Men’s soccer to host first round of Big East tournament

Dan Barone

In a critical game played on Saturday, the men’s soccer team dominated Syracuse en route to a 1-0 victory and a berth in the Big East tournament. The victory comes at the end of a very rough stretch for the Wildcats where they had only won one of the previous nine contests.

Their strong start, however, still enabled them to end the year with their best Big East campaign ever, finishing 5-3-2. The victory on Saturday, coupled with several other results gave the Wildcats a fourth place finish in the conference and a home game for the first round of the Big East tournament.

The game against Syracuse was a dominant performance for the Wildcats. The 1-0 final score did not reflect the numerous scoring oppurtunities that they had in the second half.

Junior captain Pat Gallagher headed home a corner kick by senior captain Jash Lopuski to give the ‘Cats all that they would need. Goalkeeper Craig Bald recorded the shutout and made a fantastic save that secured the 1-0 win.

The team was exuberant following the win and Coach Sullivan described it as “something that this young team really deserved.” The game was a must if Villanova hopes to have a chance at an NCAA bid.

If the Wildcats are victorious against Georgetown, they will most likely face powerhouse Notre Dame in the second round. Notre Dame is probably the only team that has dominated the Wildcats this season, as they defeated the ‘Cats 1-0 earlier this season. The Irish have only lost twice all season, and have not been defeated in over a month. Georgetown rides a three game win streak into the first round game, but was defeated by the ‘Cats 2-1 earlier this year.

Villanova concludes its regular season on Wednesday against Penn State and will host the Big East game Saturday at 1 p.m. at the West Campus soccer complex.