Oct. 7, 2012
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Senior Heidi Sabatura (Lawrenceville, N.J.) knocked home what would be the game-winning goal in the 10th minute to solidify an all-important BIG EAST Conference match over Cincinnati (4-10-1, 1-7-0) on Sunday afternoon at Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio. Freshman Renee Hart (Bethesda, Md.) connected with Sabatura for the feed to notch her first career assist as the Wildcats improved to 6-7-2 overall and 4-3 in the BIG EAST.
In a dominating show of team offense, the Wildcats outshot the Bearcats 21-12 for the contest and had nine shots on goal to Cincinnati's four. Despite dominating the offensive stat categories, junior goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) had the defensive play of the game in the 77th minute when she made a diving save to stifle a Cincinnati penalty kick that would have marked the game-tying goal for the Bearcats.
The Wildcats got off to a quick start and dominated possession from the opening whistle. Sabatura opened the first nine minutes of play with three shots on net, forcing UC goalkeeper Kristina Utley to several saves in the opening minutes. Following Villanova's goal, the Wildcats kept the pressure on the Bearcat defense as Emily Damstrom (Short Hills, N.J.), Stephanie Myers (Frisco, Texas) and Victoria Gersh (Silver Spring, Md.) all notched shots in the first half as Villanova recorded a 9-3 advantage in shots and a 2-2 tie in corners.
Villanova opened the second half with the same intensity and had several chances in the early portion of the half but couldn't seem to find the finishing touch. The Wildcats nearly claimed a second goal in the final 20 minutes of play when Sabatura connected for the score, but an offsides call would keep Villanova from laying down the two goal lead.
Cincinnati fought their way back in the final 15 minutes of the contest and made several threatening runs towards goal, but couldn't seem to penetrate through the Villanova defense led by Kathryn Rayner (Needham, Mass.), Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.), Kaitlin Hogman (Center Valley, Pa.) and Kranich.
For the day, Hogman, Damstrom, Houck, Myers, Sabatura and Gersh would all register shots on net. Defensively, Kranich made four stops on the day in the victory while UC's Utley had eight in the defeat.
The Wildcats will return home for a three game home stand to conclude their regular season schedule beginning on Friday, October 12th when they host DePaul at 3 p.m. at West Campus Soccer Complex.