Field Hockey | Hoyas Attempt to Improve Offense


Junior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki had 11 saves in her team’s 1-0 loss to Rider, maintaining the shutout until Rider scored a goal with 16 seconds left.

The Georgetown field hockey team (0-2, 0-0 Big East) is hoping for a successful season following two close losses during its opening weekend. The Hoyas lost 1-0 in their first game of the season Aug. 28 to Rider (2-0) before falling to Davidson (1-1) in another 1-0 result Sunday.

Rider junior forward Carlie Spaeder broke a scoreless tie with 16 seconds left in the game, handing the Hoyas a heartbreaking loss. Georgetown junior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki had 11 saves, and the Hoyas totaled six shots on goal. Junior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown had two shots on goal, and sophomore forward Megan Parsons and junior midfielder Maria McDonald each had a shot.

Senior midfielder Melissa Funsten scored Davidson’s first goal of the season, helping the Wildcats to their second win over the Hoyas in the teams’ last three meetings. Georgetown had 12 penalty corners compared to Davidson’s seven.

Despite humid weather and hot temperatures, the Hoyas had no problem transitioning from preseason to regular season play. Senior forward Sarah Butterfield, who started in all 18 games of her junior season, is excited for the team’s potential as it gears up for regular season competition.

“Summer was a lot of just fitness, and actually, everyone came into the season extremely fit, which was awesome to see,” Butterfield said. “Everyone passed two-thirds of our fitness tests, which was really exciting.”

The Hoyas will play against the LaSalle Explorers (1-1) Friday afternoon at MultiSport Facility. The Hoyas beat the Explorers 6-4 at the beginning of the 2010 season, but lost 4-1 in 2011. Georgetown will also face St. Francis (0-2) on Sunday. Butterfield explained that the Hoyas’ upcoming weekend will be a chance to redeem mistakes the team made in its first two home contests.

“Our opening weekend didn’t turn out how we had hoped in wins and losses,” Butterfield said. “Our home opener, although we had a lot of opportunities, we didn’t execute on them, which was kind of what hurt us. I don’t think we played poorly by any means, but a few mistakes here and there resulted in a goal by our opponents. However, we played a lot better on Sunday. Our passes were on, we just weren’t there to finish. Our team is really looking forward to this season and to put those goals in the back of the cage.”

The Hoyas hope to improve on their achievements of last season, when they picked up six wins, their most since 2010. Additionally, Georgetown hopes to improve in the statistical categories of goals scored, goals against, shutouts earned, goal differential and home attendance. Despite the two losses, Butterfield does not believe her team is at a disadvantage and believes they can rebound.

“A big thing that we are looking to take from the past two games is that we can’t undermine our opponents,” Butterfield said. “I think coming out of the past weekend with two losses has really lit a fire under us, and we want to come out fighting this weekend. None of us wants another loss, which is one thing we are going to use to move forward. We’ve watched a bunch of film on ourselves and our opponents and after watching that film, our team will be able to make the proper adjustments and pull off some wins.”

Georgetown will face a challenging conference schedule with a host of tough Big East foes this season. Nonetheless, Butterfield is optimistic that the Hoyas can notch a solid number of conference wins.

“Our goal is to win two Big East games, which will get us into the tournament, which is something Georgetown hasn’t really done before. Last year, we didn’t have any Big East wins as we are in a very tough field hockey conference,” Butterfield said. “Our other girls are on a game-by-game basis, trying to take as many shots as possible.”

Georgetown will face LaSalle Friday and St. Francis Sunday. Both games will take place at Multi-Sport Facility at 1 p.m.

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