FILE PHOTO: LAUREN SEIBEL/THE HOYA Senior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown has a team-high two goals and two assists this season. She has taken 13 shots and leads the team with six points.
Senior forward Aliyah Graves-Brown has a team-high two goals and two assists this season. She has taken 13 shots and leads the team with six points.

After a tough weekend on the road, Georgetown field hockey (2-6, 0-1 Big East) looks to turn its season around this Friday as it hosts No. 17 Old Dominion (4-3, 0-1 Big East) in the second home game of the year at Cooper Field. The Hoyas will then play again on Sunday, facing off against the Lehigh Mountain Hawks (1-6, 0-1 Patriot League).

The Monarchs are coming off of a pair of losses, dropping games to the undefeated and then No. 5 Connecticut Huskies (7-0, 1-0 Big East) on Friday and the James Madison Dukes (5-2) on Sunday, both by a score of 2-1. Lehigh, like Georgetown, is looking to snap a six-game skid.

Despite extended periods of strong defensive fronts in recent matches, Georgetown has struggled to keep its opponents off the scoreboard. This weekend, the Hoyas hope to revive the tenacity they displayed at the beginning of their 2016 campaign, during which they won their first two matches.

Even though the scoreboard has not shown the most ideal results as of late, the Hoyas have managed to keep a majority of their games within a close margin. This feat is due in large part to the efforts of senior goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki and her back line.

Skonecki has made a total of 74 saves so far this season, including three games with double-digit saves. Last Sunday, she made 10 saves in the opening 38 minutes of play.

“My role every game is to play the best I can, to give us the best chance we can to win,” Skonecki said. “Working with our defense, it’s a unit back there. We have to almost read each other’s minds and communicate to know who’s going to step, who’s going to fall back and who’s going to get the ball out, so it’s really a team effort. Not one person does it alone.”

On Friday, the Hoyas should be especially wary of the Monarchs’ freshman forward Erin Huffman, who leads her team with four goals. Old Dominion senior forward Casey Dolan and junior forward Danielle Grega trail by just one, with three goals each.

While the Monarchs possess a skillful front line, the Hoyas have a handful of talented forwards who have also managed to find the back of the net on multiple occasions. Like the Monarchs, a freshman leads the Hoyas in scoring.

Freshman forward Lindsay Getz holds a team-high three goals, followed by four other Hoyas: senior Aliyah Graves-Brown, freshman Michaela Bruno, sophomore Sam Hickey and sophomore Helena Masiello, who have all scored twice. Additionally, Graves-Brown and Bruno have each tallied two assists this season.

As it heads into this weekend’s competition, Georgetown looks to create offensive opportunities and to execute on the potential penalty corners, which it has been working hard on at practice to improve.

This weekend’s match is a critical one for the Hoyas, not only for their record, but also for team morale. The team will be taking the field with something to prove, and hopefully hard work will pay off and the results will go their way come Friday afternoon.

“We need to put up a big fight. This is a great time to turn our season around and get some W’s, show the Big East who we are, show the NCAA who we are, so not only are we looking for a W, but we’re looking for a statement. We’re looking for something to show the world,” Skonecki said.

Georgetown is set to take on Old Dominion on Sept. 23 at Cooper Field at 1 p.m.

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