The Wildcats lost to the ranked Hoyas in Washington D.C. this past Sunday. (Yeoryios Stavris/The Villanovan)
by Kyle Stephan
Villanova dropped a rough match to No. 15 Georgetown this Homecoming weekend, losing 3-1 after the Hoyas scored within the first 22 minutes of the game.
Unfortunately, the Wildcats (6-8-3, 3-4-1 Big East), fell behind early Sunday afternoon as Georgetown (14-1-2, 6-1-1 Big East) outshot Villanova 7-1 in the first half of play.
One area of solace is that Villanova can still make the Big East women’s soccer Tournament in the next two weeks.
This past Sunday, Georgetown’s first goal came off a one-timer by Hoya senior forward Kaitlin Brenn, who notched a shot from 18 yards for a score at the 3:36 mark of the game. Georgetown continued to control possession, but the Wildcat defense seemed to even the level of play a bit.
Then at the 10:33 mark of the first half, Hoya senior defensewoman Kailey Blain speared a shot from 25 yards outside the goal, yet just scored under the crossbar.
Again the Villanova defense would slow the Hoyas’ pace for a while, repelling some attacks.
Villanova senior goalkeeper Jami Kranich saved a close range shot by Georgetown, but then the Hoyas converted a third goal close inside the box on the rebound to improve upon their lead at 3-0.
Georgetown was able to come away with a quick three-goal lead after the first 22 minutes. Although Villanova would add a shot attempt and corner kick before the second half expired, the Hoyas held the momentum. Villanova Head Coach John Byford acknowledged the importance of the early scores.
“The early goals were disappointing to concede and changed the game,” Byford said. “Unfortunately, we started very slowly which you can’t afford to do against a team as good as Georgetown.”
The second half momentum certainly balanced, most probably in favor of the Wildcats, although the Hoya defense held strong against a Villanova comeback.
Villanova freshman forward Katie Martin scored in the 67th minute on a penalty kick. Martin was fouled inside the penalty box, and awarded a free kick.
Martin subsequently scored the first goal of the day for the Wildcats. Byford would go on to praise Martin’s play after the game.
“She scores goals not only because she is a quality player but because she is brave in front of goal and, like all goal-scorers, she works hard to get into good goal scoring positions,” he said. “What’s most impressive is the fact that she has scored goals against our Big East opponents, because those schools have seen a lot of film on her and are looking to shut her down, but still she has scored.”
Although Martin would add the only score for Villanova on the day, she scored her sixth goal of the year.
Villanova would add four more shots on goal in the half, including shots by Villanova sophomore midfielder Rene Hart and senior defensewoman Taylor Houck.
Villanova will look to take on Providence College at noon, at the West Campus soccer complex this Saturday for their annual senior game. The tilt between these two squads could decide the fate of the Wildcat’s season.
According to Byford, Villanova currently holds the sixth spot in the Big East standings, and will simply need a win versus Providence to guarantee a spot. A Seton Hall loss, however, would also ensure the Wildcats a tournament birth.
Villanova could possibly be a dangerous team to play in the tournament, as they have simply dropped a couple games due to small mistakes. The Big East tournament would start next week from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10.