Sept. 2, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A game that featured trading possessions for most of the first half started to see momentum swing late in the period and Villanova (2-0) posted its second straight shutout to start the season with a 3-0 triumph over Virginia Commonwealth (0-2) on Sunday afternoon at the West Campus Soccer Complex.
From an offensive standpoint, it was a stagnant start for the Wildcats, who owned a 5-4 edge in shots at halftime. Villanova battled to control possessions against the Rams and opened the scoring on a goal by sophomore Kelly Eagan (St. James, N.Y.) in the 27th minute. The play materialized on a rebound after a corner kick, as freshman Patty Tierney (Churchville, Pa.) headed a ball that was saved by goalkeeper Emily Niman. Eagan collected the rebound and scored her third career goal and third game-winner.
The second half showcased a more aggressive Wildcat offense and goals scored by seniors Kayce Blandford (Columbia, Md.) and Nikki Mabery (Phoenix, Ariz.). Villanova pushed the shot count to a 7-2 margin after halftime and created four corner kick opportunities in the final period.
With exactly 21:00 remaining, sophomore Erin Byrnes (Sayville, N.Y.) played a ball back to Blandford on the right side, who blasted the ball into the right side of the net from 25 yards out. In the 79th minute, Blandford assisted on a goal when she fed Mabery, who shot the ball to the left corner past a charging goalkeeper.
Villanova wrapped up its home tournament with a pair of 3-0 victories, having also topped Lafayette by the same score on Friday afternoon. Senior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.) registered two saves today to pick up her 40th career victory and 27th career shutout. In doing so, Loyden broke the school's all-time wins record and moved within two shutouts of tying the career program record in that category.
Niman finished the day with three saves in goal for Virginia Commonwealth, which was outshot 12-6 for the afternoon. Freshman forward Laurel Pastor took four of the team's shots but the Rams were held at bay by the perennially strong Wildcat defense.
Villanova is next in action on Friday night at 7 p.m. when it plays its first road game of the season against Princeton.
NOTES: The old wins record of 39 was set by Janel Schillig (1998-01) ... Chrissy Dolan (2000-03) holds the shutout record of 29 ... Blandford leads the team with four points (one goal, two assists) through the season's first two games ... The Wildcats showed off their improved depth during the season's opening weekend, as all six of the team's goals were scored by a different player ... All three of Eagan's career goals have been game-winners ... In the first game of the day on Sunday, Seton Hall defeated Lafayette 1-0.