Kenney and Bello anchor undefeated weekend



Matt Fowler

Last Friday, the field hockey team began its successful weekend cruised with a 5-0 victory over the Siena Saints behind a hat trick from sophomore Francesca Bello.  Then, on Sunday, the Wildcats traveled to Towson and defeated the Tigers 5-1.  

With the Pope in town, Friday’s contest was moved to Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. instead of being a typical home game at Villanova Stadium. The team did not seem phased by the change of scenery.

Junior Kristen Mericle opened the scoring late in the first half from a pass off the stick of senior captain Kayla Kenney. Mericle’s fifth goal of the season seemed to ignite the team.

After the half, the Wildcats came out firing by scoring four goals in a 10-minute span. Freshman Allison Sayia added her second goal of the season off a pass from senior Carolynn Clark. Sophomore standout Bello then took the game into her own hands.

“We have been waiting for a big win for a while,” Bello said. “We were finally able to finish and get the ball in the cage. It was perfecting that final piece that was huge for the win.”

Bello scored her fourth, fifth and sixth goals of the season in a seven minute span to put the struggling Saints away. Bello’s first two goals were assisted by Kenney, her second and third assists of the day. Bello’s last goal came off a feed from junior Courtney Devine. Bello was too much for Siena’s defense.

“The biggest factor for my three goal game was every other girl on the team,” Bello said. “Two of the goals were perfect balls in from two teammates that really set me up perfectly to score.”

Freshman goalie Erika Miller recorded three saves in her first career shutout. Miller did not have much to do as the stifling Villanova defense held the Saints to only six shots and four corners, compared to 24 shots and seven corners for the Wildcat offense.

“This win was huge motivation for our game Sunday,” Bello said of the team moving forward. “We will absolutely keep this momentum going and finish out the weekend 2-0. It’s nothing but up from here for us.”

That improved play continued two days later when ’Cats carried their momentum into a showdown with Towson.

Kenney turned in a strong performance for Villanova, netting two goals and assisting on another. Her play over the weekend earned her a spot on the Big East Field Hockey Weekly Honor Roll.

Freshman Emily Cliggett and seniors Ann Romanowski and Heather Smillie each tallied goals en route to the Wildcats’ third win of the season.

Looking ahead, Villanova opens up Big East play when they travel to Connecticut to take on the undefeated Huskies on Oct. 3. They will return home the following day to host St. Francis.  Five of the team’s seven remaining games will be at home as they look to build on their undefeated weekend and find more success in conference play.