by Paul Regan
The field hockey team went on a tour of the Midwest this past weekend that featured a Big East matchup against Louisville on Saturday and a non-league contest versus Indiana on Sunday.
The Wildcats (6-11, 1-4 Big East) fell to Louisville (10-7, 2-3 Big East) by a score of 3-1. It was an important game for both teams, especially with Big East tournament implications on the line.
On Sunday, the ’Cats were defeated 4-0 by Indiana (9-7, 0-5 Big Ten).
Villanova came into Saturday’s game against Louisville looking to snap a four-game skid. Unfortunately, the streak would not end in Kentucky.
The two teams played a scoreless first half in which ’Nova was on the defensive end for the majority of the time. Louisville had the advantage in both shots (6-2) and penalty corners (4-1).
Just two minutes into the second half, Louisville took a 1-0 lead when junior forward Erin Schneidtmiller fired a shot into the right side of the cage from the top of the circle.
Midway through the second half, Villanova freshman midfielder Kayla Kenney tied the game by dribbling through traffic and knocking the ball into the left side of the cage. The goal was Kenney’s fourth goal and 13th point of the season.
During the next 10 minutes of play, Louisville added two more goals to put the game out of reach of the Wildcats. Louisville senior forward Amber Thomas scored her eighthgoal of the year on an assist from sophomore midfielder Paige Monsen.
Six minutes later, sophomore back Alyssa Voelmle scored from the top of the circle off a penalty corner.
The Wildcats were outshot by Louisville 12-2 in the second half and 18-4 in the game. Junior goalkeeper Alex Diekmann kept the ’Cats in the game by making nine saves. Diekmann, one of the top goalkeeper’s in the Big East this season, has totaled 106 saves on the year.
Sunday’s game against Indiana was another struggle for the ’Cats. The Hoosiers jumped out to an early lead and never looked back.
Indiana dominated during the first half of play, as Villanova was barely able to get the ball out of its own zone. Indiana outshot the Wildcats by a 13-3 margin during the half.
In just the sixthminute of the game, Indiana senior forward Morgan Fleetwood scored her first of three goals of the afternoon. The goal came from just in front of the cage off a penalty corner.
Four minutes later, sophomore midfielder Amanda Bennison scored from the center of the circle. In the 17th minute, Fleetwood capitalized on another penalty corner to put Indiana up 3-0. Fleetwood completed her hat trick in the 27th minute when she knocked one in from the left side of the circle.
Play was more even in the second half with ’Nova outshooting the Hoosiers, 13-9. However, the Wildcats were unable to find the back of the cage, and the score at the end of the first half, 4-0, held for the rest of the game.
Two bright spots for Villanova were senior back Kristen Davila and senior midfielder Olivia Maggitti, who both played the entire game and registered three shots apiece. Freshman goalkeeper Erin Gorse relieved the starter Diekmann and recorded five saves in the second half.
Villanova will play its last game of the 2012 season tomorrow, Friday, Oct. 26. The conference game against Georgetown is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. at Villanova Stadium.