Despite going down a goal twice throughout the course of the game, Georgetown field hockey (2-0) rallied to a 4-3 overtime victory against Appalachian State (0-2) on Sunday. The victory comes off the heels of a 3-1 defeat of Davidson (0-2, 0-0 Atlantic 10) last Friday, giving Georgetown its best start since 2010.
“We played against a tough Davidson squad on Friday night, and I thought the product we put out on the field was a positive one, but we also had a lot of adjustments to make from Friday going into Sunday,” Head Coach Shannon Soares said.
Although the Hoyas were able to notch four goals and ultimately come away with a win, Soares hopes the team can improve on their execution in the attacking circle as they move forward with their season.
“We had difficulty finishing in our attacking circle. I think we penetrated their circle 42 times in that match and earned 10 penalty corners, but didn’t execute on a single one,” Soares said. “All of our goals were scored off of open play, so moving into this weekend, we’ll really look to execute in the attacking penalty circle and find positive outcomes in that space.”
Although Georgetown will face both Rider and Monmouth this weekend, its sole focus leading up to Friday’s game has been on the Rider Broncs. “Our preparation style is one where we focus on our first opponent all week prior to that match. We take it one game at a time, and we never look ahead of that next game,” Soares said.
“All of our preparation has been making adjustments from footage that we’ve seen of ourselves, and in addition to that, preparing for what is going to be a very fit and fast and gritty Rider squad on Friday night.”
As the Hoyas look to extend their winning streak, Coach Soares credits her team’s dedication and commitment to being in their best shape to compete as the driving force behind their undefeated opening weekend.
“I think this group did a great job of coming back fit, which was step number one in the process,” Soares said. “This summer we put a real focus on coming back prepared and ready to play 70 minutes of hockey in a given match, and 140 minutes of hockey in a weekend, which over the span of three days is a lot of work for your body.”
Additionally, Soares acknowledged her players’ willingness to learn not only from the coaching staff, but also from each other, as a crucial component to their success on the field.
“Step number two is being focused and disciplined throughout a difficult preseason, and we thought they did a really good job with that,” Soares said.
“We introduced some new concepts and spent a lot of time focusing on team dynamic, but I think the most special thing about this group is that we’re now in year three of restructuring this program, and this group has done a phenomenal job of leading from the inside out.”
According to Soares, it is the Hoyas’ ability to feed off of each other and build team chemistry that has allowed them to be so successful on the field.
“I think the best teams in the country are the ones that are internally led, and our group is doing a really good job of taking accountability and ownership of themselves as individuals and also as a group,” Soares said. “It’s been really fun to watch from the outside looking in.”
This leadership is seen not only from experienced upperclassmen, but also from freshmen players who have already started to make an impact on the team.
“Your hope and wish as a coach is always that your freshmen will be impactful when they arrive on campus in August and that they will make us better. I surely think that’s the case with this group,” Soares said.
“Michaela Bruno scored our first goal of the season off of our first attacking penalty corner against Davidson, and then freshman Lindsay Getz scored two goals in the App State game, and those goals were both critical to us winning that match, so that’s a big deal.”
While Bruno and Getz have both shined on the offensive end, freshman defender Ashley Leverrett has been holding her own as a reliable force on Georgetown’s back line.
“I think the unsung hero here in the freshman class is probably Ashley Leverrett, who is starting for us at left back and played 140 minutes of hockey last weekend and did a fantastic job of playing poised,” Coach Soares said.
“She very much looks like an upperclassman when she’s out there. She is a very intelligent player who takes care of the ball and makes smart decisions. We’re just really excited she’s here along with the remainder of the freshman class.”
Ultimately, it is the entire team’s effort that will lead the Hoyas to achieve their highest goals. “I think everybody brings a really important piece to this puzzle, and together we make a pretty special group, so I’m excited for the future,” Soares said.
“We have our work cut out for us, and we have to continue to focus on one game at a time, and respecting and appreciating the process, but if we do that I think we’ll reap what we sow.”
Georgetown will face Rider this Friday at 7 p.m. and Monmouth on Sunday at 12 p.m. Both games will be held in New Jersey.
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