The Georgetown women’s soccer team headed into last weekend desperately wanting to put together its first six-point weekend of this year’s Big East campaign. Faced with home games against two teams, Louisville (4-9-0, 1-6-0 Big East) and Cincinnati (7-7-1, 2-4-1 Big East), in the bottom half of their league, the Hoyas (10-3-2, 4-2-1 Big East) seized their opportunity and came away with two one-goal wins: 2-1 over the Cardinals on Friday and 3-2 over the Bearcats on Sunday.

The Blue and Gray came out strong for their Friday game against Louisville, and the constant pressure bore fruit in the 22nd minute when redshirt sophomore Ingrid Wells netted her sixth goal of the year off an assist from fellow midfielder, sophomore Kelly D’Ambrisi.

Wells was not done yet, and just six minutes later she notched her team-leading seventh goal of the season off passes from graduate student forward Sara Jordan and D’Ambrisi to give the Hoyas a 2-0 lead.

Despite the quick lead, Head Coach Dave Nolan did not think that the game would continue to be that easy.

“[Louisville] need points to make the Big East tournament,” he said. “Every game for them is like a six-pointer because they’re playing catch-up on us.”

Nolan proved to be correct, and the Cardinals fought back to cut their deficit in half when freshman defender Ashley Racette scored her first goal of the season in the 33rd minute off a corner kick.

While good pressure in the second half saw two juniors, defender Michaela Buonomo and midfielder Caitlin Durkee, just miss on quality attempts, the Blue and Gray could not find the back of the net a third time.

Fortunately for Georgetown, the Cardinals could not muster an equalizer. Despite the win, Nolan was not thrilled with his team’s play, especially at the end of the first half.

“We don’t seem to be able to put together 90 minutes and we haven’t done it all season,” Nolan said. “It’s a little bit of a concern, but at this point . you just have to fight and scrap and battle and try to get something out of each game.”

Stylistically, the game on Sunday promised to be much different as Georgetown faced a physical Cincinnati squad.

“The way [the Bearcats] play, it’s difficult to play against,” Nolan said. “It’s almost like American football teams, it’s territorial for them. . We’re not that kind of team – we struggle against teams like that.”

The Hoyas did struggle for much of the first half, as Cincinnati’s territorial game plan was working to perfection. Despite mustering a few quality chances, Georgetown spent much of the first 30 minutes trying to clear the ball out of its half of the pitch. The Bearcats’ constant pressure resulted in a goal with 11 minutes left in the half when freshman midfielder Katie Johnson collected the ball and fired it home after a Cincinnati player had been brought down in the box.

“It was probably a legitimate penalty call,” Nolan said of the tackle in the box. “If they hadn’t scored, [the referee] may have called it [a penalty kick].”

This goal seemed to energize the Georgetown offense, and with five minutes left in the half sophomore forward Samantha Baker headed home the equalizer off a corner kick from Durkee.

After the intermission, the Hoyas did not need much time to grab the lead, as sophomore defender Marissa Wing scored her first goal of the season off one of Baker’s trademark long throw-ins in the 53rd minute. Wing was singled out by Nolan after the game not only for her goal-scoring but for how she handled Cincinnati’s physical style.

“Hopefully this [performance] will kick-start her,” Nolan said. “It was her first action in the Big East, [after] she had a good week of practice.”

In the 70th minute, Georgetown seemed to put the game away after D’Ambrisi calmly slotted away the Hoyas’ third goal after passes from Jordan and Wells found her unmarked in the box.

Cincinnati would not go away, however, as senior midfielder Melissa Bigg banked a shot in off the post past junior goalkeeper Jackie DesJardin on what looked like an attempted cross in the 74th minute. Despite that goal, Georgetown held on for the tough 3-2 win. Although happy with the result, Nolan is still looking for a full 90-minute effort from his team.

“I would have liked to see us come out and play with a little more intensity to start,” Nolan said. “I felt that if we had scored first we would have taken the game quite comfortably.”

Although Nolan continues to want to see more complete efforts from his team, he was still glad to get out of the weekend without leaving any points on the table.

“We did what we had to do, which was [to] win the games,” he said. “It has given us a little bit of breathing room with four games to go.”

The Hoyas will be at home for the final time during the regular season next weekend against conference rivals Pittsburgh and West Virginia at North Kehoe Field.”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.