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Wildcats Open Season with 3-0 Victory over Lafayette

Aug. 31, 2007

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VILLANOVA, Pa. - A series of long offensive possessions eventually jumpstarted the offense and Villanova (1-0) opened the season with a 3-0 victory over Lafayette (0-1) on Friday afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex. The Wildcats won their season opener for the seventh straight season and senior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.) tied the school's career wins mark with her 39th victory.

In the first game of this weekend's Villanova Tournament, the Wildcats registered a 17-4 shot advantage and put pressure on the Leopards defense from the outset. Lafayette presented a strong defensive presence, however, and stayed even with Villanova despite having limited offensive chances of its own.

In the 33rd minute, senior Stacia Hartung (Rochester, N.Y.) one-timed a ball from the center of the box and scored on a feed from senior Jenna Gordon (White Plains, N.Y.). The goal by Hartung, the third of her career, was the lone tally in the opening period.

Loyden made three saves in goal to register her 39th career victory and 26th career solo shutout. She tied Janel Schillig (1998-01) for the school wins record and moved within three shutouts of tying Chrissy Dolan (2000-03) for the record in that category.

The Wildcats picked up their aggressiveness in the attacking third in the second half and took six of their nine corner kicks in the period. One of those opportunities led to a goal, as junior Erin Hardiman (Galloway, N.J.) knocked in the game's second score in the 65th minute. Senior Kayce Blandford (Columbia, Md.) took all nine corner kicks and registered an assist on Hardiman's goal, which slid past the goalkeeper on the left side of the net.



Senior Kaley Guthrie (Ogdensburg, N.J.) beat the clock to score the game's final goal, shooting from the center of the box with only five seconds remaining to close the scoring.

Mary Kate Erdman made four saves for Lafayette. The Leopards were limited to one corner kick in the game and took two shots in each half. Lafayette had an early scoring opportunity in the first half but was unable to take back possession in its attacking third until midway through the period. The Leopards manufactured two scoring chances despite pressure from the Wildcat defense, but both attempts were saved by Loyden.

The Wildcats take on Virginia Commonwealth on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the final game of this weekend's tournament.