Villanova and Cincinnati entered Saturday’s BIG EAST showdown tied for 2nd place in the conference’s Red Division, and that’s how they left. 110 minutes of soccer saw some good chances for both sides, but ultimately the match ended deadlocked at 0-0.
The first half saw both teams find the back of the net, only to have both goals ruled out by the officials. The first instance came when freshman center back Will Cason clipped a ball over the top for sophomore midfielder Kyle Soroka. Soroka’s one-time volley hung up in air for a while, creating an awkward play for the Bearcat ‘keeper Matt Williams. The ball ended up tucking just inside the crossbar for what looked like an early ‘Nova lead, but the linesman flagged Soroka for offsides, negating the strike.
Cincinnati responded when 6’5" striker Tristan Watson got on the end of a whipped service, driving his header past Villanova goalie Chris Bresnahan. Fortunately, Watson was called for going over the top of Cason as his goal was disallowed.
The best chance of the second half fell to Watson, as he reacted to a loose ball off a corner kick, rifling it off the cross bar from six yards out.
The overtime period saw momentum tilt back in ‘Nova’s favor, as they dominated the possession for both of the ten minute stanzas. The Wildcats nearly found a winner when senior Jake Heyer drove a half-volley at the Bearcat goal, but his shot was well handled by Williams.
With the draw, Villanova and Cincinnati remain level in 2nd place on 14 points, seven points behind Louisville who has clinched the regular season title. South Florida currently sits in fourth place with 11 points, while St. John’s remains in fifth on eight points.
The ‘Cats travel to St. John’s on Wednesday for a 7:30 kick off. A win or tie would guarantee them a BIG EAST home play off game. If you are NYC alum we would love to see you out at the game!