Oct. 22, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova women's soccer team (7-8-3, 5-4-1) takes on the DePaul Blue Demons (8-9-2, 3-6-1) in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship this Thursday, October 25th at West Campus Soccer Complex. Game time is slated for 2 p.m. as the two teams look to advance into the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. The winner of this game will go on to face Georgetown on Sunday, October 28th in Washington, D.C.
The Wildcats are making their 15th appearance in the BIG EAST tournament as the National Division No. 4 seed are 4-12-4 in the conference postseason, winning the championship in 2003. DePaul earned the final at-large seed and had the lowest points per game average (1.0) of the at-large teams. Villanova earned a home game after defeating No. 14 Georgetown 1-0 last Friday at West Campus Soccer Complex while the Blue Demons finished just 0.10 PPG ahead of Providence for the last spot in the championship.
Live scoring and video for the match will be available through the women's soccer schedule page at www.villanova.com.
Villanova This Season: The Wildcats enter Thursday's contest with a 5-4-1 BIG EAST record after posting an incredible upset victory over No. 12 Georgetown last Friday. Freshman Emily Damstrom (Short Hills, N.J.) notched the game-winning goal off a Heidi Sabatura (Lawrenceville, N.J.) assist to solidify the win for the Wildcats on Senior Day. Junior goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) collected five saves in the victory while classmate Taylor Houck (Chalfont, Pa.) was credited with a team save to keep the Wildcats in the game. For their efforts, Damstrom and Kranich earned BIG EAST Rookie and Goalkeeper of the Week laurels, respectively, while Houck took home Honor Roll accolades for the final week of conference awards. Sabatura also reached a career milestone with her assist - she is now tied for first on the Villanova All-Time assists list with 28 helpers in her career.
Sabatura also leads the team with 14 points via three goals and eight assists while sophomore midfielder Victoria Gersh (Silver Spring, Md.) is just four points behind Sabatura for the season and has four goals and two assists in 2012.
Defensively, Kranich and Kelsey Quinn (Mt. Airy, Md.) have split time in net and have combined for a .827 save percentage and 91 saves on the year while Villanova's backline of Rhea Barghash (Bridgewater, N.J.), Kathryn Rayner (Needham, Mass.), Kaitlin Hogman (Center Valley, Pa.) and Houck have provided solid play throughout the season.
`Nova vs. DePaul: Thursday will mark the 9th meeting between the Blue Demons and Wildcats with Villanova holding the advantage in the all-time series at 7-0-1. The Wildcats last met DePaul on October 12th, 2012 which ended in a 0-0 double overtime draw. Villanova outshot the Blue Demons by a 19-10 margin while DPU's Megan Pyrz collected 11 saves for the day.
A Look at DePaul: The Blue Demons bring an 8-9-2 overall record into Thursday's matchup and have a 3-6-1 mark in the BIG EAST. DePaul has dropped five of their last seven games dating back to September 28th and have been outscored by an 8-3margin during that span. Junior midfielder Ashleigh Goddard leads the team with eight points via three goals and two assists while Elise Wyatt, Amber Paul, Natasa Radosavljevic and Kelly Blumberg have all collected seven points during the season. Defensively, sophomore goalkeeper Megan Pyrz has been the primary netminder and posts a .851 save percentage and 86 saves this season and is credited with a 7-8-2 overall record.