‘Cats fight for first conference win

Kaitlin Santanna

On Saturday, Villanova (3-9, 0-4 Patriot League) dropped its fourth league match in the conclusion game of three games in five days against Lehigh University (5-6, 1-2). Despite Villanova’s rally at the end of the game, they were not able to overcome the numerous goals scored by the Mountain Hawks. Alex Garvey continued her five game scoring streak, but the ‘Cats eventually fell to the Hawks with a score of 14-6.

After four opening goals by Lehigh, Christina Bahrs put Villanova on the board by scoring her tenth goal of the season with 12:02 left in the first half. The Hawks would counter with five more goals before the half was over. Sophomore Garvey netted her first goal of the game at the 23:36 mark of the second half before Lehigh would go on to add four more goals to their total. ‘Nova’s Becky Gardener tallied an unassisted goal to bring the score to 13-3, but Lehigh would add their last point with less than six minutes to go in the game.

The Wildcats’ started their comeback attempt with three minutes remaining. Amanda Carlson scored her first goal of the season off a pass from Erica Roebuck. Garvey would score her 17th and 18th goals of the season, the last coming with just three seconds to go in the game. While the ‘Cats made a valiant effort in the second, it was not enough to make up for Lehigh’s early goal explosions. Jessica Brozena made eight saves and picked up a loss for the game.

The Wildcats put on another heroic second period effort just three days later in an away game against Marist College on Tuesday evening. The match featured a great offensive struggle between the two teams, and boasted six different goal scorers for the ‘Cats. Despite being down four goals with 21 minutes to go in the game, Villanova’s persevering attitude brought upon a goal scoring run in the second half of the last stanza. However, their valiant effort fell short, and the ‘Cats went on to lose the game 9-8.

Marist and Villanova exchanged goals and the lead throughout the exciting first half of action. The Red Foxes got the game going with a goal less than two minutes into the contest, but Gardner scored her 12th goal of the season just a minute later. Although Marist would counter less than 30 seconds later, ‘Nova would regain the lead with goals from Bahrs and Katelyn Stone at the 24:03 and 23:30 marks, respectively. Kathleen Kelly assisted on Bahrs’ goal. Marist would reclaim the lead netting three goals in a row. Erica Roebuck scored her first goal of the season and Bahrs scored her second goal of the game on a free position shot to tie the game. Marist would then score one more time with just over a minute to go in the first half, giving the Foxes a one goal advantage heading into the second half.

Villanova’s only weakness was exposed in the first four minutes of the second half, when they allowed three unanswered Marist goals. Stevie McFadden connected with Taryn McKenna to set the Wildcats’ comeback attempt in motion with 13 minutes remaining in the contest. Freshman Taylor Lucy led the rally, scoring the final two goals of the game. Her first goal came unassisted at the 12:15 mark, while Kelly posted her second assist of the game on Lucy’s second goal with three minutes remaining in the match. Nevertheless, ‘Nova’s comeback fell just a goal short, making the final score 9-8.

Brozena stopped seven shots and both of Marist’s free position attempts in the losing effort.

The Wildcats return to Villanova Stadium for their final two home games this weekend. ‘Nova takes on Bucknell University Saturday at 2 p.m. On Sunday the seniors play their final home game against Mount St. Mary’s at 1 p.m.