Dwyer¡¯s Goal Advances No. 2 Seed Lions to NCAA Third Round
The Nittany Lions¡¯ two-goal output marked only the second time this season Villanova let in more then one goal. Previously, only Notre Dame in a 4-2 victory over the Wildcats had scored more then once on Villanova¡¯s defense.
¡°Obviously we¡¯re always happy to get another win to continue in the tournament,¡± said Penn State head coach Paula Wilkins. ¡°I thought our team played very well today. I¡¯m happy with their performance. I thought Villanova was very well organized and fought really hard, which is a credit to their program. We¡¯re excited to head to the sweet sixteen.¡±
Penn State¡¯s pressure paid off in the 26th minute when a misplay by Villanova goalkeeper Jillian Loyden came back to senior midfielder Dwyer. With Loyden out of position, Dwyer trapped the ball and laced her shot through two Villanova defenders into the goal. The goal was the first of the game, her first of the Tournament and put Penn State up 1-0.
The Nittany Lions weren¡¯t finished, however, and extended their lead to a 2-0 advantage with less then five minutes to play in the first half. Freshman striker Katie Schoepfer (Waterford, Conn.) drew the Villanova defense¡¯s attention to the left side of the box, where she crossed it to an open Jessie Davis (Fairfax, Va.). Defender Davis quickly collected it, and deposited her second goal of the postseason into the right side of the net past a diving Loyden.
The Nittany Lions continued to dominate in the first half, out-shooting the Wildcats 14-3.
The Wildcat¡¯s best chance of the game came in the 52nd minute when a cross from Erin Byrnes found Nikki Mabery in the box. Marbery fired what seemed like it would be a tough shot for a transitioning Kate Milstead (Clarksburg, N.J.) to make, but missed the goal by inches, smacking the post. M.A.C. Hermann Trophy candidate Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.) cleared the ball, erasing the threat and keeping Villanova scoreless. Milstead finished her first NCAA start with two saves and gave up no goals.
In goal for Villanova, Loyden had four saves on the day and gave up two goals.
The Nittany Lions out-shot the Wildcats 20-10, including a 6-2 edge in shots on goal. The Lions took seven corners to three for the Wildcats. With the loss, Villanova ends the season with a 16-4-2 record, while the Niittany Lions move to 17-4-3 on the season.
Penn State advances to the NCAA Third Round for the eighth time since 1998. The Lions will meet either Boston College or Rutgers in the third round. Check back to www.GoPSUsports.com for details regarding NCAA Third Round information on game date and time.