CONSHOHOCKEN, Pa. -- Erin Huffman scored the game-winning goal in double overtime and the Old Dominion field hockey rallied to defeat Villanova, 3-2, in Big East action on Friday evening at the Villanova Field Hockey Field.
Despite outshooting Villanova (5-10, 2-4 Big East) by a margin of 28-8, the Monarchs (7-8, 4-2 Big East) faced a 2-1 deficit in the waning minutes of regulation. However, Rebecca Birch netted the equalizer with just 14 seconds remaining to force overtime and then Huffman scored the game-winner six minutes into the second overtime period.
"It was truly a team effort this evening," said head coach Andrew Griffiths. "Villanova played hard and their goalkeeper is outstanding. So, we had to really stay persistent to find a way to score."
After a scoreless first half, Villanova's Riley Dolan opened up the scoring with a goal in the 41st minute. Carrie Sensenig equalized for the Monarchs in the 53rd on a penalty-corner goal, but the Wildcats regained the lead on a Francesca Bello goal in the 65th.
The Villanova defense fended off a barrage of ODU penalty corners and shots in the final minutes, but Birch's strike on a corner with 14 seconds left on the clock finally found the back of the goal to send the game to overtime. Following a scoreless first overtime period, Huffman finished off a Birch pass to win the game for ODU in the 91st minute.
"I'm proud of our team's resilience and heart to stick together and stay with the game plan," said Griffiths. "We didn't panic and we got the reward for that."
The Monarchs can now clinch a bid to the Big East Tournament with a win over Providence next week.
ODU outshot Villanova by a combined total of 20-2 in the second half and overtime periods, as the Wildcats were unable to generate a shot in the 21 minutes of overtime.
"We were outstanding in overtime," said Griffiths. "It was an exciting finish."