‘Nova soccer awaits NCAA bid

Kaitlin Santanna

The Villanovan woman’s soccer team was eliminated for the first time in four seasons in the quarterfinal of the Big East Tournament. The No. 2 ranked Wildcats were upset by No. 3 seed West Virginia 4-2 Sunday afternoon at the Villanova Soccer Stadium.

Both teams were on the offensive at the beginning of the game. A total of three goals were scored within the first 10 minutes, with the first goal coming from West Virginia’s Marisa Kanela 4:30 into the match.

The Mountaineers’ early goal did not impede Villanova, which brought the game to a tie just 1:04 later. Off a free kick, senior defender Laura Koch passed the ball to sophomore forward Nikki Mabery. Mabery ultimately scored the goal, notching her team-high seventh goal of the season.

West Virginia came back to regain the lead less than four minutes later, and made the score 3-1 Mountaineers at 18:43. While West Virginia took the lead into halftime, Villanova had not yet lost its scoring touch.

Along with adding an assist to Villanova’s first goal, Koch scored her first career goal in what may be the last game of her collegiate career. The goal came 51:37 into the game.

Sophomore Kayce Blandford took the Wildcats’ only corner kick of the game. After the ball was put into play, midfielder Valerie Grow fed the ball to Koch to bring the game within a goal.

Villanova’s hope of a victory taken away when Kim Bonilla scored the final goal of the game for West Virginia at the 68:10 mark, making the final score for the game 4-2 West Virginia.

West Virginia was awarded 10 corner kicks throughout the game, nine of which occurred in the second half. Villanova was outshot 15-6, and junior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden made six saves in the game.

The Wildcats must now wait for their NCAA Tournament status. It hopes to be awarded an at-large bid into the tournament. Villanova has been selected for the tournament in each of its past four seasons. The match-ups for the 2005 NCAA Tournament will be decided and aired on Nov. 7 on ESPN News.