FIELD HOCKEY COMMENTARY: Seniors Show Resilience

On paper, it seems that Georgetown’s field hockey team closed out yet another disappointing year.

For the senior class, however, the team’s five wins gave them a total of 21 career wins — the most by a senior class since 2005.
Despite the milestone for the class of 2017, the team finished winless in Big East conference play at 0-7. Georgetown also saw its 5-13 overall record go down as the program’s 13th losing season in 13 years — its third under Head Coach Shannon Soares.

The conclusion of this season also marks the graduation of the last group of Hoyas who began their careers under the previous coaching staff, posting a record of 2-16 and 0-7 in the Big East their freshman year. Under Head Coach Shannon Soares and Assistant Coaches Shelly Montgomery and Mary Beth Barham, Georgetown is continuing to rebuild its program from the foundation up.

Coming off of their best season (8-11, 1-4 Big East) in over a decade, the Hoyas began the year with a positive outlook and a record to back it. They started the season undefeated with two straight wins.

It would be almost a month, however, until Georgetown would see its next win, dropping the next seven games by margins as large as six goals. Allowing 27 goals during this drought while only scoring seven goals themselves, the Hoyas struggled to work as a cohesive unit and keep possession. There were occasions when opponents would break into Georgetown’s penalty circle over 20 times in a single half, relentlessly straining the defense and firing shots until the pressure became too much.

In the face of this defensive pressure, senior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki played a crucial role for the Hoyas, as she was often the reason Georgetown was able to keep the score close, despite being outplayed. Skonecki finished the year with 155 saves and one shutout, enough to be ranked 10th in school history with saves at 155, eighth in save percentage at 0.721, third in goals-against average at 3.36 and fourth in minutes played with 1248:30.

Together with Skonecki, senior defenders Molly Thompson and Devin Holmes, junior defender Katie Marasnky and freshman defender Ashley Leverrett rounded out the Hoya back line. Although the departures of these three seniors appear to be a setback for Georgetown, they are well-equipped to fill these gaps.

Maransky, a rising senior, continues to anchor the defense at center back, and Leverrett, who started 12 out of 14 games as a freshman this year, needs to use the experience she gained to take on an even bigger role next season.

Another bright spot for the Hoyas came from freshman forward Lindsay Getz, who finished the season with a team-high seven goals and 15 points, making her the first freshman to lead the team in scoring since Jessica Quinn in 2002.

Like Leverrett, Getz also has to step up next season, especially after the graduation of senior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown. Graves-Brown scored three goals and tallied four assists this year, giving her a third-place finish in points with 10.

She also became the first Hoya to receive three all-Big East selections when she was named to the all-Big East second team last Thursday. The forward received second team honors after her sophomore year in 2014 and was the first member of Georgetown field hockey to win All-Big East first team honors, doing so in 2015.

Next season, the Hoyas look to build upon this year’s results not only in their overall schedule, but in Big East play as well. While the team has seen improvements under Soares in its overall record — 19-36 compared to 7-48 under the final three years of the previous coaching staff’s leadership — Georgetown has still gone 1-16 against Big East opponents since 2014.

If the Hoyas can take the experience of these past three rebuilding years into its 2017-18 campaign, they should have no issue competing with their Big East rivals and moving up in the conference ranks.

Emily Dalton is a junior in the McDonough School of Business.

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