Women’s soccer takes last two home games

Kaitlin Santanna

The Villanova women’s soccer team earned two hard fought wins to complete their final home games of the 2005 season.

The first of the team’s two victories was a thriller against Louisville. Sophomore defender Kayce Blandford started the scoring for ‘Nova late in the first half off a corner kick to bring the score to 1-1. Louisville responded with a goal in the 60th minute of play.

The Wildcats refused to give up, and their determination led to a fury of activity in front of the Cardinal goal in the final seconds of regulation.

After a throw-in with less than 20 seconds left, junior forward Megan Farmer drove the ball into the box and Blandford passed it to Nikki Mabery. Mabery then scored off of her own rebound to tie the game with only four seconds left in regulation.

Scoring late in the game is no unusual feat for Villanova. They have scored nearly three quarters of their goals after halftime.

Coach Ann Clifton told Villanova.com, “Our ability to continue attacking in the closing minutes and score late in games is possible because the players believe in each other and care for each other. They play hard until the game is over and simply do not accept being down even in the final seconds of a game. They are able to keep a positive mindset and go after the other team.”

A Louisville penalty brought down senior forward Lindsey Finnegan 2:07 into overtime, awarding her a penalty kick. The shot marked her fourth game winning goal of the season, and the tenth of her career.

With the home game against West Virginia slated for Friday, Oct. 14 canceled due to poor field conditions, the Wildcats had a full week to prepare for the match against Pittsburgh. This time off was certainly needed, with the ‘Cats scraping off a 1-0 victory.

Villanova extended its unbeaten streak to nine games with the victory, in which they have gone 6-0-3. The ‘Cats also lengthened their undefeated record against Big East teams.

Mabery struck again just 6:14 into the game, scoring her fourth goal of the season and second career game-winning goal. Mabery scored off of a rebound from Finnegan. The goal was the earliest that Villanova has scored this season.

After the early goal, both team’s defenders prevented any other good scoring chances.

Seniors Laura Koch and Kirsten Anderson, along with Blandford, held off the Panthers, who only had two shots in the second half. The Villanova net was minded by junior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden. Loyden posted three saves in the game, and notched her sixth shutout of the season.

This final home game against Pittsburgh was Senior Day, in which Anderson, Koch and midfielder Kelly Breslin were honored for their accomplishments.

‘Nova (8-3-4) resumes play on the road Friday night against Notre Dame at 8:30 p.m. and DePaul on Sunday at 2 p.m.