Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information Senior forward Catherine Shugrue was all-Big East in 2010 but missed out on the honor in 2011.
Courtesy Georgetown Sports Information
Senior forward Catherine Shugrue was all-Big East in 2010 but missed out on the honor in 2011.

You might expect optimism within the Georgetown field hockey program to be in short supply, considering the team hasn’t had a winning season since 2002. But with a wealth of experience from 10 seniors, the team is hopeful that 2012 will be its breakout year.

“At the end of the day, it’s always disappointing. We want more,” Head Coach Tiffany Marsh said. “[But] we have our big group here that has the experience under their belt of competing in the Big East for the last three years.”

The team finished last season 3-15, but a win over Providence in the final game of the season was perhaps the most important. Because only the league’s top four teams are invited to the Big East tournament, Georgetown has to raise its game in conference play and beat teams like Providence.

“I think that we can compete for one of those spots. We’re aiming [to beat] Rutgers, Villanova and Providence. We’re always all fighting for that spot and trying to get in there,” Marsh said. “Right now, I think that we have the experience and talent level to actually be a contender, and they have no choice but to take us seriously now.”

And after three years of futility — the team is a combined 11-46 since the current crop of seniors arrived on the Hilltop — senior forward Annie Wilson thinks the Hoyas now have the tools to compete in the Big East.

“[We have] a lot more game knowledge and game sense on the field at all times and [have been] able to pass that knowledge to the freshman who are coming in. Being able to have 10 people who really have been on the field in every game for three years now helps with game strategy.”

The eight incoming freshmen have already begun contributing in practice, helping to raise the level of competition for the whole squad.

“The younger classes are pushing the older class, and the older class is leading as an example of where they need to be,” Marsh said. “It’s been a healthy competition and a healthy dynamic, I think, between all of them,”

Early outings seem to confirm Marsh’s thoughts as the Hoyas split a pair of games over the weekend in Davidson, N.C. Georgetown defeated Appalachian State, 3-2, but fell to Davidson, 4-0.

Even though these results were encouraging for a team that only won three games last season, Georgetown must also contend with playing their “home” games in College Park, Md.

“We will be on the road every game. We are in one of the best conferences in the country, so that’s always going to be the tough part of our season,” Marsh said. “It’s really just taking it one game at a time.”

That mentality will be critical if Georgetown is going to improve its league record and earn a berth to the Big East tournament. But it’s something the Hoyas are determined to make a reality.

“We’ve all stuck with it the last four years and want to make something of our senior year and really prove that we’re here to help build this program,”

Wilson said.

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