Field hockey season concludes with tough loss

Zach Wetzler

On Saturday, the field hockey season came to disappointing end in a blowout, 7-0, loss to Providence. 

With a win, the Wildcats would have advanced to the Big East Conference tournament and a semifinal matchup with reigning national champions UConn. 

The team ends the season with a 4-14 overall record and a 1-4 record in the Big East Conference. 

Villanova was down from the starting whistle on Saturday, as Providence midfielder Emma Mackie scored after only three minutes of play to give the Friars a 1-0 lead. 

Similar to many of the Friars’ goals, the score was set up by a stoppage in play and infraction by Villanova. 

From that point on, the teams began exchanging a ping-pong style set of blows, each having opportunities to score a decisive goal but neither able to capitalize on potential counter attacks. 

At the end of the first half the score remained 1-0 and the Wildcats’ defense deserves a lot of credit for keeping it that close. 

Goalie Jordyn Clipstone stopped multiple breakaway chances and recorded six total saves on the day. 

Clipstone and senior defenders Maddy Harding, Allison Flitter and Abigail Freitag kept the game competitive, but the ‘Cats failed to score. 

The second half cued the demise of the Wildcats. The Friars began to completely dominate the time of possession and the Wildcats had very few opportunities to knot the game. 

Providence finally broke through to take a 2-0 lead, opening the floodgates. 

It was clearly the decisive goal, given the ineptitude of the offense throughout. 

Overcoming a two-goal deficit seemed impossible. The team clearly became deflated; the outcome had all but been decided. 

To conclude the game, the Friars scored five goals in the span of 22 minutes. There was no letting up. 

The loss was the team’s second largest defeat of the season and the fourth time they were shut out. 

Overall, this year’s Big East campaign was one of disappointment. 

Year to year, the Big East conference is one of the strongest for all of Division I field hockey. This year, three of the six teams in the conference are ranked in the NCAA top 20. 

However, the Villanova team is not one to make excuses. 

The team’s goal this season was to finish in the top four of the Big East conference, and it failed to do so. 

The team was unable to improve from the prior season in which the ‘Cats finished with a 4-13 record. 

Looking forward to next year, the team will lose seven seniors to graduation. 

In the offseason, the team will need to get stronger on defense, as most of the starting defense will not return next season. 

However, Head Coach Joanie Milhous can remain optimistic as the majority of this year’s team is in its junior year at Villanova. 

With another offseason of practice, next year could be the year that the ’Cats return to the Big East conference tournament.