Coming off the program’s best season in 11 years, Villanova women’s soccer team added a trophy on Saturday after finishing top of the table in a round-robin tournament against five of their Philly Soccer Six rivals.
Villanova becomes the fourth school to win the trophy since the competition began in 2016. Temple won the inaugural event, followed by Penn in 2017 and St. Joseph’s last year.
The Wildcats and the Quakers finished with identical 2-1-1 records but Nova won the head-to-head tiebreaker thanks to a 1-0 win. St. Joe’s finished third with a 1-1-2 record, followed by Temple a 1-2-1 and La Salle at 0-1-3.
“It was a pleasure hosting such classy, talented teams,” said Villanova junior Shannon Casey. “Our team lifted each other up and stuck to the game plan given by the coaches. The trophy was won by every single girl on Villanova that showed up today.”
Casey was one of 15 players named to the City 6 All-Squad Team for the day. Conner Huggins and Kristin Barbour were also named from Villanova.
“This is just such an amazing tournament,” Villanova head coach Chris McLain said. “It’s a great way to challenge ourselves against the other teams in the area and see different styles of play. You’ve got a great camaraderie with the other coaches and we’re all very family oriented.”
Penn had an impressive 13-2-1 record in the fall and shared an Ivy League title but missed out on the NCAA Tournament despite only conceding five goals in 16 games. Their leading scorer on the team, West Chester, Pa. native Emily Sands, is returning to the squad for her final season hungry for an outright championship. She and teammates Allie Schlachter and Jadyn Wilensky were selected to the City 6 All-Squad Team.
“We’re honing in on all of the little details to make sure when it comes fall we’ll be ready to go,” Sands said. “I think spring is really important just to get everybody revved up and fired up going into the summer, especially since we have a shorter preseason than everyone else with only nine days before our first game.”
Penn head coach Nicole Van Dyke said the format of the round robin tournament — 10 games in all were played in 35 minute increments — was a good exercise for her team
“The the 30-40 minute games you have to come out, you have to score so it creates a sense of urgency and you also can’t concede,” she said. “You have to be super present and focused and get after it in a small amount of time. Any time you do that you can learn a lot from the games.”
Due to a scheduling conflict, Drexel was the only one of the six D1 women’s programs that didn’t participate in the event. Temple was represented on the All-Squad Team by Marissa DiGenova, Bella Sorrentino and Emma Wilkins and La Salle by Taylor Newhart, Jenna Soriano and Jess Schannahan.