Field Hockey | Graves-Brown Sparks Offense with 3 Goals

The Georgetown field hockey team (8-7, 1-2 Big East) had a successful weekend with two victories, bringing its total to eight wins on the season and surpassing the number of wins it had all of last season. Georgetown defeated Big East rival Villanova (4-10, 1-2 Big East) 2-1 in overtime Friday at Cooper Field, then travelled to New York and beat Colgate (0-13, 0-4 Patriot League) 3-2.

Head Coach Shannon Soares stressed the importance of the Villanova win to her players, as well as to the field hockey program as a whole.

“Friday was a big matchup for us against a conference rival and a team Georgetown hasn’t been victorious over in the last 18 years. We were excited to be able to host them at home for the first time in 11 years as opposed to their neutral site. We faced a lot of adversity in that game, and our whole staff was really proud of our team’s resilience, and we played the whole 70 minutes of that game,” Soares said.

Against Villanova both teams were kept scoreless in the first half until junior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown scored with 33 seconds remaining to put Georgetown on the scoreboard. Graves-Brown drove into the circle with only one defender and shot right past the goalie.

Georgetown was able to preserve its one-goal lead for much of the second half. However, Villanova senior forward Heather Smillie managed to break through the Hoyas’ defense to score her sixth goal of the season to tie the game.

The teams then played a 15-minute overtime period. After two shots went wide for Villanova, Graves-Brown scored the game-winning goal with four minutes left.

The overtime goal was Graves-Brown’s fourth of the season. Sophomore forward Megan Parsons, junior midfielder Maria McDonald and freshman midfielder Sam Hickey all had shots on goal for the Hoyas. Junior goalie Rachel Skonecki had 11 saves.

Sunday, Georgetown travelled to upstate New York to play Colgate, where weather conditions were not ideal and snow caused a 40-minute delay.

Despite freezing conditions, Graves-Brown managed to score at the 17-minute mark. The Hoyas maintained that lead heading into the second half until junior forward Emily Brash scored for Colgate on a long range shot to tie the game.

Less than a minute later, Georgetown freshman forward Helena Masiello picked up a turnover and quickly shot and scored to give the Hoyas back their lead. Parsons scored another goal for Georgetown off of an assist from Graves-Brown, increasing the team’s lead to 3-1.

Freshman forward Caroline Schaefer scored off a penalty corner for the Raiders at the 51-minute mark, and although they put pressure on the Hoyas with three penalty corners and two shots, they were unable to sneak past Skonecki and the rest of the defense.

The Hoyas had 17 total shots on goal, including four from senior forward Sarah Butterfield and four from senior midfielder Emily Weinberg.

Georgetown’s total of eight wins in the season is one more than it had last year and six more than the year before. Soares is proud of the immense progress her team has made.

“We’re in year two of this new culture and vision, and hopefully a new tradition for Georgetown field hockey. It’s also important to remember that this is a process and you can’t just flip a switch and just become a winning program. I give a lot of credit to our athletes who are diving into this mission and process and making the changes that we want to see,” Soares said.

The Hoyas will travel to play Temple (3-12, 0-2 Big East) this Friday in Philadelphia. If Georgetown defeats its conference opponent, it will have earned two wins against Big East teams, enough to qualify for the Big East tournament.

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