Men’s soccer moves into top 25

Dan Barone

Heading into the toughest part of their schedule, the men’s soccer team immediately exceeded their expectations.

On Wednesday afternoon in their first home game of the season, the Wildcats pulled off a late 1-0 win over Rutgers.

In the first half, both teams combined for a total of six shots, but neither team scored.

At the 49:03 minute mark, sophomore Marcelo Rodriguez entered the game and netted the game winning goal. His second goal of the season came off a long range blast from the top of the box.

The victory against the Scarlet Knights gave the ‘Cats their fifth consecutive win.

On Saturday, a 2-1 defeat of No. 6 Boston College behind two goals by Dan DeMasters helped the team stay unbeaten in their first five matches. The victory propelled the ‘Cats to No. 21 in the national polls. DeMasters was also awarded Big East Rookie of the Week honors.

DeMasters’ well-deserved honors came as a result of two second-half goals against Boston College. The first of the goals was assisted by Jonathan Lopuski via a free kick 15 minutes into the second half. The second goal came 12 minutes later and gave the ‘Cats a 2-0 advantage.

Boston College star Pat Haggerty trimmed the lead to 2-1, but barely any time remained and the ‘Cats were able to hold on. DeMasters now leads the team in scoring with three goals and an assist in five games.

The defeat snapped Boston College’s streak of four consecutive wins and gave the Eagles their first loss of the season.

The 5-0-1 start is the best for Villanova since joining the Big East in 1985. Villanova and powerhouse St. John’s are the only two Big East teams to win each of their first two conference games. Pittsburgh (2-0-2) is the only other undefeated team in the Big East.

Senior Mike Altschuler called the start to the season “exactly what we were hoping for.”

The Wildcats’ next test will be on Sunday against No. 17 Notre Dame at the West Campus Soccer Complex at 1 p.m.