Women’s soccer puts up best effort

Andrew Whalen

Villanova women’s soccer stays working hard in practice, following this past weekend’s tournament at the University of Maryland. Coach Ann Clifton had much to say about the last two games, as well as this weekend’s tournament at Dartmouth College.

In last Thursday’s game against tournament host Maryland, ‘Nova was, according to Clifton, “outstanding and arguably one of their best efforts this season.” The 10 year coach said that “it was a great accomplishment, to beat the highly reputable Terps.”

Maryland has been to the elite 8 and plays in the powerful ACC, one of the better conferences.

Villanova picked up three tournament points following their 2-0 shutout. Had the teams tied, one tournament point would have been distributed to each. Villanova would ultimately finish second in the tournament due to their winning the head-to-head match-up against Maryland, who would also finish the weekend at 1-1.

Lindsey Finnegan was a tournament standout on the offensive end. Lindsey follows in a long tradition of Villanova athletes who return from injury to play well. Her two goal performance against Maryland went a long way towards her being selected to the all-tournament team. Villanova kept Maryland off the scoreboard through fabulous goalie play, and Kristin Anderson’s smashing defense. Kristin would eventually join Lindsey on the all-tournament team. Kristin may have been personally driven this past weekend, due to her desire to hold “bragging rights” over her taller sister Melissa, who is a senior forward for Maryland.

The long weekend, however, ultimately caught up with the team. On Sunday, in a 2-1 loss to tournament champion UC Santa Barbara. Clifton felt “‘Nova did not bring the effort needed to compete at the highest level. [Offensively], the team didn’t dictate anything, and [defensively] they were inconsistent.”

Villanova avoided being blanked by UCSB, thanks to sophomore forward Nikki Mabery, who scored a late game goal. Nikki’s goal was assisted by Lindsey Finnegan and Kelly Breslin. This is the third time this year that the women have scored in the closing minutes of the second half. Their ability to come through in the clutch, combined with their collective skill and effort, will serve them well in future competition.

Today, Villanova faces one of the season’s toughest challenges. The team squares off against an Arizona St. team that features four national team players. The team must then contend with Minnesota on Sunday.

“When this team shows energy and competes they are one of the top teams in the country,” Clifton stated.