Oct. 9, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J.. - A goal in the 83rd minute by Max Garcia lifted Seton Hall (4-5-2 overall, 1-2-0 BIG EAST) to a 2-1 victory over Villanova in a BIG EAST match played here Wednesday evening. The Wildcats drop to 4-6-1 overall, 0-3-0 in conference play.
"Watching the game it just seemed like we were on the wrong end of too many physical battles," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "We never had a bite on the game and that's disappointing."
Seton Hall struck first on the score sheet in the 35th minute of the contest played at Owen T. Carroll Field. The Pirates earned a free kick that the Wildcats were unable to clear before it created trouble. The ball came loose in the box and Bolu Akinyode knocked the ball under the cross bar and into the goal after the flurry in front of Wildcats goalkeeper Andrew Weakly (Snohomish, Wash.).
Kai Greene and Samuel Geiler picked up assists on the goal that came at 34:46.
That turned out to be the only score of the first half and the Hall took a 1-0 advantage into intermission.
The Pirates nearly expanded the lead in the 60th minute after a transition opportunity. Victor Manosalvas sent a shot that Weakly saved on what was a high quality chance. With just over 28 minutes to play in regulation time, Seton Hall owned a 13-4 edge in shots.
But it was Villanova, continuing its trend of second half rallies that was on display in earlier wins over Penn and La Salle, which got the equalizer. The sequence began with a corner kick that Seton Hall deflected back to sophomore Sean Sheridan, who had sent the ball into the box from the corner. Sheridan sent a long cross that found Colton Bryant. The junior back headed the ball into the net at 68:14.
The Wildcats created another chance in the 78th minute off a corner kick with the same tandem at work. Sheridan served the ball into the box and Bryant was able to elevate and get his head on to the ball. This attempt, though, sailed wide to the right.
Villanova earned another transition chance a few minutes later after clearing a Hall corner kick. Junior Aaron Dennis broke out with the ball down the left side and a quick move. Pirates' goalkeeper Julian Spindler came off his line and made one save. The carom came back to senior Dylan Renna with Spindler seemingly out of position but a Pirate defender blocked the follow-up bid and somehow the contest remained deadlocked at one.
"We had a break out and a couple of chances there in the second half but we didn't control the tempo the way we wanted to," Carlin noted. "Seton Hall made it tough on us."
The tempo continued at a furious pace and it was Seton Hall that capitalized on the next opportunity. Geiller managed to keep the ball in along the end line near the Wildcats net and chipped a ball to the far post, where teammate Max Garcia used his head to drop the ball into the net at 82:50. The count was 2-1.
"It was just a scrum in front of the net," stated Carlin. "We got caught out of position and they just kind of willed the ball into the goal."
Villanova pushed forward over the final minutes but was unable to produce the equalizer.
The Wildcats return home on Saturday to host St. John's at 3:00 p.m. (Nova Nation All-Access Pass).
"We just have to stay in the moment, learn from this one, and get ready for St. John's," stated Carlin.