Standout freshman leads women’s soccer to win

Christopher A. Smith

The women’s soccer team, fresh off its first ever NCAA tournament appearance last fall, opened the 2002 season in style, dominating visiting George Mason University for a 3-1 win on Saturday. ‘Nova’s retooled offense and strong defense showed no signs of early season rust in jumping out to a 3-0 lead.

Junior Elizabeth Dauble opened the scoring for the Wildcats with an unassisted goal from 20 yards out 29:32 into the game. From there, freshman Kelly Breslin stole the show in her first collegiate appearance.

“I am just really excited to have the opportunity to play with such a great group of girls,” Breslin said, when reflecting on her freshman standing. “This season I am just hoping for the best, trying to work hard.”

Breslin was assisted by senior Julie Battista and sophomore Laura Johnson just under 10 minutes after Dauble’s goal, giving the ‘Cats a 2-0 lead. She would push the lead to 3-0 two minutes before halftime, cashing in on a pass from senior Kristin Dunst.

“My first goal was kind of a combination goal, coming off of a corner kick,” Breslin said, deflecting the credit for her first collegiate goal. “The second one came on a pass from Kristin [Dunst] and I was able to put it in the corner of the net.”

Offensively, the Wildcats were on the attack all day, out-shooting the Patriots 17-12, while also tallying six corners to George Mason’s two.

“I thought we played very well,” Breslin said. “We were up and going right from the start. Everyone was pumped for the first game, and we came out and played hard. A lot of our success has to do with the great preseason we had.”

Junior Chrissy Dolan earned the win in net for Villanova, her first in replacement of the departed Janel Schillig.

Dolan stopped six shots on the day, but had her shutout bid ruined by the Patriots’ Caroline Kent with just five minutes left in the game.

Following their game at Lehigh on Wednesday, the ‘Cats return home to the Villanova Soccer Complex to face Philadelphia rival La Salle at 4 p.m. today. Breslin and her teammates are looking to take one game at a time this year.

“After the George Mason win our focus was only on Lehigh, and when that game is over we will concentrate on La Salle. We are going to try and improve every game so we can make it to the Big East Tournament again and advance farther in the NCAA’s.”

Instant offense from a true freshman is a great place to start this year for at team which is seeking to go above and beyond the success it enjoyed in 2001 and make it back to the NCAA tournament.