Lewisburg, Pa. -- A career-high 10 points (6g, 4a) from sophomore attack Katie Comerford (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) helped lead the Wildcats past Bucknell in a 17-7 victory on Wednesday evening. This marks the first win of the Wildcats 2018 season.
The Wildcats got off to a fast start with sophomore attack Liz Trojan (Airmont, N.Y.) scoring off of a free position shot to take a 1-0 lead just under two minutes into the game. Villanova won the draw and Trojan fed Comerford on a goal to take a 2-0 lead just 12 seconds after the first goal. The Wildcats continued to keep up the pace as junior midfielder Carlye Maita (Mendham, N.J.) netted the third goal of the game only 10 seconds after the second goal. Villanova scored their fourth goal in 46 seconds when Maita assisted Comerford for her second goal of the game. Bucknell was forced to take a timeout trailing 5-0 after Trojan scored her second goal of the game on an assist from sophomore attack Ashley Lynch (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). The Bison finally got on the board nine minutes into the first half, but Villanova answered right back as senior midfielder Devin Hassinger (Glenmoore, Pa.) won the draw and immediately found Comerford for the sophomore's third goal of the day. Bucknell scored again to make the score 6-2 but they had trouble stopping the Wildcats as freshman attack Brittany Bruno (Rumson, N.J.) scored her first career goal on an assist from Comerford. Sophomore midfielder Maggie Jennings (Fairhaven, N.J.) scored on a free position shot and Comerford netted her fourth of the game before the Bison buried a free position shot to make the score 9-3. Lynch scored her first goal of the game to give Villanova a 10-3 lead going into the half.
"We came out on fire from the first whistle and played with great energy," stated Head Coach Julie Young. Comerford went into the half leading the Wildcats with six points (4g, 2a) with Trojan (2g, 1a) and Lynch (1g, 2a) tied for the next most with three points each.
Bucknell scored just two minutes into the second half to bring the score to 10-4. Comerford continued her dominating run scoring her fifth goal of the day on an assist from junior attack Jillian Swikart (Rumson, N.J.). After the teams traded a couple possessions, the Bison answered back as sophomore midfielder Morgan Steinhacker scored her third goal of the game. A Bucknell yellow card gave Villanova a man-up advantage and Comerford took the opportunity to score her sixth goal of the contest giving the Wildcats a 12-5 lead. Bruno and junior attack Devon Brown (Basking Ridge, N.J.) both scored on assists from Comerford to bring the score to 14-5 with 20 minutes remaining in the half. Brown scored again, then assisted on a Liz Trojan goal to force Bucknell to take another timeout with the Wildcats up 16-5. With three minutes left in the game, freshman attack Nicole Concannon (Syosset, N.Y.) scored her first career goal. Bucknell scored twice more in the game but the Wildcats sealed the win 17-7.
"I thought we played a focused and disciplined 60 minutes," said Young. Villanova had 10 players register a point in the contest. They also dominated on the draw, winning 16 draw controls to Bucknell's eight. Villanova was able to get off 36 shots (with 28 on goal) to the Bison's 11 shots (with nine on goal). Bucknell's 21 turnovers also proved to be costly in the Wildcats victory.