On the heels of a key victory against nonconference opponent Longwood University (6-5, 0-1 Mid-American) last Sunday, the Georgetown field hockey team (4-8, 0-2 Big East) aims for its first Big East win of the season against Liberty (4-6, 2-1 Big East). Liberty is a newcomer to the conference, and the game will take place this Saturday at noon in Lynchburg, Va.
The Hoyas have rebounded from a seven-game losing streak, winning two of their last three games. Senior back and co-captain Molly Thompson emphasized the team’s energy after the win at home last weekend.
“Longwood was a great game for us,” Thompson said. “They’re a really tough opponent and we really had a lot of fun playing them. They’re a competitive team that’s having a good season, and getting a solid win against them is super exciting.”
After jumping to a 4-0 lead early in the game, the Hoyas applied enough defensive pressure to hold the Lancers scoreless for nearly 60 minutes. The second consecutive home win for Georgetown saw sophomore forward/midfielder Helena Masiello score twice, and overall the team recorded 21 shots on goal. Both Thompson and Head Coach Shannon Soares recognize the importance of continuing this trend of offensive energy in upcoming games.
“At this point in the season, all games are important to us, and we want to keep the momentum from Lehigh and Longwood into Liberty,” Thompson said.
“I think there’s been great energy from our group the past three games,” Soares said. “Our ability to possess and penetrate their circle was something that I was really proud of.”
Both Thompson and Soares expressed excitement about travelling to Lynchburg to play Liberty. Georgetown currently sits in seventh place in the Big East standings, and a win against the No. 4 Flames — winners of three of their last five games and sporting a plus-eight goal differential (18-10) — on their own field would give the Hoyas even more momentum to ride through the final six games of the regular season.
“We want to treat every game like a conference game, but we will definitely be more excited about a win against such a great opponent,” Thompson said.
Soares echoed Thompson’s sentiments, pointing out Liberty’s potential competitive edge over Georgetown.
“Any conference opponent is always going to bring their very best, and Liberty is a well-coached, energetic group that we’re excited about playing,” Soares said.
Though the Hoyas’ 21 shots against the Lancers was their second-most recorded shots of the season, the team has had trouble consistently remaining on the attack for entire games. Soares noted that Georgetown has been paying particular attention to two-on-one situations as a focal point during practice this week.
“We’ve talked a lot about being relentless on offense and defense, something we did well against Longwood and have to in order to beat Liberty,” Soares said.
According to Thompson, scoring early has been integral to the team’s success this year. Striking first offensively will again play a significant role in Georgetown’s matchup with Liberty.
“We’ve been working on having an attacking mindset early, as we’re much better off when we score first,” Thompson said. “We’re both energetic teams, so beating them early on with a goal is a key focus for us.”
Looking forward to Sunday, Thompson emphasized that Georgetown must meet Liberty’s intensity on the field as a conference rival. She added that the Hoyas must also use this game as a chance to improve their conference play.
“We need to match and exceed their energy, and take advantage of the opportunity we have to improve our [in-conference] record,” Thompson said.
“Any game is an opportunity to change and create your own moments, especially at this point in the season when you’re facing tough conference opponents,” Soares said. “We’ll look for any moment we can to do that next game.”
Play will begin at noon tomorrow at Liberty. After this game, Georgetown will face the No. 2 Providence Friars (9-3, 2-1 Big East) at Cooper Field on Oct. 14.
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