Sept. 22, 2007
PISCATAWAY, N.J. - After being held scoreless in the first half, the Villanova Wildcats answered with back-to-back goals in the first 10 minutes of the second to break open the game and edge the Rutgers' Scarlet Knights 2-1. The win bumps Villanova to 5-2 overall, 2-0 in the BIG EAST, while Rutgers drops to 5-4 and 0-2 in conference play.
With much of the game being played in the midfield, each team only generated about handful of shots throughout the entire game. However, the Rutgers offense struck first after just passing the 15 minute mark. Sophomore Jenna Hoh drove up the right sideline and managed to slide a pass over to teammate Carrie Grainger, who in turn dished the ball to Brittany Bybel for the goal. The remainder of the half consisted of back-and-forth play as both teams attempted to produce scoring opportunities, but inevitably came up short.
After regrouping during halftime, the Wildcats came out on fire to start the second half as they began to apply heavy pressure to the Rutgers' backfield, which eventually led to a Villanova goal to tie the score at 1-1. Senior Stephanie Campbell collected the ball well outside the circle and sailed a shot towards Scarlet Knight goalkeeper Rosalyn Wentko. Wentko made the initial save, but a poor clear left the ball on the stick of freshman forward Meg Ryan, who easily gained control to put Villanova on the scoreboard.
Shortly after Villanova's first goal, freshman Lauren Wuzzardo stripped the ball from a Rutgers defender deep in the Scarlet Knight backfield. Wuzzardo took possession and fired a shot from the top of the circle that snuck by a diving Wentko to give Villanova the 2-1 edge.
The Wildcats continued to dominate for the rest of the game, keeping the Scarlet Knights pinned inside their defensive 25 for most of the remaining minutes. However, with time winding down Rutgers made one more powerful drive up the field, managing to penetrate the Wildcat circle and even force junior Sam Coveleski to make a defensive save to preserve Villanova's lead in the final minute of play.
Villanova remains on the road this weekend as they face Lehigh University on Sunday, September 23, at 1 p.m.