In most sports playing a pair of Ivy League schools means a relatively easy weekend, but in Men’s Soccer this is far from the truth, with four of the league’s eight teams earning NCAA Tournament berths last season. Knowing this, Villanova braced itself for a pair of important matches with #22 Pennsylvania and 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Princeton.
First up was Penn on Friday evening at Rhodes Field in Philadelphia. The ‘Cats got on the board early through freshman Danny Gonzalez. The Allen, Texas native was able to flick a ball just inside the near post following a terrific feed from fellow freshman Dylan Renna.
The game was a physical battle throughout, with neither team able to carve out too many scoring opportunities. Penn’s best chance at equalizing came in the 90th minute, but junior goalkeeper Chris Bresnahan made a great reaction save to his lower right to preserve the victory.
Sunday was a similar story, with the Wildcats toughing out a brutally physical opening 45 minutes, managing to take a 1-0 lead into the break.
The second half saw Princeton desperately pushing numbers forward in an effort to level the score, but they ended up paying the price for their gamble. With three minutes remaining ‘Nova was able to hit the Tigers on the counter-attack. Freshman Joe Schmid flicked a ball onto midfielder Emerson Lawrence, whose cross was finished by Renna. The 2-0 score line held up, improving Villanova’s record to 3-2-1 on the year.
Next up for the 'Cats is a City Six clash with St. Joseph's (also known as the asshats) on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
...All you students need to get out to West for this game on Wednesday...so much better than actually going to class and learning (kidding, but not really)...get out and support the team!...