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Villanova opens season with comeback overtime win over Drexel

Niki Molina scored the winner in the 96th minute

Villanova Athletics

Villanova overcame a first half deficit and got an overtime winner when a pair of seniors from Florida connected to deliver the program’s first ever win over Drexel and a 1-0 start to the season.

Drexel opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Gabrielle Perrotto cleaned up a loose ball in the box after a shot from Casey Touey was saved by Megan McClay.

Villanova created several chances and had a lot of the ball with Drexel content to absorb pressure and pick out their chances on the counter — but it wasn’t until the 69th minute that the breakthrough came. Chloe O’Neill fought off a defender, played a ball into space to Francesca Yanchuk and she found Megan Donnelly running into the box for the finish past Miyuki Schoyen.

With the score knotted at 1-1, the teams headed into overtime for the second straight time (Drexel won at home in overtime 1-0 in the spring) and it was the visitors who almost ended it right away when they had a couple cracks at the goal in the box. Villanova followed that up with a chance to ice the game down the other end, but the heroics wouldn’t come until the 96th minute when Lauren Belcuore played O’Neill out wide and she sent in a perfectly placed left-footed cross to Niki Molina at the far post she was able to poke home.

In other opening day action for local teams, both Temple and Saint Joseph’s suffered 3-0 road defeats in Maryland. Temple fell 3-0 to Maryland and Saint Joseph’s 3-0 to Towson. Delaware opened their season with a 2-1 win over George Mason behind goals from Sara D’Appolonia and Claudia Benz.

La Salle opens their season Sunday at Penn State and Penn visits Temple for their season opener next Friday.