Oct. 7, 2011
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Redshirt freshman midfielder Stephanie Myers (Downingtown, Pa.) scored one goal in each period of regulation but a deflected ball early in the second overtime period dealt Villanova (6-7-2, 2-5 BIG EAST) an extremely tough 3-2 loss in double overtime at the hands of Louisville (6-5-3, 4-1-2 BIG EAST) at the West Campus Soccer Complex on Friday afternoon.
The golden goal for the Cardinals came in the 102nd minute after a free kick from just inside 30 yards. The ball bounced around after the free kick by Devyn Ciotti and, after being deflected, was touched into the net by Kim Sharo at 101:08 to give Louisville a 3-2 victory in an evenly played game that was winnable by either side.
Despite the fact that the Wildcats allowed three goals in the final 42 minutes of the game Villanova played from behind for a grand total of only 62 seconds in the entire contest. When the Cardinals took a 2-1 lead in the 79th minute it was barely more than a minute later when Myers scored her second goal of the game, finishing a beautiful play in the middle of the 18-yard box to knot the score at 2-2.
Myers had a team-best five shots on the day and for most of the afternoon the Wildcats had better looks inside the attacking third. Villanova got on the board first when Myers scored for the first time in the 36th minute; the 1-0 lead stood up until the 60th minute when Louisville finally got on the board.
Christine Exeter scored at 59:34 and again at 78:33 to first tie the game at 1-1 and then give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. At that point in the game all of the momentum belonged to Louisville, which used its depth to gradually wear down the Wildcats starters. A total of 18 players saw times for the Cardinals and all but three played 30 minutes or more. Villanova, meanwhile, made just one substitution the entire match as its starting lineup continued to be a cohesive unit.
Louisville finished the game with a 17-15 edge in shots, although its 7-0 margin in attempts after the game-tying goal by Myers was a telling factor. Sophomore goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) was on top of her game in the net, making six saves and aggressively pursuing many other balls in the attacking third before the Cardinals could develop a scoring chance.
In the end, a fortuitous bounce for Louisville made the difference in another late finish between these two rivals of the National Division in conference play. Today's match marked the third time in four meetings at the West Campus Soccer Complex between the Wildcats and Louisville that went to extra time; all three have been decided by a game-winning goal in the first or second overtime period, with Villanova coming away victorious on the previous two occasions.
The game started with the Cardinals possessing the ball well but the Wildcats struck the first blow on the Myers goal at 35:26, when she was in excellent scoring position and received a pass from the left side by freshman midfielder Amanda Penkrot (Wilmington, Del.).
Myers was in similar position for her second goal of the game. Junior forward Heidi Sabatura (Lawrenceville, N.J.) was battling two defenders to try and get a scoring look from 15 yards out but instead wound up finding Myers with a chance to once again even the score.
Louisville was led offensively by Exeter, who had a game-high seven shots and scored the first two Cardinals goals. On the defensive side, goalkeeper Chloe Kiefer made four saves to earn the victory.
Now that this afternoon's game is in the rearview mirror, Villanova will get ready for a 1 p.m. home game against Cincinnati on Sunday afternoon. That contest is the last regular season home game on the schedule for the Wildcats, who will honor five graduating seniors prior to the start of the game. Senior Day ceremonies begin at 12:40 p.m.
NOTES: Myers has netted four goals in her last three games, with at least one tally in all three contests ... She registered her second multi-goal game of the year this afternoon, after scoring twice in a 3-2 win at Georgia earlier this season ... Villanova is 4-3 all-time against Louisville, including 3-1 at home ... The lone sub of the game for the Wildcats was freshman forward Caitlin Forte (Selbyville, Del.), who played the final five minutes.