PHILADELPHIA, PA/ 9/3/2014 – The Drexel Dragons scored a goal 47 seconds into the game and made it stand despite playing a man short defeating the Villanova Wildcats 1 – 0 at Vidas Field. Drexel junior forward Joaquin del Rosario scored on a shot low to the right side for the deciding goal assisted by senior midfielder John Grosh. Dragons senior midfielder Felipe Fagundes was given a red card four minutes into the game forcing the team to play with ten players. However, Drexel was able to keep Villanova off the scoreboard to get their second win of the season.
“In college soccer if you have ten men or eleven, it’s a grind,” Drexel Coach Doug Hess said. “It was important for us character wise to get through it. What a way to start, forty-seven seconds in. We step in, Grosh wins the ball, one pass, goal. An early goal always calms the nerves. Then you have to defend. We lose our captain (Fagundes), rightfully so, and it was a character thing at that point.”
Although down a player the Dragons kept offensive pressure on the Wildcats to get an 8 – 4 edge in shots on goal in the first half. In the second half Villanova began to get the offensive momentum knocking on the door trying to get the tying goal. The Wildcats turned up the offensive pressure over the last 20 minutes. With 18:03 on the clock Villanova sophomore Eric McKenna got the ball in the box in front of the goal keeper, turned and shot. His attempt was smothered by Drexel sophomore goal keeper Tyler Afflerbach. It was the key save of the game. Still, Villanova exerted pressure getting six good chances to the end of the game. The Wildcats had two corner kicks with just over five minutes and just under two minutes to play that Afflerbach pounced on the ball by the post. The clock ran out, and the Dragons got the victory.
“It’s a hard game to win when you don’t score,” said Villanova Coach Tom Carlin. “We had a ton of chances, but we couldn’t get it. We had a lot of opportunities. We feel that we should be able to put in a goal every game, and we didn’t. It’s frustrating.”
Villanova had a 7 – 3 edge in shots in the second half. For the game both teams had 11 shots. Afflerbach recorded 4 saves. Wildcats sophomore goal keeper Will Steiner made 5 saves. Grosh recorded 4 shots, 3 on goal for Drexel. Oscar Umar had 2 shots for the Wildcats, 1 on goal.
Drexel improves to 2 – 0 on the season. The Dragons defeated city rivals Temple and Villanova in Soccer Six action, and are scheduled to meet Penn on September 5 at Rhodes Field. Winning the local games have great meaning for the squad and local soccer.
“It’s a unique thing, you have 6 Division I schools within 8 miles of each other,” Hess said. “I play four city teams on our schedule. I want it to keep building into our team that local rivalries matter. On Friday we are going to walk over to Penn. It is an important thing trying to build that in our city. If we can build Philly Soccer, that would be great.
The Wildcats are 0 – 2 to start the season. They look for their first win on September 6 at Hartford.
The game was originally scheduled on Tuesday night. However, a lightning system that appeared in the 42nd minute ultimately forced the postponement of that game, and all stats were nullified. Villanova led 1 – 0 at that time.
Written By: Glenn Papazian