In an evenly played non-conference match with Big Ten foe #24 Penn State , Villanova fell just short, suffering a 1-0 defeat at Jeffrey Field.
Conditions were made difficult due to a steady rain which fell through out the match, but 'Nova looked good early on. In the opening momnts of the contest Kyle Soroka rifled a shot off of a give-and-go with Kyle McCarthy, forcing a tough save out of Penn State's goalkeeper.
Fifteen minutes in Villanova created another good scoring opportunity when Emerson Lawrence was rewarded for a great overlapping run out of the backline. Lawrence broke in alone on goal but his slotted effort was well saved to keep the game scoreless.
Both teams looked shaky at times due to the slick surface, and it was only a matter of time until a mistake came. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, the weather induced error came in their defensive third, as a ball skipped past sophomore Kyle Soroka leaving Penn State midfielder Drew Cost in alone on goal. Cost made no mistake as he curled a low shot along the grass into the lefthand corner of the net giving his side a 1-0 advantage.
Penn State came close to a second minutes later, but the post denied them a 2-0 lead.
The second half was a fairly quiet affair with both teams unable to generate much offense. With just under fifteen minutes remaining, Villanova switched into a 3-1-4-2 formation which paid dividends almost instantaneously. Senior Jordy Griffith battled for a loosedi ball in the box before unleashing a left footed drive that flashed over the bar. A few minutes later captain Kyle McCarthy used some nifty dribbling to free himself for a blast from the edge of the box, but his curling effort sailed over.
Penn State withstood the rest of Villanova's late onslaught, escaping with a 1-0 home victory. For more on the match, please check out Villanova.com.
Villanova returns to action this Saturday night against the USF Bulls at PPL Park. The match kicks off at 7pm.