VILLANOVA, PA. 9/29/2018 – In the early part of the game the DePaul Blue Demons had a territorial advantage and in edge in shots. The Villanova offense began to exert pressure over the last thirty minutes, and broke through for the only goal of the game by Kian Zapata in the 76th minutes to earn a 1 – 0 victory at the Higgins Soccer Complex. For Villanova persistence was the key.
“It is a great word, persistence,” said Villanova Coach Tom Carlin about how the team earned the win. “Not only with the guys, but the persistence in tweaking the game plan. We had to shift personnel and looks. It didn’t look great in the beginning, but persistence settled in and we got the goal.”
In the latter part of the second half the Wildcats had five shots. They kept knocking on the door and got the goal by Zapata.
“Everything was hard work, and fill in where people are not going to be,” said Zapata. “It was just making sure that we were on the same page. ”
“It didn’t matter who was going to score, we knew someone was going to score. We all just stuck together and knew it was going to come eventually.”
Prior to the score, Nova hit the post twice and forced two saves by DePaul goalie Drew Noelle, his total number for the game. Senior midfielder Zach Zandi and junior midfielder Andres Camacho had the ball targeted, but the ball found the post and bounced away. The next one was the golden goal for the Cats.
“I saw the ball go to Camacho, and if he was not going to score I had to be around there somewhere, said Zapata. “Around the goal you have to be in the right spot.”
For the first sixty minutes the Blue Demons had the advantage. The Villanova defense kept them away. When DePaul did brake through redshirt freshman Carson Williams was there to keep the ball from crossing the goal line. Williams made 5 saves to record his third clean slate of the season. He credits the defense and late offensive push for his getting a shutout win.
“They played fantastic keeping them to twelve shots, and that’s pretty low for us,” said Williams. “It was good to have those attacking moments.”
Villanova improves to 6 – 3 – 1, and earned their first conference (1 – 2 – 0) win of the year. It was of the utmost importance for the Cats to record points in conference.
“It was a deep sigh of relief,” Carlin said about getting a conference victory. “Now we have three games on the road, and we needed to get this home one. “We have to take care of the home games.”
“We were looking for that first Big East win and now we have to travel for our next game,” Zapata said. “We got this one first and now we have to carry momentum into the next game.”
The team travels to Xavier for an October 6th game.
Written By: Glenn Papazian