Oct. 28, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Freshman Leah High (Green Lane, Pa.) scored the game-tying goal with just under four minutes to play to even the game with No. 6 Syracuse (15-3, 5-1) at 2-2, but the Orange came back with a goal 18 seconds later to give the Orange a 3-2 victory over Villanova (7-10, 3-3) on Senior Night. This final BIG EAST regular season game was a preview of next week's semifinals between the same two teams.
Syracuse tallied the only goal of the first half when Lauren Brooks scored her second goal of the year on a shot from the left wing that deflected off of senior goalie Megan Goelz's (Yardley, Pa.) and into the back of the net for a 1-0 Syracuse lead.
Villanova was unable to generate many shots on goal in the first half, but they did apply some offensive pressure with five penalty corners to Syracuse's one.
In the second half, there was more offense and a much quicker pace of play. Villanova had a corner 10 minutes into the first half, and junior Kristen Davila (Holmdel, N.J.) fired a shot toward the goal that High deflected in to tie the game at the 44 minute mark. It was Davila's third assist and High's fifth goal of the season.
In the 56th minute, Syracuse took the lead back in this see-saw affair as Martina Loncarica took a back hand shot from the left wing that snuck into the lower right corner of the net to make it 2-1 Orange.
Villanova was then handed a great opportunity when Loncarica was sent off for a yellow card, which meant Syracuse had to play a man down for five minutes, but the Orange defense stepped up and the Wildcats couldn't net the eqaulizer.
However, with just under four minutes to play, freshman Jessica Swoboda (Hanover Township, Pa.) inserted a penalty corner and in a nearly identical play, freshman Maddy Harding (Warrington, Pa.) fired a shot toward the net and High was there for the deflection into the top part of the net again to tie the score at 2-2. It was Harding's second assist and High's sixth assist.
That's when Syracuse stormed back with a quick response as Heather Susek raced up the right sideline and cut in toward the middle. She made a move around Goelz and buried the back handed shot into the back of the net to give Syracuse a 3-2 lead with just over three minutes to play.
The Wildcats were unable to generate enough pressure to send the game to overtime and the Orange held on for the tight, one-goal win.
The two-goal game was High's third of the season which leads the team.
These teams will do battle again one week from today in the BIG EAST semifinals as No. 3 seed Villanova takes on No. 2 seed Syracuse at Coyne Field in Syracuse, N.Y.
Before that game, the Wildcats will wrap up the regular season at Columbia this Sunday at 1 p.m.