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Villanova downs St. John’s for third straight win

Philadelphia Union Academy alum Zach Zandi had a pair of assists to lead the Wildcats while Lafayette edged Lehigh in Wednesday action

Zach Zandi
Matt Ralph

Villanova moved into a tie for second place in the Big East with two games left after a 2-1 win over St. John’s at Higgins Soccer Complex on Wednesday.

Junior Miguel Polley continued his fine form with a goal and freshman Jacob Anderson bagged the game winner with the help of a deflection. Philadelphia Union Academy grad Zach Zandi (West Chester, Pa.) was credited with assists on both goals, doubling his total for the season.

All three goals were scored in the first half. Harry Cooksley scored the equalizer for the visitors in the 21st minute and like Creighton on Saturday put the back line and goalkeeper Will Steiner under tremendous pressure, especially late on as they pushed for an equalizer.

The Red Storm outshot the Wildcats (9-5-2, 4-2-1) 24-15 for the game and Steiner made five saves on the day, including four key interventions in the final half hour of play.

After Wednesday’s conference action, Providence moved into first place with 15 points, following by Villanova, Creighton and Xavier with 13 points. The Wildcats finish their regular season slate with a road game at Georgetown on Saturday afternoon and are back home for the season finale against Seton Hall on Thursday at 3 p.m.

Six teams advance to the Big East Championship with the top two teams earning first round byes. Villanova last made the post-season tournament in 2013, losing to UConn in the quarterfinal.

Lafayette beats Lehigh on PK

Senior captain Ryan Egan converted a penalty kick after being taken down inside the 18 in the 69th minute to lift Lafayette (7-7-2, 3-3-1) to a win over Lehigh in the Lehigh Valley derby match on Wednesday night.

Lafayette keeper Brad Seeber made four saves to record the clean sheet for the Leopards while Lehigh keeper Will Smith (Devon, Pa.) made three saves, including one on a breakaway to keep the Mountain Hawks (6-9-1, 2-5-0) in the game.