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Two Late Scores lift 'Cats past Rutgers 2-1
Farris Fakhoury tied the game with a goal at 89:41
Farris Fakhoury tied the game with a goal at 89:41

Oct. 3, 2007

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Senior Farris Fakhoury (Parlin, N.J./St. Joseph Regional High school) scored a dramatic goal with 19 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and junior Joe Taylor added a breakaway goal at 98:34 to give No. 23 Villanova (9-2-0 overall, 4-1-0 BIG EAST) a pulsating 2-1 victory over Rutgers (3-6-1 overall, 2-3-0 BIG EAST) in a BIG EAST match played here on Wednesday evening.

All three goals in the game were scored in the contest's final 12 minutes.

"This team has a flair for the dramatic," stated Villanova head coach Larry Sullivan. "We still need to take better control of the midfield. I thought Rutgers hurt us there. But we stayed together and kept playing and got the result we wanted."

. The game's first real scoring opportunity did not come until the 21st minute. Rutgers midfielder Tino Waked fired a strong blast from 10 yards beyond the top of the box that caught a piece of a Wildcat defender. But goalkeeper Jason Friel (Dublin, Pa./Pennridge H.S.) was in position and made the save. Four minutes later, the Scarlet Knights Adam Sternberger sent a header toward the Villanova net that went high over the crossbar.

Scarlet Knights' freshman Dilly Duka generated a strong chance in the 29th minute. He sent a low shot from just inside the top of the box that Friel got his right hand on to keep the game scoreless.

Freshman Anthony Griffith (Philadelphia, Pa./Haverford School) gave the `Cats a quality chance in the 33rd minute. Junior Joe Taylor (Southampton, Pa./Archbishop Wood High School) sent a corner kick into the box that Griffith got his left foot on. The ball bounced in front of Scarlet Knight goalie Matt VanOekel and over the net, just missing the top right corner.



The first half ended scoreless. Rutgers out-shot the Wildcats 8-3 in the period.

Villanova produced a great chance early in the second half when Taylor found Fakhoury making a run up the right side. Fakhoury sent a cross into the box that went off a Rutgers player to senior Mike Del Guercio (Chatham, N.J./Delbarton School). Del Guercio sent a rising blast towards the upper left corner that VanOekel was able to knock over the net with his outstretched right hand in the 58th minute.

The `Cats were unable to convert a chance in the 66th minute when sophomore Victor Faustino (Laytonsville, Md./The Heights) sent a well-placed cross over the net.

The deadlock was finally broken at 86:55 on a fast moving play out of the Rutgers end. Chris Moore sent a cross to Sternberger who knocked the ball past Friel into the top part of the net. It was Sternberger's second goal of the season and seemed like it was destined to settle matters.

It did not.

In the final three minutes, the Wildcats frantically pressed forward. With time winding down, Faustino sent a ball into box that several players made contact with. The ball ended up on Fakhoury's right foot after being knocked off a Scarlet Knight defender and he tapped into the net with just 19.5 seconds left in regulation, forcing overtime.

Villanova had only one shot on goal in the extra period but made it count. Friel lofted a long ball on a goal kick past midfield that bounced high in the air. Del Guercio won a head ball and Taylor collected the ball on side and broke in behind the defense alone on VanOekel. He calmly deposited a shot over the charging goalie that gave Villanova its third straight BIG EAST win away from home in a stretch that began at Seton Hall and Georgetown last weekend.

"We still have a lot we can improve on," said Sullivan. "But it's great to get three BIG EAST road wins in a row."

Villanova returns home to host St. John's at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Soccer Complex.

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