Zapata Sparks Wildcats in Win Over DePaul


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Zapata Sparks Wildcats in Win Over DePaul

Tim Kopera

The Villanova Wildcats earned their first Big East victory of the season over the DePaul Blue Demons on Saturday afternoon by a score of 1-0.

The Wildcats began their attack early, controlling possession for a majority of the opening minutes of the game and nearly netting an early goal in the 16th minute. DePaul’s defense, however, held up well and seemed nearly impenetrable for the first half of play. The Blue Demons nearly connected on a header in the 34th minute, but thanks to an incredible diving save by goalie Carson Williams, the Wildcats were able to prevent DePaul from getting on the board.

Villanova’s best offensive chance of the first half came at the feet of forward Kian Zapata, who entered the game as a substitute in the 25th minute. In the final minutes of the half, Zapata was able to crack DePaul’s back line but lost possession before he could fire a shot on goal.

The second half opened with more back-and-forth action between the two teams, until the Wildcats stepped up their attack and had a brilliant chance on a strike from Zach Zandi in the 65th minute that ricocheted off the right post. DePaul’s defense finally gave in when Kian Zapata delivered a goal in the 75th minute off a cross from midfielder Yusuf Cueceoglu and deflection by midfielder Andres Camacho. The Wildcats’ defense, anchored by Luca Mellor and Enda O’Neill, was able to hold off the Blue Demons for the remainder of the game to seal the victory.

Zapata’s energy off the bench provided the difference in this crucial Big East matchup to boost the Wildcats to victory. They hope to carry this momentum into their next game at Xavier on Oct. 6.