Aug. 24, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The women's soccer team will play its third straight game at home to open the 2012 season when it hosts Drexel at the West Campus Soccer Complex at this afternoon at 4 p.m. Today's match is the start of a weekend of local competition for Villanova (1-0-1), which plays its first road game of the year at Saint Joseph's on Sunday afternoon.
The early returns on the Wildcats after the team's first two games were certainly promising. After posting a 2-0 win over American to remain undefeated in season openers in the last 12 years Villanova drew even with No. 13 Maryland in a 0-0 battle. That result marked the first win or tie against a team ranked that high in the national polls since the Wildcats defeated the No. 9 team in the country early in the 2004 campaign.
Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Quinn (Mt. Airy, Md.) is this week's BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Week and senior forward Heidi Sabatura (Lawrenceville, N.J.) earned a spot on the honor roll in the first release of weekly awards from the league office. The balance between offense and defense was striking in the season's first two games.
Quinn made a combined seven saves in the two shutouts but the defense in front of her also shined in stopping both Villanova opponents from getting good looks at the goal. Junior center backs Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.) and Alexa Carugati (Newtown, Pa.) played particularly well; junior Kendra Jones (Hershey, Pa.) and sophomore Kathryn Rayner (Needham, Mass.) are new faces on the back line who also stepped up when they needed to.
At the other end of the field Sabatura set up both goals in the win over the Eagles and led the Wildcats in shots in the draw with Maryland. In the process she jumped two spots in the program's all-time record book for assists and is now tied for seventh in school history with 22 career assists. Sophomore forward Stephanie Myers (Frisco, Texas) and freshman forward Reanna Marino (South Huntingdon, N.Y.) were the goal scorers in the American win.
Despite their proximity to each other Villanova and Drexel have never squared off in women's soccer. The Dragons bring a 1-1 record into Friday afternoon's game after recording a 1-0 win over Liberty and a 2-0 loss to Longwood to begin the 2012 season.
Sunday's opponent, Saint Joseph's, is a more familiar one to the Wildcats. Last season Villanova earned a 2-1 win over the Hawks on West Campus to improve to 4-1 in the all-time series. The win last year was decided on a goal for the Wildcats midway through the second half which snapped a 1-1 tie. Both teams converted penalty kicks in the first half to get on the scoreboard.