PISCATAWAY, NJ – The 16th-ranked Rutgers men’s soccer team failed to score a goal in its second consecutive match, falling to Villanova, 2-0, in BIG EAST action at Yurcak Field on Wednesday night. With the loss, Rutgers falls to 7-4-3 overall and 4-2-3 in conference play. Villanova improves to 8-6-1 overall and 3-5-0 in the conference.
Villanova jumped out first, scoring in the 33rd minute as Colin Raws of the Wildcats sent a corner kick to David O’Donnell who was situated perfectly in front of the goal, heading it in from five yards out.
Rutgers pressured Villanova numerous times throughout the game in hopes of the equalizer, out-shooting the Wildcats, 18-7, in the match.
The Scarlet Knights turned up their attack in the second period, recording a 10-1 advantage in shots for the half. RU’s best chance to score came when junior Richie Arenas (Guatemala City, Guatemala) slipped a ball between defenders to junior Chris Karcz (Clifton, NJ), who beat his man in the open field but was too deep to get a shot off.
With less than five minutes remaining in the match, the Rutgers offensive attack had a pair of near-misses in its quest to erase its deficit as Arenas drilled a free kick from 20 yards out that nicked off the cross bar, while Karcz sent a shot off the far post with just over a minute to play.
Villanova’s lone shot in the second half gave the Wildcats a 2-0 advantage as Raws fired a bullet from 10 yards out that slipped between defenders, hitting the back left corner of the net.
“They got an early goal and we were chasing them the whole game,” said Rutgers head coach Bob Reasso. “We struggled in the attacking third tonight. I thought we did a poor job of marking on their two goals. We need to look past this and get a win on Saturday.”
Senior Scott Conway (Aston, PA) made three saves in goal for the Scarlet Knights. His counterpart, Craig Bald tallied six stops. Rutgers had a 9-7 advantage in corner kicks on the night.
Rutgers continues its three-match homestand, hosting West Virginia on Saturday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at Yurcak Field in Piscataway, NJ.