Published: Friday, August 30, 2013
Updated: Friday, August 30, 2013 11:08
As the Big East begins its new era this year, the Georgetown field hockey team will look to capitalize on the conference’s realignment and register its first winning season in 10 years.
The Hoyas, who are coming off a disappointing 2-17 overall and 0-6 Big East season, return 13 players, eight of whom saw significant action last year. But there are holes to fill as 10 seniors graduated, including point, goal and assist leader Annie Wilson and starting goalkeeper Briana Pereira.
Georgetown will open their season this afternoon as they play host to Davidson at College Park, Md., at 1 p.m. This is the fourth consecutive year in which the Hoyas have played the Wildcats during their opening weekend, and they have unfortunately lost the last three. Despite that, the Hoyas have played them close, forcing two of the games into overtime. Last year, Davidson defeated Georgetown 4-0, but both teams are coming in with drastically different rosters this year.
“Davidson is always a great team for us to open against. They are physical, they are fast and I think they are a team we match up really well with,” Head Coach Tiffany Hubbard said. “Being that we have opened with them and all the girls remember the overtime [games], it is a game that has a lot of excitement around it too.”
Despite losing their top two scorers, the Wildcats are a veteran squad, as 17 of their players are returning from last year. This includes senior forward Tyler McFayden, sophomore midfielder Melissa Funsten and sophomore forward Anna Davis, who each scored four goals last season — more than any returning Hoya.
Georgetown will look to capitalize on the inexperience of Davidson’s goalie. Senior goalkeeper Carolyn Macek received limited action last year, but her two games’ experience is two more than any other Wildcat goalie on the roster.
“Davidson did graduate two big players last year, and one of them was their goalie. But as much as we want to harp, ‘Freshman goalkeeper – lets go get her!’ she could be at the level that our freshman goalkeeper is at,” Hubbard said.
Following today’s contest, the Hoyas will return Sunday to play host to Rider at College Park, Md., at 1 p.m. Coming off a 15-6 overall and 6-1 Northeast Conference season, the Broncs are the preseason pick to win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and will be tough competition for the Hoyas.
“Davidson is a team that we play on a consistent basis, so we feel like we have a better gauge on where they’ll be. Rider, we don’t really, and that’s not a bad place for us to be right now,” Hubbard said. “We can go in and worry about the style of hockey we’re playing. Obviously [Rider] is going to give us a good game though.”
The Hoyas will look to slow down the Broncs’ senior forward Sandra Penas. Penas was selected as the MAAC Preseason Player of the Year and currently sits third on Rider’s all-time scoring list with 133 career points.
Although Penas is just one of the many stars on the Broncs’ offense, they do have some questions at goal. After having rotating goalies last season, the Broncs have named sophomore goalie Joelle Prettyman as the starter.
“Although we may seem young with only two seniors, we are playing a different level of hockey and so we are trying to go week to week and gauge our success by how we are growing as a team week by week,” Hubbard said.
Georgetown take on Davidson this afternoon. Face-off is slated for 1 p.m. in College Park, Md.