Villanova Wins Defensive Battle with Drexel

VILLANOVA, Pa. - Villanova (3-1) scored five unanswered goals to start the game as the Wildcats defeated Drexel (2-3), 9-5, Wednesday afternoon.

"We knew this game was going to be a good opportunity for us to come out and play a team in our region that we lost to last year," said head coach Julie Young. "We knew they were really strong, so it was exciting to see them again. It was a good overall game."

The Wildcat offense started the game hot. Senior attack Ali Judge got Villanova on the board first at 25:08. Freshman defender Mariah Salerno scored twice, once on a free position shot, while sophomore midfielders Tierney Griff and Shannon Galvin added goals to put the score at 5-0.

The Dragons' Amanda Norcini scored on a free position shot with two seconds left in the first half to five Drexel a score headed into halftime.

"I think we played really hard in the first 30 minutes and the offense was able to get some goals and we were able to stop them in transition," said Young. "We really took advantage of our opportunities and attacked the transition."

Galvin and Judge each scored their second goals of the game to start the second half, putting the Wildcats up 7-1. Drexel responded with a goal at 18:45.

The teams remained scoreless for the next 10 minutes before junior attack Jessica Mucci scored at 8:21. The Dragons began to heat up offensively, scoring three straight goals to cut the Wildcat lead to four.

Sophomore attack Chelsey Henderson scored with 2:35 left in the game to cement the 9-5 win for Villanova.

Mucci finished with three points (1G, 2A) to lead scoring for both teams.

In her second collegiate start, sophomore goalkeeperJaclyn Fraum made seven saves, all in the second half.

Villanova was 15 of 15 on clears in the game and led 20-15 in shots. The Wildcats also held a 16-14 advantage in ground balls.

The Wildcats begin a three-game road stint this Saturday, March 8, at Delaware at 1:00 p.m.

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PHILADELPHIA - Drexel got two goals from senior Kelly Palace, but could not overcome an early 5-0 deficit as the Dragons fell at Villanova, 9-5. The Dragons were held scoreless for the first 29:58 of play before getting on the board with two seconds remaining in the first half.

The Dragons (2-3) won just one of the first six draw controls of the game, giving the Wildcats extra opportunities to build up their 5-0 lead. Just before halftime, though, senior Amanda Norcini drew a foul and earned a free position shot, converting to put Drexel on the board.

Villanova extended its lead to 7-1 over the first eight minutes of the second half before the Drexel comeback effort got going in earnest. Palace notched her first goal of the day with 18:45 remaining, taking a feed from Joelle Hartke and beating Villanova goalie Jaclyn Fraum.

After the Wildcats scored one more to make it 8-2, Drexel tallied a flurry of goals to make Villanova uncomfortable in the closing minutes of play. It began when draw control specialist Milan White got a free position look and made it count with 7:52 to play. Just 23 seconds later, Caroline Thiele scored her third goal of the season, unassisted, to make it an 8-4 game.

Villanova held Drexel at bay for the next three minutes, but Palace notched another free position goal with 3:15 remaining, pulling the Dragons within three. The goal was the team-leading tenth of the season for Palace, leaving her tied with Andi Raymond of Towson for second in the Colonial Athletic Association.

That would be as much as Drexel could muster, as the Wildcats added a late goal to cap off the victory. Drexel will now return home for the first time in March as they host UMBC on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.


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