Field Hockey Knocks Off Villanova, 3-2

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PHILADELPHIA – The University of Pennsylvania field hockey team used a three-goal burst in the first half and held on to post a 3-2 win over Villanova Wednesday afternoon at Ellen Vagelos Field.

Penn has now won four in a row and improved to 4-1 overall. Villanova fell to 1-5 on the season.

Villanova opened up the scoring just 1:19 into Wednesday’s match. On a short corner, Francesca Bello played the ball to the top of the circle, where Carolynn Clark teed it up for Kristen Mericle. The Wildcats junior fired a shot toward goal that was deflected and then hit of Liz Mata’s pad before settling into the goal.

Penn had gained a 2-1 lead within nine minutes, thanks to Gina Guccione. The first goal came when she rebounded an Elizabeth Hitti shot that was saved, and the second came when a Hitti ball into the circle was re-directed by Alexa Hoover onto Guccione’s stick in front.

Hoover then made it 3-1 before halftime, as she re-directed a Hitti pass from in front for her 12th goals of the season. Hoover entered Wednesday’s match leading the nation in goals and points per game.

Villanova made it 3-2 early in the second half, on a goal that almost exactly mirrored the Wildcats’ first-half goal. Once again, a corner by Bello was stopped at the top by Clark and converted when Mericle’s shot was deflected over Mata.

Penn outshot Villanova 16-8 and forced Erika Miller to make six saves in the Wildcats goal. Mata had one stop for the Quakers.

Penn returns to action on Sunday, hosting Sacred Heart at 1 p.m.

Download: Penn05 (Villanova).pdf