Villanova Hands No. 25 Butler 2-0 Defeat in BIG EAST Opener
Sept. 26, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova women's soccer team made a statement win in their first game of the new BIG EAST Conference by posting a 2-0 victory over No. 25 Butler on Thursday afternoon. Sophomore Christina Camassa (Freehold, N.J.) and junior Victoria Gersh (Silver Spring, Md.) tallied scores for the Wildcats as they improved to 4-4-2 overall and 1-0-0 in the conference.
The victory marked the first win for the Wildcats over a ranked opponent in 2013. Villanova last defeated a ranked opponent on October 19th, 2012 when they defeated No. 11 Georgetown 1-0 at West Campus Soccer Complex last season. With the loss, Butler moves to 7-2-2 overall and 0-1-0 in the conference.
In what started as an evenly played game for the first 20 minutes of the contest ended up being a showcase of sound technical play for the Wildcats by the end of the match. Villanova saw one of their best opportunities in the early minutes when senior Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.) took a direct kick from 25 yards out and hit the crossbar in the 19th minute.
Following a flurry of substitutions on both sides, Villanova took the 1-0 lead when Camassa found the back of the net from outside the 18 with assists by junior Caitlin Forte (Selbyville, Del.) and sophomore Renee Hart (Bethesda, Md.). The goal would close out the half as Villanova held a 6-4 advantage in shots going into intermission.
The Wildcats continued their steady play in the second stanza and added their second goal of the contest in the 52nd minute when freshman Katie Martin (Dallas, Texas) found Gersh on a run towards goal into the box and finished to the left post to increase the lead to 2-0.
Butler began to surge towards the end of the second half but wasn't able to put anything on net. Senior goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) posted two saves in the second half to solidify the win alongside a strong Wildcat defense. Butler's Julie Burton and Mackenzie Hopkins combined for three saves in the defeat.
Villanova will continue their BIG EAST action this coming Sunday, September 29th when they host Marquette for a 1 p.m. matchup. The contest will serve as the 10th Anniversary of the 2003 women's soccer team's BIG EAST Championship and NCAA Sweet 16 appearance.