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Wildcats Drop Two Closely Contested MAAC Contests

April 13, 2013

Brooklyn, N.Y. - On Saturday, April 13, the Villanova Wildcats traveled to New York where they lost two close conference contests. Villanova fell to host St. Francis (NY) by a score of 9-8 in the morning match and 11-10 to Wagner College in the afternoon game. The Wildcats are now 7-26 overall and 4-6 in MAAC play.

In the St. Francis game, Villanova got on the board first when senior Julia Penkal (Harleysville, Pa.) scored with 5:47 left in the opening period. Following the Penkal goal, St. Francis dominated the rest of the first stanza. The Terriers scored three straight goals to take a 3-1 lead.

It was all Wildcats in the second period, as Villanova scored four of the five goals to propel them to a 5-4 halftime lead. The four unanswered goals by Villanova included two each by the freshman duo of Sarina Shibata (Honolulu, Hawaii) and Naomi Ng (Kapolei, Hawaii).

The third period turned into a defensive battle with neither team able to score for the first 6:15. The scoreless stretch ended at the 1:45 mark, when Wildcat senior Hannah Ishida (Honolulu, Hawaii) scored to give the Wildcats a 6-4 advantage. Villanova would take a 7-4 lead when Penkal tallied her second goal of the game with 29 seconds remaining in the third period. St. Francis senior Paige Hardy gave her team a huge momentum lift heading into the fourth period when scored with just 12 seconds left in the third stanza. Hardy's goal cut Villanova's lead to 7-5.

Hardy scored again just 32 seconds into the fourth period and the Wildcat lead was down to one at 7-6. Villanova regained a two goal advantage just 35 seconds later when sophomore Callan Edwards scored for the Wildcats. Edwards score would prove to be Villanova's final goal of the game.



The Terriers registered three straight goals, including Hardy's game-winner with 35 seconds remaining to earn the 9-8 win. Hardy finished with a game-high five goals.

Penkal, Ng and Shibata led Villanova in the loss with two goals apiece. Junior Maddi Moore (Malvern, Pa.) was credited with eight saves in the loss.

Against Wagner, the Wildcats made a furious comeback, but came up just short in the 11-10 setback. Wagner led 7-1 midway through the second period when Villanova scored the last three goals to cut the Seahawk lead to 7-4 at intermission. The three Wildcat scores were recorded by Ishida, Shibata and Penkal.

The Wildcats kept the momentum going into the second half and dominated the early part of the third period. Edwards scored just a minute into the half to make the score 7-5. Villanova freshman Lizzie Newman (Lafayette, Calif.) added a goal just 52 seconds later to pull her team within one at 7-6.

Wagner scored three of the next four goals to take a 10-7 advantage entering the final period.

Newman scored midway through the final stanza, before Villanova sophomore Sadie Dutcher (Pasadena, Calif.) made it a one-goal game at 10-9 with 4:47 left in regulation.

Neither team was able to score for the next four minutes until Wagner's Michelle Greenough gave her team a two-goal cushion with 58 seconds to play. Edwards added a Villanova goal with eight seconds remaining making the final score 11-10.

Villanova goal scorers included Newman, Ng and Edwards with two each and Dutcher, Penkal, Shibata and Ishida with one score apiece. Moore, who made seven saves in the contest, helped keep Villanova in the game late in the fourth period with two key steals.

Villanova will wrap-up the 2013 regular season tomorrow with two games to be played at Wagner College. The Wildcats will play Marist at 9 a.m. and Siena at 1:30 p.m. With one win tomorrow, Villanova will qualify for the MAAC Championships for the second straight season. The Wildcats can also qualify for the postseason tournament with two losses on the final day. For that to happen, Villanova would have to lose to Siena by two or less goals.