by Andrew Moffa
The field hockey team took to the road this past weekend, traveling to Rhode Island for a game against conference foe Providence.
The ’Cats fought hard but were unable to overcome an early two goal deficit, falling to the Friars 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.
Providence stormed out to an early lead with a deflected goal just three minutes into the game, and broke through again about 20 minutes later to take a 2-0 lead on the Wildcats.
Villanova finally broke through offensively with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game, as junior back Maddy Harding fired a direct shot off of a penalty corner past the Providence goalkeeper to pull the ’Cats within a single goal.
Wildcat junior forwards Jessica Swoboda and Lauren Wilson both assisted on Harding’s goal, which was her sixth of the season.
Harding and Swoboda also lead the team in points, with 15 each.
The Wildcats had chances to tie the game late, but Providence was able to hold on to earn the home victory.
This game was truly a tale of two halves for the Wildcats, who were unable to get anything going offensively in the first half but closed the game strong.
The ’Cats managed just a single shot and penalty corner in the opening half, but were able to register three of each in the second half.
Senior goalkeeper Alex Diekmann, meanwhile, kept the game competitive for the Wildcats in the first half, when she registered seven of her nine saves.
The ’Cats picked up the defense after halftime, as Providence was only able to manage four shots in the second half.
With this tough loss on the road, the Wildcats fell to 3-10 on the season, and 0-5 in the Big East.
Providence, meanwhile, picked up its sixth win on the season and their second in conference play.
This was the fourth one-goal loss for the Wildcats, who have lost a handful of tight games this season.
The ’Cats return home to take on No. 17 Louisville this Sunday at noon at Villanova Stadium.
This contest marks the home finale for Villanova.
The Wildcats will then finish the regular season with three road games against Penn, Georgetown and Delaware.