by Matthew Sheridan
This past Friday, while much of the student body was at the Pavilion reveling in the Hoops Mania festivities, the field hockey team was playing out its final game of the season against the Georgetown Hoyas at Villanova Stadium.
Paced by sophomore forward Leah High’s four goals, the ’Cats beat the Hoyas by a score of 5-3 to finish off the year with a record of 7-12 overall and 2-3 in the Big East, while sending Georgetown to 2-16 on the year and 0-6 in conference play.
Villanova opened the scoring just 15 seconds into the game on High’s first goal of the night off an assist from her fellow sophomore forward Jessica Swoboda.
Her second goal came at the 6:16 mark of the first period, this time off an assist from freshman forward Kayla Kenney.
Just minutes later, the roles were reversed as High assisted Kenney to her third goal of the year, which made the score 3-0 ’Nova less than 10 minutes into the contest. With so many goals coming early, it appeared that the rout had begun against the Hoyas, who came to Villanova riding a 13-game losing streak and gave up no less than five goals in each of its last four games.
However, the Hoyas managed to stay in the game when they received its second penalty corner of the game in the 17th minute, leading to senior midfielder Caitlin Hickey putting Georgetown on the board off an assist from freshman midfielder Emily Weinberg.
This would be the final score of the half, with Villanova leading by a score of 3-1.
Just 20 seconds into the second half, Georgetown scored again, this time by senior forward Annie Wilson, to narrow the Wildcats’ lead to 3-2.
However, shortly thereafter, Villanova answered with Leah High’s third goal of the game, making the score 4-2 ’Nova.
Georgetown still managed to stick around and scored in the 62nd minute on an unassisted goal from freshman forward Sarah Butterfield.
Villanova then responded in the 63rd minute with the final goal of the game, again from Leah High, whose four goals were the deciding factor in the outcome.
With the win, Villanova managed to end its seven-game losing streak and, moreover, to end the season on a winning note. Unfortunately, the ’Cats only won by two goals, and they needed a three-goal victory to qualify for the Big East Tournament.
As a result, the field hockey team ended its season at Villanova Stadium on Friday, and, for the five seniors on the team, ended their careers.
“Bittersweet,” said senior captain midfielder Amy Jackson when describing the game against Georgetown. “It was sweet in that we ended with a win on our home field, and we played together as a team, so it was a fun game for us. But it was bitter because we had to win by three to make the playoffs, and we only won by two goals, so when the game was over we knew our season was over.”
Despite the disappointment of not qualifying for the postseason, Jackson was still able to reflect on her career on the field hockey team in a positive light, as well as look forward to the future of the team.
“I am blessed to have spent my four years here on the field hockey team,” she said. “I made some great friends and incredible memories. It is sad to see it go, but I look forward to seeing what this team can do next year in the Big East.”