JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Junior midfielder and captain Louise Chakejian set up Georgetown’s only goal of the game, which was scored by freshman forward Megan Parsons.
Junior midfielder and captain Louise Chakejian set up Georgetown’s only goal of the game, which was scored by freshman forward Megan Parsons.

Despite several second-half comeback attempts and consistent defensive efforts, the Georgetown field hockey team (1-2) fell to the Lock Haven Bald Eagles (3-1) on Sunday in a 2-1 affair.

Under first-year head coach Shannon Soares, Georgetown aims to build a new team style based on unity and an offense-oriented game strategy. However, Soares believes that the Hoyas fell short of meeting this goal on Saturday.

In particular, a lack of ball movement slowed the offensive momentum that the Hoyas have been working so hard to build.

“All week we focused on doing the simple [things] well, and not making our lives more difficult than they needed to be in terms of the way that we chose to move the ball, and to be quite honest, we didn’t do enough of that,” Soares said.

The Hoyas proved strong in the midfield and put together successful transitional plays, but were lacking in polish on their simple fundamental skills in order to build a truly united offense.

“As a coach, you want [your team] to be very refined in terms of fundamental skills and letting the ball do the work a lot of the time, and too often, when you’re playing in an individual way, you don’t really have time to do that,” Soares said. “We need to do a better job of focusing on the simple things and taking care of business in terms of letting the ball do the work.”

The Bald Eagles snuck in one goal during a fairly even-paced first half. Midway through the second half, Lock Haven extended the lead to two. Freshman forward Megan Parsons scored Georgetown’s lone goal of the game off of a penalty corner from junior midfielder and captain Louise Chakejian, with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Hoyas picked up the pace after the goal, but the Bald Eagles kept possession during the last five minutes of the game to kill the clock.

Ultimately, Lock Haven was the more threatening offensive presence on the field, outshooting Georgetown 19-3. Despite several off-target shots and a solid performance from Georgetown sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki, Lock Haven’s attack generated enough scoring opportunities to pull away with the victory.

If the Hoyas had closed the shooting gap, Soares believes the game could have ended differently.

“[Creating scoring opportunities] is all about penetrating your opponent’s circle,” Soares said. “I think when we were able to do that we had a positive outcome in that attacking circle. We took three shots, and out of those three shots we scored a goal. That’s a great percentage for success, but we’ve got to get into the attacking circle more, and in order to do that, we’ve got to move the ball quickly and find open teammates.”

Although the day ended in a loss, it marked a significant milestone for the program, as the Hoyas played on the MultiSport Facility for the first time since 2007. Prior to this season, Georgetown traveled to College Park, Md., for games and practices. This change is one of many ways that the program is building a new and positive team image.

Soares says that playing on campus, despite the game drawing just 236 spectators, brings pride and renewed energy to the team.

“Without a doubt, it was a really positive day for us as a program,” Soares said. “[It was] a great moment for our student-athletes to walk out of that locker room and onto their own field. It gives us a sense of identity on campus. It gives them an opportunity to work and protect that home field.”

The Hoyas will be on the road this weekend when they take on Holy Cross (2-2) on Saturday and Brown (2-0) on Sunday.

In preparation for the weekend, Georgetown will go back to the basics this week during practice in hopes of improving on Saturday’s performance.

“We’re going to keep working on those simple things,” Soares said. “That’s really what we need to focus our effort on.”

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