Women’s soccer struggles during weekend road trip

Larry Flynn

The women’s soccer team traveled to Pittsburgh on Friday, Sept. 4. 

The Wildcats lost, 2-0. On Sunday. The team suffered an 8-0 loss to 12th-ranked West Virginia. 

Villanova dropped to 0-5 for the season, while Pittsburgh improved to 3-1-1 and West Virginia to 5-1-0.

An early first-half goal gave Pittsburgh the momentum that drove the team throughout the entire game. 

The early goal came in the fourth minute, when freshman Panthers forward Jarena Harmon scored inside the far post, after an assist from sophomore forward Taylor Pryce. 

Despite the early lapse, the Wildcats were able to regain their composure. They played heavy defense throughout most of the first half and did not let another goal through.

It seems that the fourth minute was lucky for Pittsburgh. In the fourth minute of the second half, or the 49th minute, the Panthers attacked Villanova’s defense and took a 2-0 lead. 

It was Pryce who was able to get past sophomore Wildcat goalkeeper Emily Harris. 

Junior forward Katie Martin led the Wildcats with two shots on goal for the match. Freshman midfielder Kayla Hughes had three strikes in 68 minutes of action. Harris and junior goalkeeper Emma Meyer combined for five saves.

This was the 18th meeting between the two teams, with ’Nova holding a 10-5-3 advantage. 

Sunday afternoon the Wildcats faced West Virginia in Morgantown. The loss marks the end of a five-game road trip. The Mountaineers were able to score four goals in each half.

The opening 10 minutes of the meeting saw plenty of action, as the Mountaineers scored three goals. 

The 18th minute saw the final goal of the half, improving WVU’s lead to 4-0. 

Freshman forward Nia Gordon, junior forward Ashley Lawrence and sophomore forward Michaela Abam all scored, while senior forward Kailey Utley assisted on all three opening goals. 

Abam added to the scoreboard, as she was able to score two more goals early in the second half, improving West Virginia University’s lead then improved to 6-0. Mountaineer sophomore forward Kayla Sager was then able to finish up the meeting with two goals of her own in 84th and the 85th minutes, respectively. The final score read 8-0 for WVU. 

For the Wildcats, Meyer and Harris combined for six saves in the loss. Hughes registered one shot on goal for the entire match. 

This was the 21st meeting between Villanova and West Virginia, with WVU leading 5-11-5. 

The Wildcats entered the weekend with a 0-3 record, as they fell to Drexel, Rutgers and Towson, all by a 1-0 score. 

Senior midfielder Hayley Wilson has led the team with six shots, including three on goal prior to these matches. 

Defensively, Meyer posted a .864 save percentage before the two games. 

Villanova returns to action on Friday, Sept. 11 at 3 p.m., this time at home, when it hosts Yale for its 2015 home opener. They will face Princeton on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.  Both games will be held at the Higgins Soccer Complex on West Campus. 

This year, the team will only have six home games, making this the season with the fewest home games since 1991.