ISABEL BINAMIRA FOR THE HOYA Georgetown sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki registered nine individual saves against the Owls Friday. She has 81 saves on the year, and three shutouts in her 14 starts, good for 3.96 goals allowed per game.
ISABEL BINAMIRA FOR THE HOYA
Georgetown sophomore goalkeeper Rachel Skonecki registered nine individual saves against the Owls Friday. She has 81 saves on the year, and three shutouts in her 14 starts, good for 3.96 goals allowed per game.

The Georgetown field hockey team (5-10, 0-4 Big East) suffered a tough loss against No. 16 Temple University (12-5, 3-1 Big East) on Friday afternoon at the MultiSport Facility. Though they lost by a final score of 4-0, the Hoyas played a competitive first half against the victorious Owls. Georgetown entered the home matchup on a high note, having defeated Colgate 3-0 last week to break a five-game losing streak.

Owls senior forward Amber Youtz is the NCAA Division I leading scorer of the season, and she entered Friday’s game with 21 goals in 16 matches. After several attempts in the first half, Youtz capitalized in the 23rd minute with a powerful shot past Georgetown sophomore goalie Rachel Skonecki after an initial deflection to make the score 1-0. The Owls had 18 shots overall after the first period, while the Hoyas did not register a single shot on goal.

Georgetown Head Coach Shannon Soares commented on how the Hoyas prepared to defend Youtz.

“We knew we were going to be competing against one of the top teams in the country and one of the most dangerous forwards in the country, Amber Youtz,” Soares said. “We made our kids aware of it and watched a lot of film. It’s hard to mimic that speed in practice, but we focused on how we can decrease the amount of space we can give her on the ball and really play a little bit of denial hockey with her. When she receives the ball, she very much attacks the circle and has a relentlessness to her that makes it very difficult on the opposing defense.”

The Hoyas defensive line came out tenacious at the start of the second half, but Youtz scored in the 54th minute with an unassisted shot past Skonecki from the center of the circle. Four minutes later, Youtz shot and scored again after gaining control following a corner, with an assist from senior midfielder Nicole Kroener. The two goals in quick succession quickly gave the Owls an even bigger lead, leaving the Hoyas with a three-goal deficit.

Even then, Georgetown was unable to stop the bleeding, as just one minute after the second goal, in the 59th minute, sophomore forward Katie Foran scored her fifth goal of the season, taking advantage of Youtz’s initial shot, which was saved and deflected. At the end of the game, Temple had registered 27 shots compared to Georgetown’s two, and the Owls had 19 total corners compared to just two for the Hoyas. Despite giving up the four scores, Skonecki had nine total saves and another solid performance in the back.

“Despite the loss, when we played our game, connected passes and put the team first we were able to get some shots on their goal and play a good couple minutes of hockey. We always just have to work on response. When we get scored on we can’t keep our heads down and have to just get back,” Skonecki said.

Coach Soares also praised her goalie.

“I’m really, really proud of Rachel and all of the hard work she has put in. Her confidence has carried her well recently and she also has three strong backs in front of her that have been able to withstand a significant amount of pressure from the last two to three games,” Soares said.

Even though the Hoyas had few shots on goal, the defensive line proved its strength and ability to shut down a power offensive team, especially in the first half when it kept Temple to just one goal. Sophomore defender Molly Thompson had two incredible saves and fellow sophomore defender Devin Holmes held down the back again with another strong game.

“The back three did extremely well. Molly Thompson, Devin Holmes and for most of the game [sophomore defender] Hailey Vann and [senior forward] Molly Denzel were both in there and came up with two or three defensive saves, and I wouldn’t want to have anyone else in front of me,” Skonecki said.

With only three games remaining in the season, the Hoyas hope to learn from this loss to prepare for their match against Liberty University (10-7, 4-0 NorPac).

“We’ve got three games remaining on our schedule and for us, it’s about taking pride in each one of those games. We want to work toward our best to represent Georgetown in the best way possible,” Soares said.

Soares believes that improved core fundamentals are the key to future success for the Hoyas.

“I’ve said it all season, but it’s simple hockey,” Soares said. “It’s passing and trapping and playing two to three trap possessions. When we try to take the ball one on one and we play as a bunch of individuals, it does not suit us well as a team. We don’t haveone or two superstars, but the best way we are going to be successful is by playing team-oriented hockey.”

The Hoyas will play the Liberty Flames on the road Tuesday at 4 p.m. in Lynchburg, Va.

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