The Georgetown field hockey team (2-3) returns home this weekend for back-to-back games. They open their Big East season against Louisville (4-2) on Saturday morning followed by another morning game Sunday against Towson (2-3).

After returning from a disappointing road trip where they split their two games, the Hoyas certainly have their work cut out for them against the Cardinals. Louisville is second in the Big East standings to Connecticut and has always been a strong force on the field hockey pitch.

The Cardinals, who were ranked in the top 20 earlier this season, have as many losses as the Hoyasdo wins. Their only two losses have come against current No. 11 California and then-no.11 Wake Forest. Senior midfielder Hayley Turner was recently named Big East field hockey offensive player of the week and is the Cardinals’ leading goal scorer.

Louisville is typically a strong team for the duration of the game, but both the Cardinals and Hoyastend to play stronger in the first half. The Cardinals, however, play a looser second half because of the insurance they give themselves from their first half success.

In order for the Hoyas to be in the game against Louisville, they must come out strong on offense and have a stable defensive game for both halves. Louisville has scored 10 goals in their last two games, but it is important that the Blue and Gray keep their composure despite the Cardinals’ high-powered offense.

Towson will be the easier of the two games for the Hoyas this weekend. The Tigers, however, have come out strong in their last two games — performances that hint at their potential. Once again, junior forwards Catherine Shugrue, Annie Wilson and the rest of the Georgetown offense will need to continue to show up big for their team.

Junior goalkeeper Briana Pereira will be critical in both games this weekend. She will face tough shots from two aggressive offenses, and any mistakes from the Hoyas’ defense will be costly. Georgetown has already proven that they can score, especially after their scoring rampage against Holy Cross this past weekend, but the key to two victories this weekend will be limiting its opponents’ opportunities.

The Hoyas will play Louisville Saturday at 11 a.m. Saturday and Towson at 11 a.m. Sunday. Both games will be held at American University.

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