shine

Carolyn Brown

I say forget about the Villanova men’s teams and let’s focus on the Villanova Wildcat women. The women at Villanova are putting the men to shame, as each week they continue to improve. Field hockey, soccer and volleyball have all been outstanding and are dominating this fall season. As field hockey is trying to move further up in the rankings, soccer is trying to make its way into the polls and volleyball opened its Big East season with a huge win against DePaul. These three teams are paving the way for women’s sports at Villanova in 2006.

Let’s start with field hockey. For the first time in school history, the girls found themselves ranked last season, ending their season at No. 15. Continuing to make history this 2006 season, the field hockey team again has made themselves known, ranking No. 20 in the STX/NFHCA Division I National Coaches’ Poll last week. Their record is now 8-3, 2-0 in the Big East after defeating No. 9 Connecticut and Rutgers. We can only expect to see more from the field hockey team.

Three more top-20 teams remain in the field hockey team’s schedule. Louisville, Providence and Duke will all be games that will test the true rank of the Villanova Wildcat women. If the Wildcats are able to get past Louisville and Providence, they will without a doubt move up to the top ten.

The Big East Championships will be an exciting time for the field hockey players. They will definitely be a top contender, if not the No. 1 seed, the way their season is looking right now. It will not be a big surprise when an NCAA bid to the National Tournament is sent their way. After losing last season to Connecticut in the Big East Championship, and therefore losing out on a bid to the NCAA tournament, the field hockey team will only be hungrier to take home the Big East Championship title.

An undefeated record is what the Villanova women’s soccer team has under its belt as it moves into the Big East season. Now 10-0-1 (2-0-1 Big East) after tying Rutgers this past weekend, the soccer team is continuing to prove its skills as it fights its way into the rankings; the players are already being nationally recognized for the wins they have recorded in the books.

Although the women have not faced a ranked team in their schedule yet, the soccer team has a chance to prove its selves when it faces Notre Dame and West Virginia. If the soccer team is able to hang with these two teams, we can expect another Big East Championship contender from Villanova. If it continues to hold a strong record, we will also see another team in the NCAA tournament this fall season.

Volleyball started the season off rough, but lately the ‘Cats have made a complete turn around, winning every single game in the Villanova tournament and opening their Big East season with a win against DePaul. Although they fell to Notre Dame on Sunday, the Wildcats can be expected to be a tough competitor in the Big East Conference. If they continue to play like they have been recently, they will be a tough opponent in conference play, fighting their way into the Big East tournament, when we will truly see all the talents of our women’s volleyball team.

With new additions to the conference last year, the Big East has become even stronger. As our women’s teams become nationally ranked, they become even more well-known nationally, creating a strong reputation for the Villanova women’s athletic programs. The reputation that comes with being a top 20 team will set these programs up for success, as the athletes that come with such a reputation are the best in the country.

Having successful women’s teams at Villanova is making all of our athletic programs even more successful. Basketball is not the only sport anymore that is championing the Villanova name, and the reputation of women’s sports as boring and a joke can come to an end as they are finally making a name for themselves. The field hockey, soccer and volleyball teams will continue to make a name for their own programs, but also will help to make a name for all of the other women’s athletic programs as well.

Watch out boys; athletics are not all about you anymore.