Oct. 7, 2007
TAMPA, Fla. - A seemingly continuous series of scoring chances inside the box were not cashed in and Villanova (7-1-5, 1-1-3 BIG EAST) was forced to walk away with a 0-0 tie on Sunday afternoon against the University of South Florida (2-5-2, 1-2-1 BIG EAST) at the USF Soccer and Track Stadium. The Wildcat scoring opportunities included three shots that hit the goalpost or crossbar as well as a goal that was called back in the 76th minute.
The scoring chances came fast and furious for Villanova in the second half as the Wildcats created several good chances inside the box. The most noticeable of those chances came in the 76th minute when a goal was called back due to a late offside call. Sophomore Jessica Carnevale (Princeton, N.J.) passed the ball into the middle from the right side of the box and freshman Justine Wollner (Downingtown, Pa.) kicked it into the left side of the net. However, a whistle after the goal negated the score when Wollner was deemed to be offside.
The Wildcats finished the game with 16 shots and a 12-1 edge in corner kicks. In the 72nd minute Carnevale took a shot that was knocked down by USF goalkeeper Mallori Lofton-Malachi. The ball bounced away and Carnevale went after it for a potential open-net shot but was tripped up and Lofton-Malachi picked up the ball. In the 74th minute, freshman Patty Tierney (Churchville, Pa.) had a ball knocked away at the top of the box and Wollner chased Lofton-Malachi towards the net. Wollner managed to get a shot off but Lofton-Malachi picked the ball up at the goalmouth.
"It seems like a little bit of a recurring theme for us that we generate great scoring opportunities that come up just short," head coach Ann Clifton said. "We had outstanding opportunities that the players created today and I am extremely proud of the team's effort in both games of this weekend's trip. Their hard work this weekend will lead to very good things for us."
Villanova's scoring opportunities did nothing to take away from one of the finest collegiate performances of All-American goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.). The Wildcat senior matched a season-high with eight saves in recording her 33rd career shutout. It was normal order of business for Loyden, who made some of her finest plays of the game before a shot could be taken.
In the 34th minute Autumn Browning was unmarked at the top of the box and Loyden came out to deflect the ball away and prevent a one-on-one shot. In the 62nd minute a scramble for the ball formed in the midst of a big crowd inside the box. With several Bulls jousting for position to try and kick the ball into the net at point-blank range, Loyden picked the ball up and Villanova was able to clear the possession back into USF territory.
Late in regulation, Lindsay Brauer took one of her seven shots in the contest from near the penalty kick spot in the box with only six seconds remaining. The play materialized quickly and Loyden just did have time to make a sliding kick save that sent the ball out of bounds as the horn sounded. During extra time, the best chance for the Bulls to score came in the 93rd minute when Brauer had a wide open shot on the right side of the box that Loyden saved.
"Jillian has been the leader of this team for four years and she showed once again today whey she is an incredibly special player," Clifton said. "We are proud of her career accomplishments and it was exciting to see her playing at such a high level today."
A possession for the Wildcats midway through the first overtime period was representative of the team's frustration at not scoring a goal for the second straight game. In the 95th minute senior Nikki Mabery (Phoenix, Ariz.) took a shot inside the box that caromed off the left goalpost. The deflection rolled to Tierney, who took an unmarked shot from the left corner of the box that bounced off the crossbar and continued out of bounds.
The final shot count was 21-16 in favor of USF and the eight saves by Loyden matched her total from another scoreless tie, against Princeton earlier this season.
Villanova will now return home but will be back on campus for just a few days before heading out on their next weekend trip. The Wildcats visit DePaul and Notre Dame this coming Friday and Sunday, with the game against the Blue Demons scheduled for 3 p.m. on Friday afternoon.
NOTES: Villanova owns a 27-6 edge in corner kicks in its last three games but has been unable to score a goal on any of those opportunities ... The Wildcats have scored just one goal in 420 minutes of play over their past four games.