Although the Georgetown field hockey team has only played one game so far this season, its 2-1 loss to Davidson on Sunday featured two halves so different that they could have been two separate games.

After a first half in which scoring opportunities were hard to come by, the Hoyas came out firing after the break. However, despite their many chances to score in the second half, they were faced with some bad luck and were unable to convert their drives into goals.

“I felt like we played two different games, really. In the first half we were tentative, and it was obvious that we had a slow start,” Head Coach Laurie Carroll said. “And we just took the second half as our second game, and I thought we fixed a lot of things. I thought we played well.”

The Hoyas’ first-half efforts were mostly concentrated on defense. They had trouble gaining possession of the ball and were unable to put together many complete offensive drives. Twelve minutes into the game they had yet to take a shot on goal.

“They beat us to every ball and that kind of thing. I don’t know if it was nerves, or the first game or what it was, but obviously we admitted we did not play well the first half,” Carroll said.

The Wildcats did manage to score on a close play in front of the goal, in which junior goalie Jessica Herring dove to save a shot, but Wildcat freshman midfielder Maggie McPherson put in the rebound at the 16:31 mark.

Junior forward Alex Rogers scored the second goal for Davidson on a penalty corner shot with three minutes to go in the first half to put the Wildcats up 2-0.

The Hoyas created many more scoring opportunities in the second half, and sophomore forward Leeanne Rizzo managed to gain Georgetown’s only goal of the game less than three minutes into the half.

As the game went on, the Hoya offense continued to come painfully close to scoring without actually netting a goal. On two separate instances, the ball went past Davidson’s keeper, but the referees ruled no goal. Carroll agreed that the first goal should not have counted but seemed critical of the second decision, calling it “a judgment call.”

The Hoyas also created scoring opportunities for themselves by drawing six penalty corners. In the 2000 season, penalty corners were a main source of the Hoyas’ scoring. However, the corner unit of sophomore forward Leeanne Rizzo, senior midfielder Aubrey Bruggeman and sophomore midfielder Elena Elster could not convert a single corner into a goal on Sunday.

“I felt like we were really executing well [on the corners]. We were getting the shots off; we just missed the cage. It’s as simple as that,” Carroll said.

The Hoyas squandered another opportunitiy when Elster had a one-on-one penalty shot with 5:24 left to play. Davidson freshman goalie Cate Schenning saved the shot, making one of her five saves of the day. It was her third straight win for the ‘Cats, who are 3-0.

“We scored early; that was our goal. We drew a lot of corners; that was our goal. So we really reached our goals. We did what we wanted to do. We were just a little bit unlucky,” Carroll said.

The Hoyas took 13 shots on goal and drew nine penalty corners in the game, while the Wildcats took 10 shots and had six penalty corner opportunities.

“We just, as a team, didn’t come out strong in the first half. Really, our team is our strength. We’re not going to have a team with superstars. If we have a few people play well, it’s not going to help us. We need everyone to play well, and everyone did in the second half,” Carroll said.

The Hoyas will need to continue Sunday’s second-half play for an entire game if they hope to come away with a win from Saturday’s match against William & Mary. Last season the Tribe went 12-8, was ranked as high as No. 9 and competed in the NCAA tournament. However, the squad lost five of its starters and does not have as much experience as it did last year, especially on the defensive end of the field.

“We’re going to try to work on a quick start. We’re going to try to play Hoya hockey from the very beginning and not react so much to the play of the other team and focus on a strong performance from the very beginning. We’ll work on our finishes and we’ll do a lot of shooting,” Carroll said.

The Hoyas will face off at William & Mary at 6 p.m Saturday.

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