Freshman goalie Dan Willis made a perfect save that lead to a transition opportunity for the Wildcats. As freshman Austin Frederick circled the crease around Drexel Dragons' goalie Will Gabrielsen, his defender slipped on the icy turf surface and left a shot opportunity open. Austin took it, hit the back of the net and was greeted by his entire team on the field. Villanova won a huge overtime game 11-10 to pick up their first win of the season.
The first quarter was a rough one for the Wildcats (1-1). Drexel's Clifton Simeon scored an unassisted goal 1:54 into the contest. Drexel would add to more before Villanova called its first timeout. The 'Cats looked slow and sloppy in the cold night, with few shots on net and more passing to find shot opportunities. The timeout, however, sparked their offense. After two consecutive chances hit the post, Villanova would score 3 unanswered goals by Johnny Gallaway, Christian Kolderup and Kurtis Naslonski. Before the end of the first quarter, the 16th ranked Dragons would net two more goals to take a 5-3 lead into the second.
The second quarter was highlighted by the Wildcats' stellar defense, but also featured some missed chances in the offensive zone. The Dragons were held scoreless after a hot first quarter, however Villanova could only score once, on a goal by Kevin O'Neil. Turnovers caused by warding calls, offsides and multiple crease violations stagnated any momentous push Villanova had in them.
Streaky offense continued in the third quarter as each team got 3 goals under their belts. A pushing foul by Villanova's Kolderup led to a man-up goal for Drexel at the hands of Jordan Cunningham, assisted by Mason Pynn. O'Neil would net two more goals in this quarter to complete the hat trick. Even with that, Drexel took a a 1 goal lead into the final quarter.
Villanova's to-be hero Austin Frederick scored the first goal of the 4th at the 12:49 mark, but two Dragon goals by Ben McIntosh separated by 1:44 gave Drexel a two goal lead with half the quarter left. However Eric Gartner answered McIntosh's scoring streak with one of his own, the game-tying goal coming with 1:06 remaining. Villanova would play yet another overtime after the triple overtime loss to Lehigh just 9 days ago.
Both teams could have put the game away early, but a crease violation by Drexel waved off the what-would-have-been the game-winning goal, and Villanova had an offsides themselves. However, in the final minute of OT, Austin Frederick converted his second goal of the game, this one being a bit bigger than hist first.
The Wildcats had penalty issues tonight, logging 8 penalties (6:00 total) to Drexel's 1 (0:30). Although they had much more man-down time, they greatly outshot the Dragons 57-34. Villanova's heralded defense shown bright on a cold night at Villanova Stadium, limiting Drexel to just 2-8 on extra-man opportunities
Villanova goes on the road for their next match as they take on Delaware on the road. It will be at 7:00pm on Saturday, March 1st.