Oct. 12, 2011
MERION STATION, Pa. - As the last minutes of daylight began to disappear on a cloudy autumn afternoon, senior Therese Doyle sent a shot past Villanova goalkeeper Megan Goelz to give the Saint Joseph's field hockey team a 3-2 overtime victory over the Wildcats. The win is the first for the Hawks on their new turf at Ellen Ryan Field.
The win is also the first for SJU over its archrivals since 2007, the year before the current senior class came to Hawk Hill.
"I'm ecstatic right now," Doyle beamed after the game. "I can't explain it."
With just over six minutes left in overtime, Doyle maneuvered around the top of the circle, beating her defender and launching a backhanded blast into the cage. The goal ended a back-and-forth contest and sent the SJU crowd home happy.
Doyle's heroics would not have been possible, however, without a pair of goals from senior Theresa Testa, including the game-tying goal with no time on the clock.
Trailing 2-1 as the final seconds counted down, Saint Joseph's (5-7) was awarded a penalty corner, its sixth of the game. Doyle received the ball and fed Testa for a last-ditch attempt on goal; Testa's aim was true and the game continued to an extra frame.
Testa started the scoring midway through the first half, taking a pass from Doyle after another corner and sending it past Goelz for a 1-0 Hawk lead.
The margin held until the 9:28 mark of the second half, when Amy Jackson scored on a loose ball to draw the Wildcats even.
With just 81 ticks left in regulation, Olivia Maggitti tallied her first of the season to put Villanova (5-9) on top. Maggitti received a long pass inside the circle from Lauren Wilson and slipped it past Liz Messaros to give the Wildcats the short-lived advantage.
The Hawks poured on the pressure, picking up the ball in their own end with under a minute to go and racing the length of the field to set up the final push that led to the critical tying goal.
SJU carried the run of play for most of the overtime, outshooting VU by a 5-0 margin. The last of those shots, Doyle's third attempt of the extra period, gave the Hawks the win.
Messaros made seven saves in the win, while Goelz stopped three shots in each period for a total of nine in the contest.
Saint Joseph's hits the road for a crucial Atlantic 10 game at Massachusetts on Friday. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m. in Amherst.