Men’s soccer team reaches end of winning streak

Santo Caruso

Villanova Men’s soccer has hit a little bit of a drought, after a scorching start brought their record to 5-0-1.

Playing two top 25 teams in consecutive games handed the Wildcats their first losses of the season, but strong performances were prevalent in both highly contested games.

The first, against No. 17 Notre Dame, was highlighted by a stunning performance by ‘Nova goalkeeper Craig Bald. Bald gave up only one goal in the game, stopping five shots. In comparison, the Irish goal-keeper only had to stop one shot.

The men missed one key opportunity when junior Charlie Rowan missed wide. The loose ball goal by Justin McGeeney proved to be enough to hand Villanova their first loss of the season.

The loss dropped the ‘Cats to No. 24 in the nation, from their previous ranking of No. 21.

“We’re a young team that hasn’t been through the experience of a game like this,” said Villanova head coach Larry Sullivan.

“I’m proud of the effort our guys gave. Notre Dame was a little better today but we’ll learn from this,” he added.

The men immediately faced the team that replaced them in the rankings, as they went to Zeraphath, N.J., to face the Pirates of Seton Hall.

Originally a home game for the Pirates, the match was moved to accommodate the approaching hurricane. The move had no effect on the Seton Hall defense, as they shut out the ‘Cats for the second straight game.

Another low scoring game, with both teams playing hard defense and working for every shot, the Pirates, had 10 shots in the first half, but Bald yet again came up big allowing only one goal and finishing the game with four shots.

‘Nova had a few good chances, but were unable to put the ball in the net.

Although they have lost two Big East games in a row, the Wildcats are still above .500 in the Big East and stand strong at 5-2-1.

Their next game is against UConn at 1 p.m. on Sunday, as they come back home to face the unranked Huskies.

Expect the Vilanova offense, which had been contained, to come up big in this game. They get a chance at redemption afterwards, when they go after Maryland and St. John’s, both highly ranked teams.