Balanced Attack Leads Villanova Over Cincinnati
from press release
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova grabbed an early
lead and then dominated possession in the second half en route to a
17-10 victory over the University of Cincinnati in a BIG EAST game
played this afternoon at Villanova Stadium. The Wildcats picked up
their first BIG EAST win of the season and are now 3-8 overall, 1-3
in conference action. Cincinnati is 3-8 overall, 0-4 in the BIG
Six players had two goals apiece for the Wildcats, including Justine Donodeo, Ali Judge, Maria Bowman, Hannah Goforth, Elise Bendinelli and Annie Fallon. Jessica Mucci added a goal and five assists in the triumph.
"Before the game I asked the team who was going to score and the answer was `everyone'," stated head coach Julie Young. "I thought this was a good all-around team effort. We played with the confidence that we could win this game."
Villanova senior Justine Donodeo opened the scoring with an unassisted goal off a nice individual move through the right side of the defense 57 seconds into the contest. Laura Simanksi evened the score with a Cincinnati goal at 26:18 before the Wildcats' Maria Bowman put VU back in front 2-1 with 25:51 to play in the period.
Junior Shawna Giust then sent a nice feed to Jessica Mucci, whose shot beat UC goalie Jennifer Walsh. It was 3-1 in favor of VU with 24:05 left in the half.
After Kylie Ramsland answered for Cincinnati to cut the lead to 3-2, junior Annie Fallon scored back-to-back goals to stretch the VU advantage to 5-2 with 13:27 remaining in the first half. Caroline Guidera's unassisted goal at 10:18 gave VU a 6-2 edge.
The Bearcats picked up a Rachel Mercier goal with 9:45 left on a free position attempt before Mucci found Elise Bendinelli, who fired a shot past Walsh with 5:51 to play in the period to make it 7-3 for VU. Simanski then scored the final goal of the half at 2:53 to make the count 7-4 at halftime.
Simanski scored two goals in the first three minutes of the second half to narrow the Cincinnati deficit to 7-6. An Ali Judge goal off a nice pass from Mucci behind the cage pushed the lead back to 8-6 with 26:15 remaining in the second.
A free position conversion by Simanski two minutes later pulled the Bearcats within 8-7 before the Wildcats scored twice, the latter on a Donodeo goal to push the lead to 10-7. Kylie Ramsland got one back for the Bearcats to narrow the edge to 10-8.
"That was the biggest thing today," stated Young. "When they closed the gap we stayed relaxed. We were able to hold possession and then take high-quality scoring chances. In some of our earlier games we rushed at times and weren't able to turn our chances into the number of goals we did today."
Freshman Kerry Anderson scored a goal at the 18:45 mark for Villanova to make it an 11-8 advantage. That was followed by a Maria Bowman goal at 16:56 to push the `Cats in front by a 12-8 margin.
Judge then scored another goal, this one off a nice lead pass from Donodeo, to extend the edge to 13-8. Not long thereafter, Villanova moved out in front 14-8 when Hannah Goforth dropped in a goal with 13:15 on the clock in the second half. A little over four minutes later, Bendinelli scored again off an assist from Mucci at 8:54.
At that point the outcome was effectively settled. Courtni Dadd completed the scoring for VU off a feed from Meredith Mangiarotti in what became a 17-10 final.
Villanova closes out the home portion of its schedule on Sunday when Louisville comes to Villanova Stadium at 1:00 p.m. Seniors Donodeo, Mary Liva and Princess Livingston will be honored in pre-game ceremonies for their contributions to the program over the course of their careers.