by Nick Toland
The women’s field hockey team picked up its first victory of the season against the Siena Saints last Saturday afternoon.
The 2-1 win finally ended the losing streak that had left the team 0-3 heading into Saturday’s matchup at home.
Villanova freshman forward Courtney Devine was credited with her first collegiate career goal.
Devine’s goal also turned out to be the game-winning goal even though it occurred just over 20 minutes into the game.
Villanova’s defense would hold up against a relentless Siena attack in the second half to improve the team’s record to 1-3 on the season.
Freshman midfielder Kristen Mericle was another Wildcat to record her first point at the collegiate level with an assist to junior midfielder Lauren Wilson whose goal gave the Wildcats a 1-0 lead and early momentum in the contest.
Following a rebound in front of Siena’s senior goalkeeper Beth Meyers, Mericle was able to snag the loose ball and quickly deliver it to Wilson who consequently fired the ball into the back of the net.
The only goal came 4:35 into the game, but the Wildcats were only able to hold the lead for another eight minutes.
The Saints responded with a tip-in goal by sophomore midfielder Megan Meyers to tie the game at 1-1.
Devine’s goal would end up being the last goal scored by either side during Saturday’s afternoon contest.
This game was an example of Villanova’s depth and mental fortitude throughout the game as the team rebounded from losing their lead with the help of one of their newest members of the roster.
The shot by Devine was also one of only four Wildcat shots in the first half, while the Saints were able to record six shots against Villanova senior goalkeeper Alex Diekmann, who came up with a total of two saves in the game.
The second half featured an array of shots from the Wildcats, including two from sophomore Kayla Kenney and three from junior back Maddy Harding to contribute to the seven total shots Villanova posted.
A massive scramble in front of Siena’s net at the 45-minute mark of the game featured shots from Villanova junior forward Jessica Swoboda, junior midfielder Andrea Conte, senior midfielder Keira Zambon and senior forward Celise Feller, but none found their way into the goal.
Siena’s goalkeeper was the main reason for Villanova’s missed opportunity and overall had a strong performance in net with five total saves in the game to hold Villanova’s lead to one goal for the entirety of the second half.
On the other side of the field, Siena was able to put pressure on the Wildcats through their corner shots, as they led in that category 10-5, but failed to capitalize on the potential scoring opportunities in Villanova’s zone.
The Wildcats will look to build on their first win when they travel to Kent, Ohio to play against St. Louis and Kent State this Saturday and Sunday.
After this road trip, the ’Cats will host their last home game for the month against Big 5 rvial, Temple University on Friday, Sept. 20th at 7 p.m. ’Nova stands undefeated in the Big 5 this season at 1-0.
Then, the Wildcats will travel to the New England area to take on Connecticut and and U-Mass-Lowell on Sept. 28th and 29th, respectively to close out the month.
In early Oct., ’Nova will return to the Philadelphia area to battle its Holy War rival, Saint’s Joseph University, at Hawk Hill. After, the ’Cats will host two more games in on Oct. 4th and 11th.