Aug. 25, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova field hockey team fell 3-2 in overtime to Ball State University on a hot and humid season-opening Saturday at Villanova Stadium. Although the Wildcats (0-1) out shot the Cardinals (1-0) 25-13 overall, Villanova was unable to capitalize on late scoring opportunities to seal the win. However, despite the loss, Villanova freshmen Meredith Sabatini and Lauren Wuzzardo both put goals on the board in their first collegiate competition.
Ball State's Brooke MacGillivary, who finished the game with two goals, opened all scoring just over 14 minutes into the contest. As teammate Lauren Cruz brought the ball into the circle towards the right goal post, she sailed the ball across the mouth of the net to MacGillivary who hit the back of the cage to take an early 1-0 lead.
The Cardinals' tenacious defense kept the Wildcats at bay until the start of the second half when freshman Lauren Wuzzardo took a pass from senior captain Stephanie Campbell at the top of the circle off of a penalty corner to tie the game at 1-1. Villanova continued the momentum, forcing another penalty corner just five minutes later. Campbell fired a hard shot to the left side of the cage, but her efforts were halted by Cardinal goalkeeper Tiffany Shifflett. Shifflett, unable to manage a strong clear, left the ball sitting in front of the goal mouth where Sabatini was well positioned to put in the rebound allowing the Wildcats to take a 2-1 lead.
Villanova continued to pound Ball State's defense throughout the remainder of the second half looking to score another goal to extend their lead to two. However, a crucial turnover by the Villanova defense late in the game left Ball State's Casey Hunsicker with possession of the ball inside her own offensive circle. Hunsicker took advantage of her 1 v 1 opportunity sliding the ball past Wildcat goalkeeper Maura McCormick to make the score 2-2. Both teams put forth tremendous efforts in the last 10 minutes of regulation in an attempt to jump ahead of their competition. However, neither the Wildcats nor the Cardinals were able to do so, which moved the game into sudden death overtime.
After a short five minute break, Villanova and Ball State took the field again battling for the game-winning goal. The Wildcats created multiple scoring opportunities in the first seven minutes of play, including a break away that was broken up by Shifflet in front of the goal. Despite the Wildcats' best efforts, Ball State's Katie Kloeckener maneuvered her way through the midfield slipping the ball to MacGillivary about 10 yards ahead of the play. MacGillivary collected the pass and beat goalkeeper McCormick inside the circle to score the game-winning goal at the 7:47 mark in overtime.
Villanova will look to get their first victory of the season next Saturday, Sept. 1, as they host Siena at 11:00 a.m. at Villanova Stadium.