Oct. 15, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Sophomore midfielder Sean Sheridan (Levittown, Pa.) converted a penalty kick in the 59th minute and Villanova (6-6-1) posted its second straight shutout in a 1-0 victory over Lehigh (1-9-1) at the West Campus Soccer Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
On a day when the Wildcats were without several key performers, including starting goalkeeper Andrew Weakly and junior stalwart Oscar Umar, the Wildcats had to rely on others to gain the result against a gritty Lehigh side.
"We knew going in this would be a game where we had to lean on our depth and we really had some guys step up for us," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin.
One of those men was freshman goalkeeper Michael Barr, whose last game action had come in a pre-season scrimmage against West Virginia. Barr made a big diving save at 46:42 to keep the contest scoreless after a Lehigh scoring bid.
Junior Aaron Dennis had the best looks at the goal for the Wildcats in the first half but each time was denied.
After a first half in which there were few offensive opportunities for either side the Mountain Hawks came out strong in the opening minutes of the second period and outshot the Wildcats by a 4-1 margin in the first 10 minutes of the half.
As he has so often over the course of his four seasons, it was Wildcat senior forward Dylan Renna (West Milford, N.J.) whose pressure on the opponent began to build scoring chances for the Wildcats.
Villanova had one of its best looks at the net early in the 59th minute. Senior defender Adetomiwa Adetole was ready to take a shot at close range from the right side when a foul was called on Lehigh and the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick. Sheridan took the kick and scored his first career goal and the Wildcats thwarted two late chances by the Mountain Hawks to emerge with the victory.
Barr again was in position to turn away the Mountain Hawks and help Villanova even its season mark at 6-6-1 overall (1-3-0 BIG EAST).
"This is college soccer and we understood that records don't matter," stated Carlin. "Lehigh was tough and I thought we showed a lot of resiliency to get the result."
The Wildcats resume BIG EAST action on Saturday evening when they travel to Omaha to meet Creighton on Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern.