Second Half Push Lifts Wildcats Past Hofstra 1-0
Aug. 31, 2008
HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - Senior Joe Taylor (Southampton, Pa./Archbishop Wood High Schhol) and junior Mike Seamon (Rahway, N.J/Union Catholic High School) combined on the game's only goal in the 70th minute on Sunday evening to lift Villanova to a 1-0 victory over Hofstra here in men's soccer action. The win was the Wildcats' second of the young campaign (2-0) while the Pride fell to 0-1-1.
Villanova freshman Chris Bresnahan (McLean, Va./Gonzaga High School) made three saves in net to post the first shutout of his career.
Hofstra owned the better of things in the first half, outshooting the `Cats 6-0 in the first 45 minutes. The best chance for the Pride came in the 32nd minute when forward John Alberda got in behind the defense to get off a shot from 10 yards out. But Bresnahan was equal to the challenge and made his only save of the half.
"Hofstra really did a good job with their pressure and we were pinned back in our own third of the field for much of the half," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "We made an adjustment in the second half and were much more composed with the ball. That allowed us to become more aggressive on the attack and we were able to get some chances."
The Wildcats picked up the tempo in the second session, ultimately producing 12 shots. The most notable of those came at 70:27 off the foot of Seamon, Villanova's leading scorer in both 2006 and 2007. Taylor tracked down a loose ball outside the penalty box on the right side and sent a diagonal cross towards the far post. Seamon ran into inside the six, and one touched it underneath the diving Pride goalkeeper James Winters.
Earlier in the half, Seamon had generated two near goals but Winters came up with the saves on both occasions.
"Seamon really stuck with it," said Carlin. "He just created opportunities and when Mike Seamon gets those kinds of opportunities, he is going to make something happen."
The Pride made several late attempts to knot the score but Villanova, bolstered by the return of sophomore back Chris Christian after missing the opener due to injury, held firm and gave the `Cats the triumph. Sophomore Jake Heyer's breakaway attempt to give VU a two-goal edge was thwarted by a Winters' save as were a couple of other late breaks.
The win held added significance in that it kicks off a six game stretch where Villanova will play away from its home turf at the Soccer Complex. Next up for the Wildcats is a visit to Providence, R.I., to participate in the Brown University tournament. VU faces Boston College at 5:30 p.m. this Friday afternoon before meeting host Brown in the final on Sunday. Both schools have been ranked in several preseason top 10 polls.
"This was a very big team win for us," said Carlin. "We knew how important it is going into a couple of games against top 10 caliber teams."