Junior forward Jessica Swobda was named to the Big East Honor Roll. (Meghan Albrittain/ The Villanovan)
by Brett Klein
The Villanova Field Hockey split its contests this past weekend in Kent, Ohio. The Wildcats won their game last Saturday against Saint Louis by a score of 4-2, but followed it with a 4-1 loss to Kent State on Sunday afternoon.
The ’Cats four-goal outburst in the victory marked their highest offensive output in the young season, which surpassed the previous mark of two goals in a win over Siena.
Just under nine minutes into the game, junior forward Leah High kicked off the game’s scoring for the Wildcats with an unassisted goal.
High led the team in points and goals a season ago while starting all 19 games. Less than three minutes later, junior back Maddy Harding tacked on another goal to put the ’Cats up 2-0.
Junior forward Jessica Swoboda single-handedly pushed the Wildcats lead to 4-0 with a pair of goals near the end of the first half of play. She led the team in shots and shots on goal in 2012.
Swoboda scored her first goal of the game by tracking down a rebound off a penalty corner and putting it in.
The goal was assisted by Harding at the 20:30 mark. Swoboda’s second goal, which pushed the ’Cats lead to 4-0 before the half, was put home just over four minutes later.
The four goal lead was all the Wildcats would need to secure the victory.
Saint Louis attempted to mount a comeback early on in the second half and seemed to be on their way.
The Billikens scored two goals in the first four minutes of the half, which quickly cut the Wildcats lead in half.
Despite the resilience, Saint Louis would come no closer to challenging the Wildcats for the rest of the game.
Saint Louis falls to 0-6 on the season with the loss. Despite the mere two goal margin, the Wildcats dominated the game with a 25-9 advantage in shots in addition to a 15-6 disparity in penalty corners.
The Wildcats were unable to carry their momentum from the win over to the next day and the game against Kent State in which they were able to muster only one goal.
Senior midfielder Keira Zambon scored the only goal for Villanova at 36:01 late in the first half off of a penalty corner.
Zambon received the pass from junior back Kayla Kenney and smacked the ball into the goal. It was Zambon’s first goal of the season and the third assist for Kenney.
Unfortunately for Villanova, Kent State’s offense got going early when sophomore forward Karleigh Carlin scored a goal just under nine minutes into the game.
Before the Wildcats could offer a response, junior midfielders Missy Ramsey and Hannah Faulkner added a pair of goals to stretch the Wildcats’ deficit to three.
Trailing 3-1 at halftime, the Wildcats stepped up their game in the second half but were still unable to rattle their opponents. The ’Cats defense, especially senior goalkeeper Alex Diekmann, was stellar in the second half.
Kent State took 21 shots in the second half but was only able to find the net once, making the final score of the game 4-1.
The ’Cats offense bumped it up a notch as well by taking eight shots in the second half as opposed to the three they had fired in the first half. Despite their revamped second-half efforts, the Wildcats could not overcome the Golden Flashes.
Kent State had only 12 shots on goal in the game but was able to turn those shots into four goals, which turned out to be more than enough to pull out the win.
The team continues its season Friday, Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. at home against Temple and looks to improve upon its 3-4 record.