Nov. 4, 2007
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. - A goal off of a free kick in the 64th minute accounted for the lone score of the game and Villanova (11-4-6) was defeated 1-0 by West Virginia (14-4-1) on Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Stadium in the quarterfinal round of the BIG EAST Championship. The Wildcats were attempting to advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament for the first time since 2004 but faced the daunting task of knocking out the hosts of the final two rounds of the 2007 championship.
The Mountaineers were awarded a free kick and Amanda Cicchini passed a ball to Carolyn Blank in front of the net. Blank took a shot from the left side that bounced into the bottom right corner of the net to give West Virginia the lead.
Throughout the remainder of the period, Villanova had its hands full with a Mountaineer team that has scored more than 70 percent of its goals in the second half this season. The Wildcats generated several chances of their own on the offensive end but did not come up with an equalizer.
Senior goalkeeper Jillian Loyden (Vineland, N.J.) had seven saves in the game, including three spectacular saves in the second half that came after the West Virginia goal and gave Villanova a chance to get back into the game.
The Mountaineers only put one shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes but one of their best scoring chances came seconds after Villanova took the only corner kick of the period. West Virginia quickly cleared the ball and had a 2-on-1 advantage going downfield. A shot by Deana Everrett went wide left of the goal.
The Wildcats stepped up their pressure after the shot by Everrett in the 40th minute. Of the four shots credited to Villanova in the first period, two came in the final two minutes. An attempt by freshman Justine Wollner (Downingtown, Pa.) landed on top of the goal and a shot by senior Kaley Guthrie (Ogdensburg, N.J.) with less than 30 seconds left was saved.
West Virginia had eight shots on goal in the game compared with two for the Wildcats. Villanova did own an advantage of 3-2 in corner kicks for the afternoon, however, limiting the chances of the BIG EAST team with the most corner kicks taken this season. The first Mountaineer corner kick of the game came at the 52:50 mark and was the first allowed by Villanova in a span of 279 minutes.
Villanova now sits with an 11-4-6 record for the season. For the second straight year the team has recorded a mere four losses while allowing just 11 goals. The 11 goals allowed to the opposition match the fewest ever in a single season in school history.