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Shoot-out at Villanova
Sometimes a story is best told by the numbers: 13 games, 12 wins, 41 goals. That’s what the Georgetown and Villanova women’s soccer teams will bring in to their Big East opener on Friday afternoon. The Hoyas (5-0-1) and the Wildcats (7-0-0) have enjoyed success in the form of an offensive explosion to start off the season, so when the two meet in Philadelphia, something’s got to give.
“Villanova are very similar to us in that they’ve managed to score a bunch of goals,” Georgetown head coach Dave Nolan said. “We still haven’t been challenged by a team at that level.”
Georgetown hasn’t beaten Villanova in the last five years. The Hoyas lost last year’s match-up 1-0.
The majority of the Hoyas’ goals have come from junior forward Toni Marie Hudson and freshman midfielder Samantha Baker, who have scored five and four goals, respectively. The Wildcats have gotten offensive contributions from all over the field—six different players have at least three goals. Freshman forward Kaitlin Ryan leads the team in goals with five, and senior midfielder Erin Hardiman leads the team in points with three goals and eight assists.
In a game that seems destined to see its share of goals, the only people who might not be looking forward to Friday’s match-ups are the teams’ goalkeepers. For the Hoyas, that means sophomore Jackie DesJardin, who recorded her third consecutive shutout—the thirteenth of her career—last Friday against Towson. Junior Molly Williams is the Wildcats’ last line of defense. Williams has shown her own moments of brilliance this season, including a nine-save performance against Hofstra. Both keepers will get help from the players in front of them, especially Villanova, a historically defensive squad.
“They have typically been one of the best defensive teams in the country,” Nolan said. “The last couple of years they have been a very stingy defensive team.”
But at the end of the day, Nolan knows that the real key to the game will happen up front.
“Whoever takes the most chances will come out on top,” he said.
Kick-off is slated for 4 p.m.
Additional reporting by Liz Kuebler.