Sept. 4, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats (1-1) used a second half surge to rally from a 1-0 halftime deficit and defeat the Siena Saints in a men's soccer game played here on a warm afternoon at the Villanova Soccer Complex.
Neither team generated many chances in the first half. The teams combined for only four shots - three by Villanova - and there were few scoring chances. The only goal of the period came on a miscue in front of the Wildcat net. As the Saints lofted a ball near the top of the box, a Wildcat defender headed the ball in the direction of the net. But it sailed beyond the reach of senior goalie Jason Friel and into the top of the net to give the Saints a 1-0 lead on the own goal.
"We were rushing a little bit in the first half," stated junior Danny DeMasters. "We just wanted to get back to moving the ball and creating some opportunities."
The `Cats tied the contest at the 52:12 mark. Sophomore Mike Seamon won a ball along the sideline and spotted DeMasters open about the 30 yards away from the net.
"I saw that everyone had kind of drifted to the lift so I called to Mike," he stated. "He got me the ball and I had some room so I hit it. The ball deflected off someone and it went in."
DeMasters' shot arced into the net and gave Villanova a boost of energy. The Wildcats dominated the middle part of the half before producing the go-ahead goal. It came off a feed from freshman Sean Mergenthal to junior Joe Taylor after a battle for possession in the box. Taylor collected the ball and sneaked it past Saint goalie Steve Skonieczny at the 68:00 mark to give the `Cats the lead.
Villanova had one close call down the stretch as Friel made a leaping save on a Siena blast from 35 yards to preserve the win.
"We had some young kids playing in that first half and I think we had some nerves working," stated head coach Larry Sullivan. "But we found our passing game in the second half and Danny made a great shot to get us going. We have a lot of work to do and need to make life easier on ourselves by converting more of our opportunities."
Next up for the `Cats is a weekend trip to Duke University. They face the host school on Friday and then meet N.C. State on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.