Field hockey picks up two straight wins

Anne Boyd

Coming off a 5-0 win against Rutgers last Saturday, Villanova’s field hockey team was confident right off the bat for Wednesday’s game against the University of Pennsylvania. The team defeated UPenn, 3-2, adding another win to its record.

The girls started off tough, scoring their first goal within 10 minutes of the starting whistle.

Senior back Kristen Strocen drove the ball right past the Quaker goalie off of a penalty stroke called against UPenn.

Play continued back and forth until a corner on the Pennsylvania end of the field led the Quakers to their first goal, tying up the score at one.

With about 15 minutes left in the first half, the pace still continued at top speed.

‘Nova gained control of the ball, and junior forward Leah Lisausky pounded one straight past the UPenn defense and right into the net, bringing the score to 2-1.

With 10 minutes left in the first half, the Quakers gained control of the ball and were awarded a corner. UPenn fired one on goalie Megan Helwig who rejected it right back at them, preserving ‘Nova’s narrow lead going into the second half.

As soon as the whistle sounded to begin second half play, the ‘Cats kicked in the speed.

Despite their initial intensity, UPenn gained control of the ball, and with 18 minutes left on the clock tied the game up again.

The back and forth tennis match-type play continued for several minutes, until ‘Nova drove the ball towards the goal with seven minutes remaining.

It was blocked by UPenn’s goalie, but junior Christina Lugones grabbed the rebound off the pads and smacked the ball straight in, giving the ‘Cats a 3-2 advantage, one which they held to the end.

The win brought their Big East record to 2-1.

In addition to this powerful win, the girls’ ended their four game losing streak with a bang last weekend against Rutgers.

The ‘Cats came out strong and kept the intensity up until the last seconds of the game to earn themselves a five-goal shutout over the Scarlet Knights.

A mere minute and a half into the game, Lisausky converted a corner from Lugones into the first goal of the game.

‘Nova kept going strong, and about 10 minutes later a foul was called on Rutgers which resulted in a penalty stroke. Senior back Sarah Burdette stepped up to take the shot and fired one right past the goalie for the second Villanova score of the day.

Villanova’s offense pushed on strong. With three minutes left in the first half, freshman Sarah Francis smacked another one into the goal thanks to assists from Lugones and sophomore Vanessa Pizzulli.

The shot brought the score to 3-0 going into the second half. Meanwhile, goalie Helwig could have been taking a nap at the other end for all the action she was getting.

Just five minutes into the second half, Burdette stopped a Rutgers breakaway and started another ‘Nova drive. Strong team play and crisp passing allowed the ‘Cats to advance towards Rutgers’ goal, and the drive was capped off by Lugones, who hooked the ball in right past Rutgers. Later in the half, Lisausky converted another corner of off team captain Kristen Strocen’s stop to round out the scoring at 5-0.

With her play in this game, Lugones was named Big East Co-Offensive Player of the Week. Lugones finished the game with three assists and one goal making major contributions to the teams’ win.

Up next for the ‘Cats will be a home matchup against cross-town rival LaSalle on Saturday at 7 p.m.