Men’s soccer closes out season with win over local rival

Liam Murphy

The Villanova men’s soccer team concluded its season on Tuesday afternoon, dropping city rival Philadelphia University in a 2-1 decision. The game marked the end of five Wildcat careers on the Main Line.

John Keleher, Joe Caruolo, Tony Rod, Steve Leaman and Sean Teesdale all contributed in winning the last game of the season. The efforts and the contributions these five players made to the Villanova men’s soccer program is not evident when you look at their overall record, but the team asserted that their heart and determination has set the foundation for an up and coming soccer program.

“These guys are the central point to this program, and have been for the past four years,” junior Mike Flynn said.

While Philadelphia struggled through most of the game to build any offensive continuity, the Wildcats used high pressure through much of the first half. Their efforts paid off in the 41st minute when junior Colin Raws assisted on freshman Greg Winther’s first goal of his career at Villanova. Raws headed the ball to Winther who drilled a low ball into the right side of the net. Teesdale, substituted at the half, made five saves in his last start under head coach Larry Sullivan.

Philadelphia came out in the second half determined to even the match. With more intensity and more possession, Nolan Dzielak tied the game at one in the 68th minute, beating back-up keeper Jon Williams.

Determined not lose the final match of the season, Villanova picked up the attack and was knocking on the door for the rest of the game.

Dave O’Donnell’s third goal of the season proved to be the game winner in this Philly Soccer Seven match-up. Caruolo sent a long ball down the left side of the field to freshman Charlie Rowan, who played an on-running O’Donnell in the box. O’Donnell’s first touch beat the keeper to his left, giving O’Donnell the whole goal to work with from point blank range. O’Donnell put the goal away, as well as the game in this late minute score.

“This is what I came here to do; to help win games for Villanova,” commented O’Donnell. The win gave ’Nova a final overall record of 5-13 (2-8 Big East, 2-2 Soccer Seven).

A day earlier, the Wildcats traveled to Providence for a rescheduled Big East match-up. Their second trip up to the great state of Rhode Island wasn’t as good as their first, as they lost to the Friars 2-0. Teesdale made five saves in the match.

Last Saturday ’Nova lost to Big East champion Boston College, 2-1. Rowan scored his fifth goal of the season off a Leaman head ball assist at the 24 minute mark of the first half. Boston College came out in the second half and scored two unanswered goals, ending the game at 2-1. Williams made eight saves for the Wildcats.

Despite ending the season with a losing record, coach Sullivan was still proud of his team.

“I was only disappointed in two of our efforts this season. I thought we played well in all the other games.”