‘Nova picks up impressive win over ranked opponent

Anne Boyd

Sunday’s game against 17th-ranked Boston College brought out the best in ’Nova’s field hockey team.

With the 1-0 victory, the ’Cats’ improved their record to 8-8 overall and 3-1 in Big East conference play.

The game was scoreless throughout the entire first half thanks to tough defense from both teams. But ’Nova came through with the first and only goal of the game when with six minutes remaining in the second half, junior Christina Lugones pushed the ball straight past the dive by Boston College’s goalie.

’Nova’s defensive line of sophomores Colleen Helms, Vanessa Pizzulli and Simone Schunk, seniors Sarah Burdette, goalie Meghan Hewig and Kristen Strocen stayed strong until the end of the game. The girls held Boston College scoreless through the edge-of-the-seat last minute play during which Boston took three consecutive corners.

Hewig backed up the defense as usual to clench the win for the ’Cats. Helwig finished the game with nine saves making it her second shutout in conference play.

Based on her stellar play in the game against Boston College, as well as her consistently confident and aggressive play as goalie, Helwig was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week.

The girls had a week full of games to get ready for the Boston College matchup over fall break.

On Oct. 14, the girls lined up on Duke’s turf for a match up with the 12th ranked Blue Devils. This away game tacked a loss onto Villanova’s record with a final score of 2-0. Helwig saved five shots and junior Leah Lisausky led the offense by taking the ’Cats’ only five shots against the Blue Devil goalie.

The previous day the girls faced Radford on Duke’s turf. But despite 23 shots and 17 corners, ’Nova was unable to capitalize and the game ended in favor of Radford with a score of 1-0.

Oct 11. the team started its fall break with a powerful win against Syracuse. Despite the steady rain throughout the entire game, Villanova still dominated with intense defense and powerful saves.

The ’Cats drew first blood when Strocen passed the ball to freshman Sarah Francis, who drove the ball across to an open Lugones who scored the first goal for the ’Cats.

With ten minutes left in the contest, Syracuse tied the game with a goal off of a corner.

The game went into double overtime, and when a winner still did not emerge, penalty stroke sets were taken.

’Nova sealed the win during the second set of penalty strokes when sophomore Kelly Driscoll pushed one past the goalie making the final score 2-1.

The ’Cats will be back in action for their final regular season game, a matchup against conference rival Providence, on Sunday at 1 p.m. in Rhode Island.

The Oct. 23 game against Lehigh ended too late for this issue.