Sept. 25, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova got a goal from senior Kyle McCarthy late in the first half and withstood a push from Temple in the second 45 to post a 1-0 victory over the Owls (3-4-1 overall, 0-0-0 Atlantic Ten) here on sunny afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex. The Wildcats are now 7-2-0 at the midpoint of the regular season and 3-0-0 against rivals from the Philadelphia Soccer Six.
"Temple's a great team and we knew this would be a physical battle," stated Villanova head coach Tom Carlin. "The important thing for us was to play our kind of soccer. When you play on this field, you need to win a lot of first and second balls and I thought we did a pretty good job of that.
"I would like to see us stop the counter a little better than we did, but we won't complain about a win."
Villanova had the better of play early, taking four of the game's first five shots. But the Owls began to generate chances midway through the first 45 minutes and produced a quality chance in the 18th minute from Homero Rodriguez that went wide of goalkeeper John Fogarty.
It appeared the contest was headed to halftime scoreless before VU was awarded a throw-in along the sideline near the end line. Wildcats senior Alec Weiss heaved a throw into the box that McCarthy - who had moved up from his central back spot - managed to head toward the net. The ball caught a piece of an Owl defender and caromed past goalkeeper Bobby Rosato at 41:41 to give the Wildcats the lead.
The shot totals were a reflection of the even play at halftime as VU held an 8-7 edge.
The tempo picked up in the second half and both teams created legitimate scoring chances. Fogarty was where he needed to be in the 54th minute to make the save on a header from Nolan Hemmer that came at the end of some nifty ball movement from the Owls. Later in the period, Temple's Chas Wilson came in on-side with the ball and space on the right side. He launched a shot that nearly found the top left corner, flicking off the crossbar and out of play.
Sophomore Aaron Dennis had a superb chance in the second half after dribbling into the box from the left side but Rosato raced out to cut down his angle and made the save.
Villanova held off Temple giving Fogarty his second shutout win of the season. The senior made six saves.
"Our backline and Fogarty did a good job," Carlin said. "I thought they earned the shutout even though Temple did hit a crossbar."
The Wildcats have captured seven of nine non-conference matches with one more remaining against Lafayette on Oct. 9. Among the triumphs were wins over Penn (5-3), La Salle (2-1) and now Temple.
"We wanted to have a little momentum to take with us into the Big East and I think we have that," Carlin stated.
Villanova opens the BIG EAST Conference portion of its slate this Saturday afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex when No. 20 USF visits the Main Line. The Wildcats defeated the Bulls 1-0 last November in Tampa, Fla., to advance to the BIG EAST semi-final at Red Bull Arena. Kickoff Saturday is set for 1:00 p.m. (Nova Nation All-Access).