On Sept. 9, the women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season after an impressive 2021 season debut.
The Wildcats opened the season 5-0. However, they dropped a 5-1 decision to Virginia Tech to end their undefeated run. Virginia Tech dominated the first half, taking 11 shots. Out of these, six were on goal and three of them translated into goals. Virginia Tech’s Tori Powell netted the first goal in the 15th minute. Emily Gray and Nicole Kozolva were also able to get the ball past Villanova’s Megan McClay, making it 3-0 at halftime. McClay finished with eight saves, three of which were in the first half.
At halftime, the Wildcats were able to make adjustments to their game plan. Senior forward Chloe O’Neill got the ‘Cats on the board in the 52nd minute. O’Neill received a pass from senior midfielder Niki Molina and got a shot off in the bottom left corner, making it 3-1.
Despite VU’s adjustments from the first half, the Hokies still netted two more goals before the end of the match. Virginia Tech’s Sophie Maltese scored the first in the 84th minute, immediately followed by a goal from Aino Vuorinen in the 85th minute, which made the final score 5-1.
Despite the loss, Villanova head coach Chris McLain believes that this game will serve as a learning opportunity and will be beneficial for the team’s growth later on in the season.
“After we switched from a back four to a back three to try and snag another goal, it just left us to opened up,” McLain told Villanova Athletics.”They were able to do what good teams do, and make us pay for it. All in all, we are a better team if we learn from this game. I believe our players did that.”
On Sept. 12, the Wildcats defeated Colgate 2-1 in overtime, on a goal by Reagan Smith. The Wildcats made it 1-0, when junior forward Makayla Stadler took the ball to the far side of the end line and found senior forward Allison Breed, who put the ball in the back of the net.
In the second half the Wildcats took five shots off in the opening 15 minutes, yet were not able to find the back of the net. Colgate tied the game at 1-1 in the 69th minute following a handball in the box and resulting in a penalty kick. Colgate’s Ruby Diodati took the PK for the Raiders and was able to find the back of the net. In the closing seconds of the second half, Molina had a hard shot on goal. However, it was saved and the game went into overtime.
Halfway into overtime, O’Neill sent a ball to Smith, who got a shot off to net the golden goal, making it 2-1 final. McClay had two crucial saves on the day, helping the Wildcats improve to 6-1 on the season. Additionally, the Wildcats took 20 shots on Sunday afternoon, seven of which were on goal.
Villanova will close out non-conference play this Thursday, traveling to Philadelphia to take on the University of Pennsylvania. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m.