Despite intense match ‘Nova hockey brings back a win

Anne Wein

Rebounding from a loss against UConn, the ‘Cats kicked right back with a key win against Rutgers last Friday. The game concluded with a score of 3-2 bringing the ‘Cats’ record to 5-4 on the season and 1-1 in Big East play.

Rutgers presented a challenge for the women coming on strong late in the first half. The game was scoreless until the final four minutes of the half. ‘Nova knocked in a goal first when senior forward Leah Lisausky pounded in a strong unassisted shot. But Rutgers came right back scoring a goal quickly after Lisausky’s score. The game continued on the fast pace with ‘Nova striking back less than a minute later with a clean pass from sophomore Rory Rogers to Lisausky to score her second goal of the game and her fourth of the season. Lisausky proved a special challenge to Rutgers throughout the entire game, as she outshot the whole Rutgers team with her shots alone.

Taking the 2-1 lead into halftime, the ‘Cats took a break and came out of the locker room just as strong. Sophomore forward Sarah Francis scored what would become the game winning goal with 10:58 left to play. Senior midfielder Colleen Helms assisted Francis in the score. Shortly after Francis’ goal Rutgers attempted to tie the game with a powerful effort off a penalty shot, but freshman goalie defended the ‘Cats lead making an impressive diving stop. Scott finished the game with five saves, making it her fifth win of the season. Rutgers did score another goal which narrowed the gap to one, but Francis’ shot ensured the ‘Cats lead as Rutgers was unable to get another shot past the ‘Nova defense.

“Erin Scott had a great game,” head coach Joanie Milhous said. “She played with much more confidence and was really strong with her communication and her clears.”

Previously in their first Big East game of the season the Wildcats suffered a disappointing loss to the University of Connecticut. The final score was 4-0 and ended Rogers’ scoring streak. Before this game the stand-out player had scored in six consecutive games.

UConn earned the early lead scoring quickly just three minutes into the game. ‘Nova put up a good fight by limiting the Huskies to five shots in the first half. ‘Nova finished the half with three scoring attempts.

The second half spelled out the winner though as the Huskies managed eight shots, three of which got past Scott, securing the victory. The ‘Cats finished the half with just a single scoring attempt.

“I think our team has a lot of talent that we need to consistently bring to the table every day – practice and game,” Milhous said. “We just need to bring it all the time. That is why Rutgers was such a good game; because everyone did ‘have it.’ We will just build on that.”

The women hope to continue the forceful play they demonstrated against Rutgers when they face off against St. Joseph’s Saturday at 11 a.m. at Villanova Stadium on the home turf. “St Joe’s will be a great game because there are two sets of sisters,” Milhous said. “Colleen Helms’ younger sister goes to St. Joe’s as a freshman and Erin Scott’s older sister is an upperclassman there. There is no doubt that will be a big game for us.”