Women’s Soccer To Close out Non-Conference Play Thursday Night at Penn

Women’s Soccer To Close out Non-Conference Play Thursday Night at Penn

Wildcats Edged In Tight Battle by Penn, 1-0, at PPL Park


CHESTER, Pa. – In a game that was tightly contested throughout Villanova (4-1-2) was dealt its first loss of the season by Penn (3-0), a 1-0 defeat Friday at PPL Park on a night when the biggest storyline was the overall success of the Wildcats first-ever game at the home of the MLS Philadelphia Union. An enthusiastic crowd seemingly cheered every play for Villanova and a large number of alumni plus special guests were among the 667 in attendance.

Before the game kicked off a video with highlights of the Wildcats season to this point was played on the stadium video board, just prior to both teams taking the field in an international style walkout from the tunnel leading to the field.

At the start of the halftime intermission the entire Villanova team remained on the field to welcome back Jill Loyden, a standout for the Wildcats from 2004-07 who participated on the U.S. Women’s National Team at this summer’s Women’s World Cup. Loyden was joined by Morgan Mysza, who has been a member of the Villanova team for three years since being matched up with the Wildcats through the Friends of Jaclyn organization.

When the game commenced both teams had trouble getting the ball out of the midfield and a combined total of just 10 shots were taken in a scoreless opening period. Each side managed five shots in the first half, when Villanova had a pair of chances that came very early and very late in the period. Senior forward Katie Ryan (Wayne, N.J.) had a look at the net in the first minute and placed a shot on goal just 35 seconds into the contest. The only other shot on goal for the Wildcats in the first period came from senior midfielder Katy Nagy (Bellmore, N.Y.) with less than two minutes to go before the intermission.

Villanova finished the night with a 15-11 advantage in total shots and a 5-2 margin in shots on goal. The only goal of the game was tallied by the Quakers in the 49th minute, when Kathryn Barth played in a cross from the left side which Megan York finished for a score at the 48:15 mark of the game. That proved to be the last shot on goal Penn would have all night and Wildcats sophomore goalkeeper Jami Kranich (Hamden, Conn.) was called upon to make only one save to keep the Quakers offense from striking more than once.

Entering the contest Villanova had scored two or more goals in each of its last five games. Therefore it came as no surprise that the Wildcats did not go down quietly in their hunt for a late equalizer. In a span of four minutes from the 71st through the 75th minute Villanova fired off four unanswered shots, with attempts by junior forward Heidi Sabatura (Lawrenceville, N.J.) and redshirt freshman forward Stephanie Myers (Downingtown, Pa.) each being saved by Penn goalkeeper Caroline Williams.

Williams made three saves in the second half for the Quakers, while starting goalkeeper Sarah Banks had a pair of stops in the first period.

The Wildcats return to campus on Sunday when they host Princeton at 11 a.m.

NOTES: Tonight’s game was a terrific opportunity for Villanova to host its first game at a world-class and high-profile venue … The contest was just the first in a series of events that Wildcat teams will take part in at PPL Park this fall … In October the men’s lacrosse team will play in the inaugural “Fall Brawl For a Cure” tournament, with proceeds from the event going towards cancer research … In November Villanova will host a football game against rival Delaware at the venue … Previously, the Wildcats men’s soccer team took on BIG EAST foe USF at PPL Park last October … Jill Loyden was a member of the only Villanova women’s soccer championship squad in 2003, when she redshirted the year before going on to play four incredible seasons in goal for the Wildcats … Loyden is the only first team All-American (2006) in the history of the program and is also the only person to be named BIG EAST Goalkeeper of the Year on three occasions … Loyden currently plays for the WPS magicJack … Villanova also recognized Morgan Mysza, who was matched up with the women’s soccer team through the Friends of Jaclyn organization, a non-profit, charitable organization that seeks to improve the quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors … For more information, visit http://friendsofjaclyn.org.

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