Senior midfielder Daphne Corboz, whom The Hoya has named Female Athlete of the Year for her impressive play for and leadership of Georgetown’s women’s soccer team in a successful season, will sign with Manchester City Women’s Football Club in the summer transfer window.
The club, which finished fifth in last season’s eight-team FA WSL 1, the first division of English football, will gain the Big East Midfielder of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year, who earned her third All-American nod in her senior season.
Corboz, who was also named Female Athlete of the Year after her sophomore season, scored some gorgeous and important goals for the Hoyas, in addition to notching a single-season school-record 18 assists en route to an 11-5-6 overall record and appearances in the Big East tournament final and the second round of the NCAA championship.
She leaves the Hilltop as the all-time leader in points and goals for Georgetown women’s soccer.
“I’m very excited to be joining Manchester City,” Corboz said. “Obviously, I’m really sad to be leaving Georgetown, but I’m fortunate to have an opportunity that I’m really looking forward to.”
Before joining up with the Manchester City squad when its season resumes in July, Corboz will travel to Norway with the United States U-23 team to play against Sweden, Norway and England in the Four Nations Tournament.
Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan believes City will provide Corboz with a good place to start her professional soccer career, as the up-and-coming program looks to begin challenging for the Champions League places in the next couple years.
“Manchester City, much like their men’s program, are the most ambitious women’s program over there,” Nolan said. “Their facilities are probably better than any of the MLS men’s programs here, and I’ve seen them up close.”
Corboz said that during her time as a Hoya her confidence has grown significantly and her game has evolved for the better.
“I think I’ve improved exponentially here at Georgetown,” Corboz said. “Playing with some great players, learning from them, competing with them every day, and then obviously having the instruction from Dave, has really been beneficial to my development. … Technically speaking, soccer-wise, Dave has helped me a lot with playing bigger. I came here and just liked to combine and dribble, and Dave really showed me how important it is to open up the game.”
Many inferior teams this season attempted to stifle the Georgetown offense by packing their players in front of the goal and playing defensively; Corboz often provided the creative spark to break down their defenses, providing a bit of brilliance to change the game.
Nolan noted that even after the end of the Hoyas’ spring practices and matches, Corboz’s competitiveness and fire remain apparent.
“Daph has always been someone who leads by example,” Nolan said. “She’s always been someone who works hard. This week alone, I’ve been coming in to work at 7:30 a.m.-8:00 a.m. in the morning to get some things done, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen her out on the field in the morning. … I’ve never met anyone who had the work ethic, and the desire to get better, that Daphne has.”
Nolan also said that he has never coached a player better than Corboz.
“I’m going to miss her on and off the field; she’s such a great kid,” Nolan said. “If you watch some of the last 15 minutes [of the Barcelona-Bayern Munich Champions League semifinal first leg], if you watch some of Messi’s goals … there are certain players that just excite you, whether you’re a coach or a fan or a player. And Daphne was one of those.”
Corboz leaves the program in good hands, especially with a rising sophomore defensive corps consisting of defenders Drew Topor and Liz Wenger and midfielders Taylor Pak and Chloe Knott. Corboz’s own sister, Rachel, excelled this season as an offensive midfielder as a freshman and will look to carry on the Corboz legacy for the next three seasons.
In a moment of reflection, Corboz also noted that she has grown as a person through her time on the soccer team, as well as a player.
“Over the past four years, the experiences on the field, whether it be going to Big East finals or qualifying for NCAAs, situations that you have to deal with [regarding] teammates, and balancing everything academically and athletically … I’ve definitely matured a lot more, and I’ve learned a lot since I was a freshman,” Corboz said.
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