Oct. 9, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova picked up a pair of goals in the first 18:22 of a wet afternoon at the Villanova Soccer Complex and held off a late surge to post a 2-1 victory over Lafayette on Tuesday. The win lifts the Wildcats' record to 9-2-2 overall (1-0-2 BIG EAST) while the Leopards fall to 5-7-1 overall, 2-1-0 in the Patriot League.
"Our seniors had never beaten Lafayette prior to today and that's something we talked about going into this game," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "I thought we came out and really responded well to get the early goals. We lost our aggressiveness in the last 25 minutes and they did what good teams do when that happens, which is take advantage. They found the goal and the last 10 minutes were tense."
Senior Ryan Quane was inserted into the starting lineup this afternoon and that move paid instant dividends in the sixth minute. Sophomore Oscar Umar gained possession near the left sideline and found the space to loft a ball into the box. Quane made a run and was able to re-direct a header into the net at 5:29 for his first career goal. Umar was credited with an assist on the play.
"Oscar does a great job of sending balls in and I just tried to lose my mark," said Quane. "I tried to get on the end of it and was able to get there near the back post."
Not long afterward, the Wildcats struck again with a play that began along with right sideline. This time it was junior Dylan Renna who served as the playmaker, serving a ball in that found senior Kyle Soroka who elevated and headed the ball past Lafayette's Alexander Leavy at 18:22. The goal was Soroka's team-high sixth of the season and 18th of his career.
The 2-0 lead seemed to give Villanova a comfortable working margin on a day when the field was slick. But Lafayette generated some quality first half chances, none more dangerous than a header by Brandon Turner that hit the crossbar and bounced out of play. The Leopards held a 10-7 advantage in shots at halftime.
After halftime, both teams were able to manufacture good runs despite the wet conditions. Villanova held off the Leopards until the 80:37 mark when Blake Fink brought a ball through the middle and then found Greg Biggiani along the right side. Biggiani's cross into the middle found Alex Golini at the end of his run and he re-directed a shot past John Fogarty and suddenly the margin was 2-1 with under 10 minutes left.
Lafayette kept pressing and had one sequence where it generated a flurry of shots with just over a minute to play. The last of those actually found the back of the net at 88:56 but the Leopards were ruled to have been offside on the play.
Lafayette ended the day with a 22-15 edge in shots. Fogarty made five saves for the Wildcats while Leavy made four saves for the Leopards.
"It was intense," stated Quane. "It's always a tough match with Lafayette. We have a lot of respect for them. The last 15 minutes were definitely frantic. But we'll take it."
This was Villanova's final non-conference match of the 2012 regular season. It resumes BIG EAST action on Saturday afternoon here on Villanova's West Campus at 1:00 p.m. when Cincinnati comes to town for a Red Division duel. The game will be carried on Nova Nation All-Access.