Oct. 3, 2007
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Freshman sensation Lauren Wuzzardo netted two goals, including the game-winner, to help the Villanova Wildcats defeat the University of Pennsylvania Quakers in a 5-4 overtime victory at Franklin Field. The win marks the seventh consecutive victory for the `Cats, which ties the school record in that category, and also improves Villanova's overall record to 9-2.
Wuzzardo opened the scoring just two minutes into the contest to give the Wildcats, ranked No. 18 this week on womensfieldhockey.com, an early 1-0 advantage to start the game. Sophomore Emily Donaldson inserted the ball from the endline up to resident striker Stephanie Campbell, who in turn slipped a pass to Wuzzardo. Wuzzardo then converted the pass as she fired a shot past Quaker goalkeeper Alanna Butera. The Wildcats maintained the lead through a majority of the first half until Penn's Rachel Eng netted a goal to tie the game at 1-1 heading into halftime.
It wasn't long into the second half before Villanova regained the lead as Campbell notched a goal of her own in the 43th minute of play to give the Wildcats a 2-1 edge. However, a swing in momentum gave Penn's Meghan Rose an opportunity to score back-to-back goals in two minutes to give the Quakers a 3-2 lead, their first of the contest.
Villanova, once again, answered back when senior captain Catherine Somits knocked in a rebound to knot the game at 3-3. However, Penn's Nicole Black connected on a pass from teammate Kathryn Burke to slip one past Wildcat goalkeeper Maura McCormick to jump ahead 4-3 at the 65:19 minute mark.
With time winding down, Villanova continued to apply pressure to the Penn defense. Eventually, their efforts paid off when sophomore forward Jenn Nazarethian collected the ball in front of the cage as the Quakers failed to clear the initial shot attempt.
Nazarethian's tally with 50 seconds left in regulation sent the game into overtime and set the stage for Wuzzardo's game-winning goal. The Bridgeton, N.J. native secured the Villanova victory five minutes into the first overtime period making the final score 5-4.
This year's game marks the eighth consecutive year (since 2000) that the contest between Villanova and Penn was decided by a one-goal margin. The Wildcats currently hold a 6-2 advantage over the Quakers within that time frame.
Villanova remains on the road this upcoming weekend as they battle BIG EAST foe Syracuse University on Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.