Villanova, Pa. – Villanova scored 12 second half goals to defeat Rutgers 18-12 on Tuesday night. Villanova is now 5-2 on the season going into BIG EAST play; Rutgers falls to 4-4. Sophomore attack Liz Trojan (Airmont, N.Y.) led the Wildcats with seven points on five goals and two assists.
Villanova got off to a great start, jumping out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Kim McDonough (Pennington, N.J.) on a free position shot and a goal from Devin Hassinger (Glenmoore, Pa.). Rutgers responded with a goal to make it 2-1 before Katie Comerford (Yorktown Heights, N.Y.) scored a goal, then assisted Trojan to give Villanova an early 4-1 lead. The Scarlet Knights had three consecutive scores, tying the game at four with 9:40 left to play in the first half. Comerford then fed Jillian Swikart (Rumson, N.J.) for her first goal of the game to regain the lead at 5-4. Rutgers converted two free position attempts to take their first lead of the game, 6-5, with 4:44 remaining in the half. With just 21 seconds on the clock, Ashley Lynch (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.) found a cutting Jillian Swikart to even the score going into halftime.
Villanova dominated on the draw in the first half, winning 10 draw controls to Rutgers three. The Wildcats ripped 20 shots to the Scarlet Knights 10 despite the score being tied at six. Head Coach Julie Young had this to say on the first half, "we knew we had to play a strong and complete game to beat Rutgers. You saw that when we started out strong but they quickly made a comeback."
From the start of the second half, Villanova came out gunning and never looked back. Five different Wildcats scored six goals in the first 10 minutes of play to take a commanding 12-6 lead. Trojan scored two goals with Swikart, Comerford, Lynch and Maggie Jennings (Fair Haven, N.J.) all finding the back of the net during Villanova’s run. Trojan also had a pair of assists on the run, with Hassinger having the other. Rutgers stopped the bleeding momentarily with a goal, but Villanova continued to dominate when Comerford found Hassinger in front of the net for a goal, followed by Trojan’s fourth goal of the day coming from Lynch’s third assist on the day. The Scarlet Knights did not back down, as Kerri Puckhaber scored three straight goals to bring them within four at 14-10. The Wildcats regained control of the game when Carlye Maita (Mendham, N.J.) dished an assist to Swikart, followed by Trojan’s fifth score of the game to bring the score to 16-10 with under 10 minutes remaining. Both teams scored twice more in the game, with Villanova’s goals coming on a Maggie Jennings free position shot followed by Ashley Lynch’s fourth assist to Katie Comerford to close out an 18-12 victory for the Wildcats.
Young was pleased with the attack in the second half stating, "we just needed to be more pateint and take some extra time before we shot." Villanova did just that having seven different players score, outshooting Rutgers 41-27 for the game.
Kim McDonough led the team in draw controls with eight of the Wildcats 22 wins on the draw. "Our draw team really gave us an advantage to go on a run to open things up in the second half," said Young. Khaia Baranowski (Marlton, N.J.) had five second half saves to help push Villanova to a victory. "Overall, I'm really proud of the intensity and energy we brought tonight."
The Wildcats travel to Washington, D.C. on Saturday for their first BIG EAST game of the season against #25 Georgetown. The game will be played at 1 p.m.