Higgins Soccer Complex has been good to Villanova this year, in large part thanks to the play of star midfielder Miguel Polley, who led the rally that gave the Wildcats their sixth straight home win on Thursday afternoon.
After being kept in check for an hour and down 1-0 on an Andres Arcila goal in the 20th minute, Polley started the comeback with a corner kick in the 64th minute that found senior defender Eric McKenna in traffic to deflect it home.
With the game appearing to be headed to overtime, Polley trapped and settled a looping ball from Conor Bradley (Havertown, Pa.) in the box, turned and weaved his way through a couple defenders before firing home the game-winning goal off his left foot in the 86th minute. (Note: Unfortunately, the video below doesn’t show the beginning of the play).
ICYMI #BEfutbol fans @nick_mantegna on the call for Polley's game winner for @NovaMSoccer over @SHUMSOC https://t.co/NEIFCEvRg8— BIG EAST Champs (@BIGEASTchamps) November 3, 2016
The goal was his sixth of the season and marked his fifth straight game with a goal at home. Four of his seven assists have also come over that span.
McKenna’s equalizer was his second of the season on a day when he and his classmates - Padraic McCullaugh, John Jlopleh, Kieran McCarthy, Frank Russomano, Will Steiner and Max Kroschwitz - were honored.
Steiner made two saves in the win, Villanova’s 10th of the season to finish 10-6-2 overall and 5-3-1 in Big East play.
Their fourth place finish in the Big East standings means they’ll host a first round match against DePaul on Sunday at 1 p.m. They beat the Blue Demons at home 4-2 back on October 1. The winner will face Butler in the Big East semifinal.
Villanova reached the 10-win mark for the first time since 2012 when they were 12-6-2 and lost on the road in the first round of the Big East Tournament. The program last had five conference wins in a season in 2009.