Men’s soccer falls to Villanova at home
Amid a heavy downpour, the Seton Hall men’s soccer team fell 3-0 to the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday evening in their first home Big East matchup at Owen T. Carroll Field. The result drops the Hall to 0-2 in Big East play and 4-4-2 overall.
In the ninth minute, Seton Hall sophomore Max Garcia was shown a straight red card when he made illegal contact with the Villanova goalkeeper.
Garcia slid with his cleats up and made direct contact with the keeper’s chest while attempting to take a shot on goal despite the keeper holding possession of the ball. Garcia will receive an automatic one match ban for his sending off.
The Pirates, despite being down a man, had the match’s first scoring chance in the 17th minute when Konrad Plewa nearly converted a free kick from 30 yards out. Villanova senior goalkeeper John Fogarty stretched to his right and made the clean save to null the Pirates’ lone scoring opportunity of the half.
In the dying minutes of the first half, junior midfielder Emerson Lawrence put the Wildcats ahead by one after a bit of passing outside the box. Junior Ryan Whalen lofted a ball through two defenders and found Lawrence who slid the ball passed the keeper’s left side for his fourth goal of the season with just three minutes to play in the half.
The second half saw the Wildcats continue their pressure forward as junior midfielder Kyle McCarthy netted his first goal of the season in the 53rd minute.
Villanova freshman Oscar Umar swung the ball in from the corner where McCarthy stood waiting. After settling the ball off his chest just inside the penalty area, he struck it on a volley and placed it into the top left corner of goal, giving Villanova the 2-0 advantage.
The Wildcats added a third goal in the 62nd minute after a lengthy run from senior defender Kevin Garcia. Garcia fed the ball to sophomore striker Dylan Renna just outside the box and after a shot fake to the right he blasted it under the crossbar and over the line to extend the lead to three goals.
Villanova outshot Seton Hall by a 12-5 margin overall on the night and took six corner kicks to the Pirates’ one.
Seton Hall coach Manny Schellscheidt did not wish to comment on whether he believed the red card to Max Garcia was the correct decision after the match, however he noted that the sending off was a major factor in the loss.
“I did not have a good angle on the play, so I don’t know really, but the red card was definitely one of the deciding factors,” he said. “You have to credit Villanova. They smelled blood after the red card and they took advantage.”
According to Schellscheidt, the constant rain and sloppy playing conditions were not an issue during the match.
“The weather wasn’t a factor,” he said. “I think we played pretty well considering we were down a man too. They got a few breaks but overall [we] played alright, but Villanova played better.”
The Hall’s next matchup comes Tuesday evening when they host the Princeton Tigers at Owen T. Carroll Field. According to coach Schellcheidt, conference play has not been what he had hoped for thus far.
“Now we have put ourselves into a hole obviously,” said Schellscheidt, noting how damaging a 0-2 start in conference can be for a young team. “We need to catch some breaks going forward, but we are in a hole.”
The match against Princeton is set to kick off at 7 p.m.