FiThe Villanova field hockey team lost both games on the road over the weekend, as it fell to Quinnipiac by a score of 5-4 in overtime and to Holy Cross, 3-2. With the losses, the Wildcats fell to 6-11 on the season, 1-5 in Big East play.
Head coach Joanie Milhous made it clear after their fall break slate that consistency would be key to finishing the season. During break, the ‘Cats fell to #10 Liberty and #17 UConn before pulling off a win against Wagner. Milhous was content with the level of performance but wanted to see it in all four quarters.
“I want us to close out the season with one thing in mind,” Milhous said. “Play consistent Villanova field hockey every quarter. The skill level of our team is really strong.”
Unfortunately for ‘Nova, a loss came against Quinnipiac in a Big East battle the following Friday.
Senior goalkeeper Jordan McGinley started the game with a save, but both teams started slow. Soon after, a Bobcat attacker snuck the ball into the back of the cage to put Quinnipiac ahead 1-0.
Soon after the score, senior midfielder Rachael Overlander found an opportunity to take a shot at the goal. Saved by the Quinnipiac keeper, the ball rebounded to sophomore forward Amanda Middleman’s stick, and Middleman’s shot got past the keeper to tie the contest at one.
The second period ended with only three shots, all of which were taken by Quinnipiac. The first was saved by McGinley, and the following two could not get to the goal, sending the teams into half with the score knotted at 1-1.
Just one minute into second half play, a Bobcat forward took a shot at McGinley and was able to retake the lead, putting the Bobcats ahead 2-1.
A minute later, the Wildcats made an offensive run of their own, beginning with a penalty corner by sophomore midfielder Jamie Pennington. Pennington passed the ball to the top of the circle where it was stopped by freshman midfielder Raina Smolij. After some time, the ball found its way to sophomore back Sabine de Ruijter, and she shot the ball to the top of the net to yet again tie the game at 2-2.
Quinnipiac quickly responded with a goal of its own thanks to a blocked penalty corner, allowing the Bobcats to gain the advantage with a score of 3-2. The three goals were all scored within a 2:38 timespan.
The Wildcats became aggressive on offense, taking six more shots in the remaining minutes of the third period. However, none of the shots were able to sneak past the Bobcat keeper.
Early in the fourth period, Quinnipiac extended their lead to 4-2 with a shot past McGinley.
It was time for ‘Nova to get to work and that they did. With about 10 minutes left in the game, Middleman redirected a shot by de Ruijter for her second goal, cutting the Bobcat lead to just 4-3.
Middleman was not finished, completing her hat trick just two minutes later with a goal from within the circle to tie the game 4-4.
A few scoring opportunities came up for both teams in the remaining minutes but neither were able to capitalize, sending play into overtime. It would not last long, however, as the Bobcats found the back of the net two minutes into the period, sending the ‘Cats home with a 5-4 loss.
An unlucky weekend for the Wildcats continued as they fell to Holy Cross on Saturday by a score of 3-2 in their final non-conference match of the year.
‘Nova got started early, as a penalty corner by Pennington allowed de Ruijter to take a shot on goal. De Ruijter’s shot was blocked but it found its way to sophomore forward Meghan Mitchell, who then took a shot of her own. Junior forward Caitlin Van Goeverden was able to tip Mitchell’s shot into the cage to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 advantage.
The Wildcat offense kept up the pressure as the first period ended. It continued into the second period and held the Crusaders scoreless going into halftime as they led 1-0. ‘Nova held a 12-4 shot advantage so far.
A minute into the second half of the game, ‘Nova continued its momentum with a goal by freshman midfielder Anne Drabbe, making the score 2-0. Drabbe found herself open by the goal after a series of Villanova offensive attacks.
The Crusaders would not be quiet for much longer as an attacker took a shot at the goal, making it past a diving McGinley. The lead was cut to 2-1 in favor of the ‘Cats.
In the fourth period Holy Cross was able to score two goals just a minute apart to take the lead over the Wildcats, 3-2. Villanova was unable to muster any offense in the remaining minutes to tie it up, giving the Crusaders a comeback win.
The Wildcats will travel to Washington D.C. on Friday for their final game of the season, taking on Georgetown. The game starts at 1 p.m.