Sept. 28, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Sophomore Victoria Gersh (Silver Spring, Md.) led the impressive 2-1 comeback performance over Pittsburgh (5-8-1) on Friday night, netting the game-tying and game-winning goals to put the Wildcats (5-6-1) at 3-2 in BIG EAST competition.
After finding themselves down just nine minutes into the match, the Wildcats exploded for the come from behind victory despite being outshot 15-7 for the contest. The win marks the second straight for Villanova over the Panthers in as many years as VU finds themselves in prime contention for a spot in the BIG EAST Championship with just five games remaining in the regular season.
Gersh's two goals and four points match her career high set earlier this season against La Salle on Sept. 9th. Defensively, senior goalkeeper Kelsey Quinn (Mt. Airy, Md.) made six saves while the backfield of Kathryn Rayner (Needham, Mass.), Kaitlin Hogman (Center Valley, Pa.), Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.) and Kendra Jones (Hershey, Pa.) helped stifle the Pittsburgh attack.
Down 1-0 just 9:17 into the match, Villanova had several opportunities in the following 30 minutes before Hogman sent a through ball to Gersh who found the upper left corner of the net to even the score at 1-1.
After regrouping at intermission, the Wildcats found themselves down to begin the second stanza suffering from early fouls and penalties before finding an opening at the 52 minute mark off a Hayley Wilson (Leonardstown, Md.) corner kick. Wilson sent the ball to the far post and found an open Gersh for the score to put Villanova up 2-1 over the Panthers.
A tough Villanova defense would fend off 10 second half shots from Pittsburgh while Panther goalkeeper Nicole D'Agostino closed on two shots on goal from Villanova's Rhea Barghash (Bridgewater, N.J.) and Hogman to end the game. Five of Quinn's seven saves would come in the final 45 minutes of the contest while Pitt committed 15 fouls to Villanova's eight for the match.
The Wildcats will have a chance to rest following tonight's game before heading back on the road next weekend to face Louisville and Cincinnati on October 5th and 7th. Game times are slated for 7 and 1 p.m., respectively.