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McGeeney puts Irish over Wildcats

Kate Gales | Monday, September 27, 2004

Twenty-three feet of net space has never loomed so large in the Big East conference.

On Thursday, the Irish statistically dominated West Virginia but dropped the match with a final score of 1-0. On Sunday, the Irish toppled the Villanova Wildcats when sharpshooter Justin McGeeney found the back of the net early in the second period.

After losing to West Virginia, the Irish improved to 5-2-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big East conference. Sunday’s victory stifled a five-game winning streak from Villanova, who fell to 5-1-1 and posted a 3-1 record in the conference.

“After the loss, it was great,” said defender Kevin Goldthwaite. “The guys were super motivated and ready to play, [and] I guess that’s all you can ask for coming off a loss like that.”

McGeeney’s game-winner was an important step forward for the Irish.

“We came out with a lot more intensity today,” he said. “I think that was really what was missing in Thursday’s game and we really wanted to come out hard [against Villanova] and get the first goal.”

Scored in the forty-seventh minute, McGeeney’s goal was recorded as unassisted off a ball played into the box by Tony Megna. McGeeney leads the Irish with three goals on the season.

The game marked Goldthwaite’s healthy return. He re-entered the Irish lineup after sustaining a leg injury earlier in the season and missing the first seven games.

“It felt good,” he said of the game. “It feels good now to be back in almost full health.”

Putting one in the conference win column also felt good for the veteran defender.

“The biggest improvement was coming on and playing how we wanted to play,” said Goldthwaite. “Last Thursday we didn’t really play how we wanted to play.”

The defense held steady throughout the game, forcing goalkeeper Chris Sawyer to make only one save. Fellow defenders Jack Stewart, Christopher High, Ben Crouse and Ryan Miller welcomed back the steadfast left back.

On the offense, the Irish recorded 12 shots with six on goal. Nine of the shots came in the second period as the offense found their stride in the Wildcats’ danger zone. Villanova goalie Craig Bald recorded five saves.

Defensively, the Irish were steady, allowing only six shots in the game.

The Irish will continue Big East play against Boston College on Oct. 1.