Sept. 8, 2007
WEST CHESTER, Pa. - Despite holding a 2-1 lead heading into the second half, Villanova (2-2) dropped a 7-2 decision to No. 2 North Carolina (5-0) at the Vonnie Gros Tournament at West Chester University earlier this afternoon. The Wildcats managed to rattle the Tar Heels in the first 35 minutes of play by notching two goals in just 54 seconds, but North Carolina would eventually validate their No. 2 national ranking by scoring six unanswered goals to secure the win.
North Carolina's Danielle Forword gave the Tar Heels a quick 1-0 lead as she scored merely 40 seconds into the contest. However, Villanova fought back by pushing North Carolina onto their heels and forcing their only penalty corner of the entire game. After the initial insert, resident striker Stephanie Campbell fired a straight shot into the right corner of the cage, which evened the score at 1-1.
With the momentum clearly in their favor, the Wildcats took advantage of their next run down the field. Sophomore forward Jenn Nazarethian collected a loose ball in Villanova's offensive circle, which she then carried to the endline to slip past diving North Carolina goalkeeper Brianna O'Donnell for a 2-1 lead.
Even though halftime granted both teams a chance to recharge on this hot and humid day, it seemed as though North Carolina benefited most from the break. The Tar Heel's offensive exploded to tally 17 more shots and 10 penalty corners in route to scoring six straight goals making the final score 7-2.
Although the Tar Heels held possession for the remainder of the game, Villanova made every possible attempt to generate an attack from the backfield starting with impressive saves from redshirt-freshman goalkeeper Maura McCormick. Despite the barrage of shots she faced, McCormick held her spot between the pipes by registering 13 saves on the day to set her new career high.
Villanova looks to bounce back tomorrow, Sept. 9, when they face the Hawks of Monmouth University at noon for the second day of competition at the Vonnie Gros Tournament.