Oct. 20, 2013
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. - An early call in the 17th minute would change the game for Villanova as the Wildcats fell to the Seton Hall Pirates 5-0 in South Orange, N.J. at Owen T. Carroll Field.
The loss marked a split weekend for Villanova who posted a 2-0 victory over Creighton on Thursday at West Campus Soccer Complex. The Wildcats have just two regular season contests remaining before the start of post season play slated to begin with the first round of the BIG EAST Championship on Nov. 5th.
Today's defeat marked just the eighth loss in program history to the Pirates but their fourth straight to SHU dating back to the 2010 season. Villanova's record currently stands at 6-7-3 overall and 3-3-1 in the conference while Seton Hall improved to 5-9-2 and 3-4-0 in the BIG EAST.
The Wildcats faced an uphill battle in the contest where both teams played hard and aggressive in the opening 20 minutes of action. Within a span of 10 seconds in the 17th minute, Seton Hall's Ashley Clarke received a yellow card for rough play which immediately preceded a red card given to sophomore Emily Damstrom (Short Hills, N.J.). Following the card, Villanova would go on to play a man-down for the remainder of the contest.
The Pirates found an opening at the 31:31 mark when Cathy Chukuka found Ashley Clarke in Villanova's defensive end. Clarke made a quick turn to goal and launched a ball until the upper-left 90 of the goal outside the reach of senior goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.). The 1-0 lead would shortly increase to 2-0 just 15 seconds later when Kaitlyn Ritter squeezed past the VU defense and shot a well-placed ball to the lower left corner of the net for the second score of the day.
At intermission, Seton Hall held an 8-1 advantage in shots and a 1-0 lead in corners for the first stanza while Kranich had tallied two saves in the first 45 minutes of action.
The Wildcats continued to fight coming out of the locker room in the second half, but 70 minutes of play with one man down began to take its toll on Villanova. The Pirates sealed the win with three second half scores in the 78th, 82nd and 86th minutes from Alesix Urbanski, Brittney Albrecht and Angie Shehaj for the victory. Defensively, Kranich would finish with four saves in the defeat while SHU's Jennifer Pettigrew tallied two for the win.
Following the final two regular season matchups against Georgetown (Oct. 27) and Providence (Nov. 2), the BIG EAST Championship field will be set with six teams advancing into the postseason. The top two teams will receive a bye into the semifinals slated to take place at Marquette in Milwaukee, Wis. while the next four teams will play at the higher seed's home fields on Nov. 5th.
With the eyes on the postseason, Villanova will look to take control of their own destiny and replicate their 2012 upset thriller when they host No. 15 Georgetown on Sunday, Oct. 27th at West Campus Soccer Complex. Game time is slated for 1 p.m.