‘Cats wrap up regular season with ninth shutout

Christopher A. Smith

The women’s soccer team completed its outstanding 2002 regular season campaign on Tuesday at the Villanova Soccer Complex, defeating visiting Mount St. Mary’s, 6-0.

With the win, the Wildcats compiled an impressive 13-1-4 record on the year, and are currently ranked 15th in the nation according to Soccer America.

Against the inferior Mountaineers, freshman Brittany Hunsaker scored the first two goals of the game early in the second half.

From there, the ’Cats put the game out of reach, getting goals from sophomore Regina Villari, junior Elizabeth Dauble, freshman Lindsey Finnegan and senior Kristin Dunst.

Junior goalkeeper Chrissy Dolan notched yet another shutout, saving three shots.

Prior to their win against Mount St. Mary’s, the ’Cats enjoyed a record-breaking afternoon in front of over 400 fans on Senior Day.

Villanova routed the visiting Howard Bison, 11-0. Included among the many offensive stars of the day was junior Janessa Jeltema, who scored three goals, leading to her first career hat trick.

’Nova’s leading scorer on the season, sophomore Laura Johnson, netted two goals to raise her total to nine. Also scoring twice were Villari and Finnegan. For Finnegan, the two goals represented the first of her career.

Sophomore defensive specialist Patricia Misciagna scored her first goal of the season as well.

In goal, the trio of Dolan, sophomore Sara Stern and freshman Christy Schillig secured Villanova’s eighth shutout of the year.

As a team, the Wildcats set all-time records for goals in a half with eight in the first, assists in a game with eight and points in a game with 30.

The Big East recognized Jeltema’s efforts this week, naming her Co-Offensive Player of the Week.

Villanova’s offensive outbursts have come at the right time, as the Wildcats prepare for a promising postseason. The Wildcats enter the postseason riding a 10-game unbeaten streak.

Thanks in large part to one of the nation’s stingiest defensive units, Villanova recorded a 4-1-1 mark in Big East Conference Mid-Atlantic Division play. The Wildcats clinched the No. 2 seed in the division, and will face the No. 3 seed from the Northeast Division, Boston College, in the quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.

The game takes place Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Villanova Soccer Complex.

This year marks the seventh time Villanova has appeared in the Big East Tournament.

Should Villanova defeat the Eagles, they would go on to play in the semifinals on Nov. 8 at Morrone Stadium in Storrs, Conn. against the winner of the West Virginia/St. John’s quarterfinal. West Virginia is the only team to defeat the Wildcats this year.

The championship game is scheduled for Nov. 10, also in Storrs.

This year’s Big East Women’s Soccer Championship game will be televised live on MSG Network, FOX Sports Net Florida, FOX Sports Net Chicago and New England Sports Network.

The Big East Tournament champion will earn an automatic berth in this year’s NCAA Tournament, with several at-large bids also to be awarded.

Last year’s Wildcats advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament before falling to Penn State.