Oct. 5, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - There were a handful of precious scoring chances on a warm and humid Saturday at the Villanova Soccer Complex. Marquette (6-3-1 overall, 2-0-0 BIG EAST) made the most of its best chance of the day in the first overtime and it lifted the Golden Eagles to a 1-0 triumph over Villanova.
The Wildcats drop to 4-5-1 overall, 0-2-0 in the BIG EAST.
"We felt like we battled very hard on a hot day," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "We were creating quality opportunities and had two or three legitimate breakaways we weren't able to convert. When you don't capitalize on those, you leave yourself open to getting beat on a transition goal the way we did."
The Wildcats' best two chances of the day came in the second half. Senior forward Dylan Renna (West Milford, N.J.) picked up a smooth pass from junior Aaron Dennis that was perfectly timed to put Renna in alone on Marquette keeper Charlie Lyon. But Lyon came off his line and was able to knock the ball out of harm's way to keep the contest scoreless in the 54th minute.
Another near miss came in the 70th minute. This time junior forward Hayden Harr took a feed that got him in behind the Golden Eagles back wall and took aim at the net. But Lyon again came out aggressively and blocked Harr's attempt for a pivotal save.
Marquette had some chances of its own over the course of the afternoon. The Golden Eagles, in just their second visit to West Campus since joining the BIG EAST in 2005, out-shot the `Cats 12-7 in the first half and held a 20-17 edge after 90 minutes. However, the Wildcats defense, anchored by goalkeeper Andrew Weakly, held Marquette at bay.
A taut battle before a nearly full house at the Villanova Soccer Complex moved into extra time.
In the 95th minute, Marquette's Louis Bennett fed a ball along the right side near midfield to Kelmend Islami. Islami found C. Nortey with some space along the right side and Nortey dribbled in toward the box and sent a low shot that eluded Weakly and decided the contest at 94:33.
Marquette owned a 22-17 edge in shots and Lyon was credited with seven saves. Weakly chalked up five saves in goal for the Wildcats. The Golden Eagles also held a 10-5 edge in corner kicks.
"We've been playing pretty well but have been on the wrong end too many times this season at the moment of truth," stated Carlin. "We have to learn from this and keep going forward."
The Wildcats, who have alternated losses and wins since defeating Marist on Sept. 7, hope to bounce back on Wednesday evening when they visit Seton Hall in another BIG EAST match in South Orange, N.J. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m.
The `Cats are back at the Soccer Complex next Saturday afternoon to host St. John's at 3:00 p.m.