Oct. 14, 2007
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Allowing a pair of first half goals proved to be an insurmountable deficit and Villanova (8-2-5, 2-2-3 BIG EAST) was defeated 5-0 on Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field by Notre Dame (9-4-1, 7-0-0 BIG EAST). The Wildcats lost for just the second time this season but maintain their hold on fourth place in the National Division standings.
After giving up goals in the 25th minute and 38th minute, Villanova refused to give in to the deficit and continued to showcase its elite defensive unit. The Wildcats stemmed several Fighting Irish offensive chances the rest of the way before Notre Dame padded the stat sheet with three late goals once the outcome was already determined.
Villanova came out with a fury in the second half and directed 13 shots at the goal after being credited with only one attempt in the opening 45 minutes. The Wildcats managed five shots on goal and outshot the Fighting Irish for the period. The second half shot total gave a truer indication of the flow of play than the final score, as 23 fouls whistled on Villanova offered Notre Dame a competitive advantage.
Early in the game, the Wildcats had one of their best offensive chances of the day after a corner kick. Junior Erin Hardiman (Galloway, N.J.) was in front of the net and took one of two team shots in the half but the ball was deflected and the game remained scoreless for the moment.
Senior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.) had seven saves in the game for Villanova, coming within one of matching a season high. She was active as usual intercepting balls inside the 18-yard box to limit the Fighting Irish scoring threats.
In the 25th minute, a header by Brittany Bock went past Loyden to the right corner of the net to open the scoring. Just over 13 minutes later, Bock touched a ball that was initially stopped before sliding into the net for the second goal.
Freshman Rachel Schuyler (Cheshire, Conn.) led the Wildcats by taking four of the team's shots. Senior Stacia Hartung (Rochester, N.Y.) added three shots as both players put two shots on goal against the Notre Dame defense. Senior Kayce Blandford (Columbia, Md.) also had three shots for Villanova.
The score remained 2-0 until late in the game as the Fighting Irish tacked on three goals in the final 10 minutes. Ashley Jones scored at 81:20 and Rose Augustin scored a pair of goals at 83:18 and 89:38.
The Wildcats finished a five-game stretch of games on the road with this afternoon's contest and will play the final four regular season games at home. Next up for Villanova is a 4 p.m. contest against Pittsburgh this coming Friday at the West Campus Soccer Complex.