Men’s soccer pushes St. John’s to limit

Dan Barone

In its final home game of the season, the men’s soccer team looked impressive, dominating Penn State en route to a 2-0 victory.

But the men fell, 2-1, to top-seeded St. John’s in overtime in the first round of the Big East Tournament Saturday.

The game against the Red Storm demonstrated the improvement of a spirited team over the course of the season.

In the 54th minute, the Red Storm connected on their first goal. But freshman Felix Vincent headed home a long pass from sophomore defender Greg Winther to even the count just two minutes later.

“Earlier in the season, we fell back after they scored on us,” sophomore defender Pat Gallagher said. “This time, we stepped up.”

Head coach Larry Sullivan said he was “proud of the team regardless.”

The team hopes the selection committee notices its efforts as well when the NCAA Tournament selections are made on Nov. 17. If the commitee does take notice, the team will see their season extended on Monday. An impressive win over Penn State in their final home game of the year gave the ‘Cats their 10th win and increased their chances of making the tournament.

The game against Penn State took place on Nov. 5 at the West Campus Soccer Complex. Brett Stassfurth and Dan Massimini scored second half goals to lead the ‘Cats to a 2-0 victory. Vincent and senior Scott Rodemer assisted on the two tallies.

The defense held strong against the Penn State attack and helped goalkeeper Craig Bald to his seventh shutout of the season.

This marked the first time in seven contests that Villanova had defeated the Nittany Lions.

The team now stands on the bubble at 10-8-1. ‘Nova has a good strength of schedule, playing six ranked teams and going 2-4 in those contests.

Another Big East team, Seton Hall, made the tournament with just eight wins last year, so the ‘Cats certainly have an opportunity.