Wildcats enter postseason after tying Georgetown

Sean Campbell

The women’s soccer team (5-8-4, 3-3-2) clinched a spot in the postseason on Sunday after a hard-fought 1-1 double overtime tie against host Georgetown (10-3-4, 5-1-2).

Junior center back Emily Damstrom finished a game-tying penalty kick in the 72nd minute to notch her first goal of the year at a critical time for the Wildcats. 

The defense, led by goalie and last week’s Big East Defensive Player of the Week Emma Meyer, kept the potent Georgetown offense off the scoreboard through the remainder of regulation and two overtime periods.  

One key to Villanova’s success was their containment of Daphne Corboz, one of the top midfielders in the country who has broken numerous team records this season.  

Though Corboz had a few dangerous shots and crosses, the Wildcats did not allow her to have any goals or assists.

Georgetown’s loan goal came in the 64th minute off of a scramble in front of the net that freshman defender Drew Topor drilled past Meyer. 

Georgetown outshot the Wildcats 20-3 and took 17 corner kicks, compared to Villanova’s two. 

Meyer made numerous critical saves, including one in the 84th minute and several in extra time to stop the Georgetown offense. 

The Hoyas outshot the Wildcats 5-1 in extra time.

Villanova still leads the all-time series against the Hoyas, 12-6-3, after this latest installment 

With the tie, Villanova will finish at least sixth in the Big East. Villanova entered the weekend with a three-point and head-to-head lead over seventh place Butler, which tied the Creighton Blue Jays, 1-1, on Saturday night.

Though Georgetown has already locked up a top three seed in the Big East Tournament, it entered the game fighting to finish as a top two seed and gain a playoff bye. It is battling St. John’s and DePaul for the top seed in the Big East. 

Although the Wildcats have secured a playoff spot, they can improve to a fifth seed with a win at Providence tomorrow at 7 p.m. 

Providence (8-6-2, 4-4-0) was fifth entering the weekend and had been on a hot streak with three straight wins but suffered a debilitating 4-0 loss to Marquette on Saturday night.

The loss was a letdown for the Friars, who were coming off their biggest win of the season against second place St. John’s. 

Though it may be easy for the Wildcats to overlook Providence after its poor performance, the final score does not reflect the Friars’ efforts in the whole game. 

After all four of Marquette’s goals came in the first half, Providence pressed Marquette in the second half but could not convert any scoring chances, despite several opportunities. 

In order for the Wildcats to be successful, they must keep midfielder Catherine Zimmerman in check. Zimmerman recorded the game winning goal in both of Providence’s recent road victories and leads the team with 25 points. 

The next highest point total on the team belongs to sophomore Rachel Ugolik, who has six. 

Last season, Villanova also faced off against Providence in its final game of the regular season and suffered a 1-0 defeat. Zimmerman scored the game winning goal in that contest as well.

The game should feature a clash between a powerful Providence offense and a resilient Villanova defense. In their past eight games, the Wildcats have held their opponents to two goals or fewer and look to continue that defensive effort against the Friars.

 After its final regular season game against Providence, Villanova will begin the post season on Nov. 4 on the road against either the third or the fourth seed, while the top two seeds will have first round byes.

Based on the current standings, Villanova could play St. John’s, Georgetown or Marquette in the first round.

Of the three, Georgetown is the only team that Villanova has not lost to. 

The Wildcats fell on the road to Marquette on Sept. 28 by a score of 1-0 and, more recently, to St. John’s at home on Oct. 19. 

The playoff seeding will all be decided after Oct. 31 as all 10 conference teams play their final games on Halloween.  

Aside from their own matchup, the Wildcats should pay close attention to the game between first place DePaul and second place St. John’s, as the result of that game will have major implications for their own playoff seeding.