Sept. 12, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats were on the brink of scoring late in the contest but couldn't put in the equalizer as they fell to Philadelphia-rival La Salle 1-0 on Thursday afternoon at West Campus Soccer Complex. It marked just the second time in school history the Wildcats have been defeated by the Explorers as Villanova dropped to 2-3-2 on the year. With the win, La Salle improves to 5-1-0 on the season.
Villanova dominated possession for the entire contest and held a 10-1 advantage in shots after the first half and extended that lead to 23-5 by the end of the match. VU also had seven corner kicks on the afternoon while the Explorers were shutout of the same category. A 5-2 advantage in shots on goal also favored the home squad but the Explorers made the most of their opportunity in the first half.
La Salle found themselves on the board in the 16th minute when Deja Davis fed an open Kelsey Haycook inside the 18 and beat Villanova keeper Jami Kranich far post from close range to take the 1-0 lead. Despite the early score, the Wildcats had several opportunities to even the contest but couldn't get past the doorstep in the first 45 minutes of action.
Villanova had perhaps their best opportunity in the 52nd minute when sophomore Emily Damstrom (Short Hills, N.J.) hit a precision shot to the left side of the net that bounced off the post. In the final 12 minutes of game time, Villanova had three corner kicks and a golden chance in the 88th minute when junior Caitlin Forte (Selbyville, Del.) forced La Salle goalie Jessica Wiggins to make a point-blank save from the left side at close range.
With time winding down, the `Cats saw their window of opportunity closing and despite the clear offensive advantage couldn't find the back of the net to force overtime.
Defensively, La Salle's Wiggins tallied five saves in the victory while Villanova's Kranich posted one in the defeat. The contest also marked the return of Villanova senior defender Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.), who returned to the pitch following a four-game absence due to injury.
Villanova will look to bounce back from today's loss in three short days when they host the St. Francis Red Flashes this coming Sunday. Game time is slated for 1 p.m. at West Campus Soccer Complex.