April 7, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova fought back from a two goal deficit five times during the contest and outscored Connecticut 7-5 in the second half, but it wouldn't be enough to claim the victory as UConn edged the Wildcats 12-11 in overtime on Sunday afternoon in Villanova Stadium.
In a game that featured six tied scores and four lead changes, Villanova nearly pulled the upset bid over Connecticut who improved to 9-1 overall and 2-1 in the BIG EAST. With the loss, the Wildcats dropped to 5-6 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
Villanova was paced by the four goal, two assist performance of sophomore Jackie Froccaro (Sands Point, N.Y.) in addition to four assists provided by classmate Jessica Mucci (Severna Park, Md.). Connecticut's Catherine Gross and Lauren Kahn combined for 10 points to lead the Huskies.
With just over 15 minutes remaining in regulation, Froccaro began Villanova's second half rally after connecting on a pass from senior Maria Bowman (Ft. Belvoir, Va.) to cut the VU deficit at 9-8. Just under two minutes later, Mucci found an open Hannah Goforth (Chester Springs, Pa.) to tie the game at 9-9. At the 12:25 mark, senior Annie Fallon (Shrewsbury, N.J.) gave the Wildcats the go-ahead goal off a Froccaro assist to give Villanova a 10-9 advantage with just over 12 minutes left to play.
UConn would respond with 9:38 on the clock to tie the game at 10-10 off a Carly Palmucci goal, but Villanova freshman Chelsey Henderson (West Long Branch, N.J.) connected on Froccaro's second assist of the day to increase the VU lead to 11-10. After holding for possession to run down the clock, Connecticut capitalized on a Villanova turnover and tied the game with 2:20 remaining in regulation when Alexandra Crofts found the back of the net to send the game into overtime.
With 3:30 left to play in overtime, UConn's Lauren Kahn found an open Catherine Gross for the game-winning goal. Bowman's shot with 30 seconds remaining was saved by Huskies keeper Shannon Nee to solidify the contest at 12-11.
The opening half featured back and forth action between both sides, with Froccaro notching two scores at the 22:54 and 3:42 marks while Elise Bendinelli (West Chester, Pa.) and Shannon Galvin (Maplewood, N.J.) also added scores off of Mucci assists. Connecticut's Morgan O'Reilly, Carly Palmucci, Kahn and Gross would tally the Huskies scores to put UConn up 6-4 going into intermission.
Villanova opened the second stanza with scores from Bowman and Bendinelli to tie the game at 6-6 with 25:06 on the clock before Connecticut notched two of their own from Gross and Palmucci to increase the Husky lead at 8-6. Mucci found an open Froccaro at the 17:12 mark to cut the deficit to 8-7 before UConn notched another score just under 45 seconds later from O'Reilly to put Connecticut back up by two at 9-7. Froccaro's goal at 15:40 began Villanova's second half rally.
Henderson led the Wildcats with four draw controls on the afternoon while Bowman and senior Shawna Giust (Basking Ridge, N.J.) added two each. Senior goalkeeper Dani Weidmeier (Westlake, Ohio) tallied two saves in the defeat while classmate Amanda Hirschfeld (Timonium, Md.) made seven stops. Connecticut's Nee posted nine saves for the victory.
Villanova will continue on with their BIG EAST slate when they take on Rutgers this coming Saturday, April 13th. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, N.J.