FILE PHOTO:JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Junior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki saved eight shots in her team’s 1-0 overtime victory over Virginia Commonwealth Sept. 11. Skonecki has started all 24 of her team’s games in the past two seasons.
FILE PHOTO:JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA
Junior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki saved eight shots in her team’s 1-0 overtime victory over Virginia Commonwealth Sept. 11. Skonecki has started all 24 of her team’s games in the past two seasons.

The Georgetown field hockey team (3-2) had a successful weekend to finish a stretch of home games, defeating Virginia Commonwealth (1-4) 1-0 in overtime last Friday. The Hoyas currently boast a three-game winning streak going into their matchups with Lock Haven (6-0) and Lehigh (1-4) this weekend in Pennsylvania.

Junior defender Devin Holmes scored the game-winning goal for the Hoyas 13 minutes into overtime against VCU, while junior goalie Rachel Skonecki had another solid game in goal. She saved eight shots in 83 minutes of play, stopped 14 penalty corners and currently has a .900 save percentage on the season. Skonecki was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week, while Holmes was awarded an honorable mention.

Skonecki, who has started all seven games in goal in addition to starting 17 games last season, credits much of her success to her coaches and teammates.

“We have a wonderful goalkeeper coach this year, in addition to all the great coaches I’ve had in the past, and I’m just building on what they’ve taught me in the past and bringing in a new perspective. I just try my hardest in practice every day and want to get better for my team,” Skonecki said.

Head Coach Shannon Soares was proud of her team’s win against VCU but stressed the importance of taking the season game by game.

“The win against VCU is something we should be proud of. The kids worked really hard and it was a gritty, physical match against a tough opponent, but it was really no more than that. We quickly turned the page and were back here on Sunday morning at 7 a.m. preparing for a really tough opponent this coming Saturday. We’re proud of the VCU win and will help use the momentum for Saturday against Lock Haven, but we have a new focus against a new opponent that will give us a run for our money,” Soares said.

Lehigh has lost its last three games but has scored nine goals on the season and is a very powerful and aggressive team, recording eight green cards and 40 fouls.

Lock Haven has not lost a game this season and has had some decisive victories against Colgate and Towson. The Bald Eagles are coming off a 3-0 win over William and Mary (3-3). Lock Haven has scored 16 goals this season, five of which have been scored by senior forward Rachel Valentine.

Skonecki is not worried about her opponents and hopes to build on a strong week of practice.

“We’re just trying to keep the momentum going. We’ve had a couple great days of practice and we’re focusing on what we can control,” Skonecki said. “We’re playing two solid teams this weekend and are focusing on how we can prepare. We’re also looking at the transition from the turf we play on at home to AstroTurf, so we need to note the changes to be prepared at all angles.”

Holmes still leads the team in goals this season with two, while junior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown, senior forward Sarah Butterfield, junior defender Molly Thompson and freshman forward Helena Masiello have all scored one. This weekend is important for the Hoyas, as building on their improvement and continuing to play as a team will be crucial in mid-October during Big East play.

The Blue and Gray plays its first Big East game against Providence Oct. 2.

“Our goal is still to make it to the Big East Tournament, and to do that, we need to win at least two Big East games,” Skonecki said. “All of our Big East games are in the second half of our season in October and each game we’re preparing for helps us for the Big East games later on. The next game we play is always the most important, but we’re always focused on the long term goal of the Big East Tournament at the end of the season.”

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