Lucye Rafferty/The Hoya Hawk freshman forward Lauren Luft knocks the ball into sophomore midfielder Molly Ahearn’s shin. Senior defender Lauren Galbally looks on during the Hoyas’ 3-2 loss.

Over the long weekend, Georgetown field hockey found itself in an advantageous position: it was playing its home opener on Saturday against Longwood, followed by a Sunday match with St. Joseph’s (Pa.) University. With their blend of an experienced, talented core and new contributors, the Hoyas hoped to get off to a much stronger start than the three consecutive losses that opened the 2002 season.

In the first game, the team delivered on its promise and posted a solid 5-0 win. Last season’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Jessica Quinn, tallied all three first-half goals – with her second and third coming in the span of less than one minute.

Fellow sophomore forward Erica Chan tacked on another goal in the second half on an assist from senior midfielder Leeanne Rizzo. Rizzo closed out the scoring in the final two minutes.

Freshman goalkeeper Abby Winer posted a shutout in her first intercollegiate game, though the Hoyas’ strong defensive performance – outshooting the Lancers 27-10 for the game and 12-0 in the second half – made her job much easier.

However, Sunday’s results were not quite as spectacular. St. Joseph’s Saturday game with American University had been postponed, but the Hawks came out flying and sent Georgetown to a 3-2 defeat for their first win of the season.

After coming back to tie the score on Quinn’s fourth goal of the season at 54:34 of the second half, the Hoyas were readying themselves for sudden death. But with less than a minute remaining, a broken play inside the circle saw the ball fall upon the stick of St. Joseph’s Katelyn O’Brien, who put the game away with her second goal of the afternoon.

“It was a defensive breakdown,” head coach Laurie Carroll said. “We had talked about time management, which is crucial in the last few minutes of the half. We needed to tighten up, and we didn’t do it.” She added that she had been preparing her overtime lineup when the game-winner went in, a crushing blow to what had been a much more solid second half for Georgetown.

In the first 35 minutes of play, the Hoyas got off to a hot start when senior Dionna Jordan scored an unassisted goal just over four minutes into the contest. Soon after, though, they cooled off considerably: O’Brien’s first goal was scored just five minutes later, and the Hawks put in a rebound at the 30-minute mark to go up 2-1.

At the half, St. Joe’s was up on shots 13-5 and had all five corners in the game. Several mental mistakes, even by some of Georgetown’s more experienced players, helped the Hawks to this advantage.

Nonetheless, the Hoyas did rebound well after the break, holding a 12-9 edge in shots and 4-3 in corners. “We realized that it’s now or never and we picked it up some,” Carroll said of her team’s second-half performance, though still disappointed with the loss.

For much of the second stanza, the Georgetown back line was able to defend well, even sparking several solid chances in the offensive end. But timely kick saves from the Hawks’ Courtney Huff stymied the attack each time.

“Our forwards played very well [Friday],” Carroll said, “so we wanted to give them some opportunities [Saturday], but it didn’t happen.” Overall, she attributed some of the Hoyas’ struggles to the two consecutive games, noting that her players were rather tired after Saturday’s win.

However, she was markedly disappointed with the mental aspect of her team’s game on Sunday. “Our midfielders had no presence in the first half. I was very surprised with some of our senior leaders’ mental mistakes. They’re the heart and soul of this team. It’s going to hurt tomorrow, so I hope we’ve learned our lesson.”

After considering the differences between this weekend’s performances, the Hoyas will definitely want a return to the form of their opening win when they travel to Worcester, Mass. for matches Saturday with Cornell and Sunday against Holy Cross. Both contests start at 1 p.m.

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