1997 Field Hockey Wrap-Up
Everybody knows that before building a house you need to create a strong foundation. Despite a 7-13 record, the Villanova field hockey team built a sturdy foundation this season, for future success. The Wildcats lose only two seniors from this year's squad, captains Jacquie Fuliginiti and Courtney Moyer, but their leadership will be missed next year. During their stay on the Main Line, Fulginiti started all 77 games and finished her career with 24 points (7 goals, 10 assists) and Moyer played in 36 games as a Wildcat and tallied one career point.
The Villanova field hockey team returns 18 players, including 11 starters for the 1998 campaign. Among the players returning next year are: 1997 tri-captain Karen Baldwin, goalkeeper Sarah Wiggin, and leading scorer, freshman phenom Nicole DiMaggio. In addition, the Wildcats return 97% of their goal output, including sophomores Katie Craig (6 goals, 3 assists) and Mary Krauss (six goals).
One of the highlights of the 1997 season was the impact of the freshman class. Two West Chester, Penn. natives, Nicole DiMaggio and Carolyn Gorrie, were lookedupon early in the season by Head Coach Joannie Milhous and earned starting jobs at forward and defense, respectively.
DiMaggio went on to lead the Wildcats in three offensive categories: shots (49), goals (12) and total points (24). In addition, DiMaggio received the Big East Rookie of the Week award two times, and was named to the All-Big East Second Team and the All-Big East Rookie Team as a unanimous selection.
While Gorrie did not record comparable numbers to DiMaggio, she made an equal impact for the Wildcats. Gorrie started 19 games, and helped tri-captain Karen Baldwin form the backbone of the Villanova defense. Gorrie will be looked upon next year to continue improving her game and pick up where she left off this season.
In addition to DiMaggio and Gorrie, freshman Heidi Ufer, Jamie Grey, Stacy Rose, and Cara Walsh, all received playing time off the bench and gained valuable experience which will help them in the future when they are called upon.
The Wildcats also received stellar defensive performances game in and game out from juniors Karen Baldwin and Sarah Wiggin. Despite playing defense, Baldwin, from Ocean, NJ, recorded 31 shots and beat the opposing goalie two times with the patented "Baldwin Blast" from the top of the circle. She finished the year with 7 points (2 goals, 3 assists) and will be looked upon next year to continue her leadership role on the field.
As a goalkeeper, Wiggin, from Farmington, CT, denied 221 opponent shots while recording a 3.01 goals against average and a 81.9% save percentage. In addition to her role on the field, Wiggin, the "Goaltending Guru" has assisted freshman Cara Walsh in making a smooth transition to the next level. Walsh, although seeing limited action, made 48 saves. The two goalkeepers, Wiggin and Walsh, made more saves than any other Big East goalie tandem.
The Wildcats look forward to the 1998 season, hoping to qualify for the Big East Tournament which will be held at Villanova Stadium.