VILLANOVA, Pa. – UConn freshman Olivia Miles (Watertown, N.Y.) buried the game-winning goal just as the final horn sounded Saturday afternoon to send the Huskies home with their fourth-straight win, a 15-14 BIG EAST victory at Villanova. The Huskies evened their league record at 4-4 and improved to 7-8 overall with the win.
UConn runs their all-time record against Villanova to 9-0 with the win. Senior Jacqueline Jordan (Los Gatos, Calif.) led the Huskies with three goals while junior Grace Nolan (Marcellus, N.Y.) collected five points, scoring two goals with three assists. In goal, freshman Grace Beshlian (Stony Brook, N.Y.) collected 12 saves in the win.
The Huskies opened the scoring on Tripodi’s first of two in the half but Villanova responded and took leads of 2-1 and 3-2 before an UConn run. Tripodi started a three-goal rally at 17:28 and just over a minute later the Huskies took a 5-3 lead. Miles and Molly O’Reilly (South Salem, N.Y.) followed with goals at 17:05 and 16:31.
The two teams traded goals over the last 15 minutes of the first half as Nolan chipped in a pair including one with 54 seconds left to send the Huskies into the break-up 8-6. Beshlian had a big first half, stopping eight shots, three on Villanova free-position attempts.
Kelsey Catalano (Stony Brook, N.Y.) gave the Huskies a three-goal lead out of the break, putting one on the board at 28:41 for a 9-6 lead. The Wildcats clamped down on defense over the next eight minutes and put together a three-goal rally. Devon Brown started the rally at 24:44 and ended it 19:48 to tie the game at 9-9.
The Huskies had an answer coming out of a time-out as Jordan buried back-to-back goals at 19:29 and 18:33 to go back-up, 11-9. Villanova again put together a run and took their final lead of the day at 15:45.
Consecutive UConn tallies from Cait Leary (Suffern, N.Y.) and Catalano put the Huskies in front 13-12 with 9:32 left. Villanova’s Maggie O’Neill tied the game back up, 13-13, with a free-position goal at 8:26. The Huskies went back ahead with under two minutes to play as Leary tacked on her second of the day, scoring from 8meters.
The Wildcats tacked on one last tying goal with 17 seconds left with Jillian Swikart scoring her fourth of the day to set up the last-minute strike by Miles. The Huskies took the ensuing draw and set up their offense. Villanova was whistled for a foul with just three seconds left and Ally Tilley (Setauket, N.Y.) dished to a cutting Miles on a bang-bang play just before the final horn.
The Huskies will close out their season next Saturday, April 29 on “Senior Day” when they play host to Temple.