Oct. 17, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Sophomore Emily Damstrom (Short Hills, N.J.) had a perfect afternoon and notched two goals off of two shots to give Villanova (6-6-3, 3-2-1) a critical 2-0 victory over the visiting Creighton Bluejays (9-5-1, 2-3-1) on Thursday at West Campus Soccer Complex. The win broke a tie for fourth place in the BIG EAST as the Wildcats moved ahead of the Bluejays for sole possession of the spot in the conference standings.
With the regular season winding down, the Wildcats put themselves in a prime position to take one of the slots to the BIG EAST Championship slated to take place in early November. The victory also marked the first-ever win in the opening meeting between the two schools as the Wildcats handed the visitors their first back-to-back defeat in conference action in 2013.
Villanova took control of the game early on as the Wildcats found openings in the Creighton defense. Just four minutes into the contest, freshman Katie Martin (Dallas, Texas) found herself on the right side of the field and sent a cross into the box to an open Damstrom, who knocked the ball to the far post for the goal and the 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats continued to put on pressure throughout the half highlighted by the 6-3 advantage in shots for the stanza. Villanova saw a golden opportunity punched away by Bluejay keeper Danielle Rice in the 35th minute when junior Kathryn Rayner (Needham, Mass.) set a high ball into the box from 35 yards out.
Following intermission, Villanova continued to dominate possession and the pace of play and outshot Creighton 10-4. Sophomore Reanna Marino (Massapequa, N.Y.), who had an outstanding day on attack for the Wildcats with a game-high five shots and four shots on goal, took a blast in the 47th minute that was saved by CU's Rice.
Villanova would find their insurance goal in the 54th minute off a Hayley Wilson (Leonardtown, Md.) corner kick which landed in traffic inside the 18. Freshman Caroline Brown (Raleigh, N.C.) took a chance on net that was blocked by the Creighton defense, but Damstrom kicked the rebound in off the crossbar for the 2-0 lead and her second score of the day.
Play continued to heat up for both sides as the Bluejays and Wildcats each saw chances on goal, but the stingy Villanova defense thwarted Creighton's opportunities in the offensive third of the field.
A late chance by the Creighton offense in the 87th minute was stopped by Villanova goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) who finished the day with three saves. The 2-0 score would stand as the Wildcats posted their fifth shutout of the season and their third BIG EAST Conference win of the year.
Villanova claimed a 16-7 advantage in shots and a 12-3 lead in shots on goal for the afternoon. Each team tallied six corners apiece while Creighton's Rice tallied 10 saves in the loss to Kranich's three.
The Wildcats will look to climb higher in the league standings this coming Sunday when they travel to South Orange, N.J. to face Seton Hall. Game time versus the Pirates is slated for 1 p.m.