Oct. 12, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. - The first collegiate goal for freshman Patty Tierney (Churchville, Pa.) proved to be the only score of the game and Villanova (8-1-5, 2-1-3 Big East) defeated DePaul (4-9-1, 1-5-0 Big East) 1-0 on Friday afternoon at Wish Field. The Wildcats ended a four-game winless streak (0-1-3) and posted a shutout for the 12th time in the team's last 17 regular season conference games.
In the 59th minute, a pass across the center line came to Tierney, who dribbled down the middle into the attacking third before passing the ball to sophomore Erin Byrnes (Sayville, N.Y.) at the top left corner of the box. Byrnes passed it back into the middle of the box to Tierney, who stuck the ball to the right corner of the goal.
Villanova owned a 14-5 edge in shots and dominated the flow of play in the game. The Wildcats nearly scored twice early in the game and the tone was set despite the only goal coming in the second half. A shot by senior Nikki Mabery (Phoenix, Ariz.) in the opening seconds went wide and an attempt by junior Erin Hardiman (Galloway, N.J.) in the fifth minute bounced off the crossbar of the goal and back into play.
The balance of play in Villanova's favor was a continuing theme from recent games but the goal ended a long scoreless streak for the Wildcats, whose last goal came early in the second half of a 1-1 tie against Seton Hall on September 30. Since then the team had gone 315:40 without a goal before the score by Tierney.
Senior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.) posted her ninth solo shutout of the season and 34th of her career with the win. In doing so she moved into a tie for third place in BIG EAST history for career shutouts, as the opposition has not scored on her in 26 of 35 games since the beginning of last season.
Loyden made one save in the game but a strong performance by the Wildcat defense prevented the Blue Demons from getting any other shots on goal. The four back line defenders actively pursued every ball that DePaul brought into the attacking third and cleared possessions out of the box before they could develop into dangerous situations.
Villanova continues plays the last in a string of five straight road games on Sunday at 1 p.m. when it visits Notre Dame. Following that contest the team returns home for the final four games of the regular season.
NOTES: The scoreless streak for the Wildcats was the longest for the team since 2004, when Villanova did not score in a span of 370:42 across five games ... The Wildcats have posted 10 shutouts in 14 games this season and have a team goals-against average of 0.26 ... Loyden is tied with Michelle Lodyga (Notre Dame) and Saskia Webber (Rutgers) for career shutouts among BIG EAST goalkeepers with 34 ... Next up is West Virginia's Lana Bannerman (2003-06) with 37 shutouts.