Eden Ghidel/For The Hoya Junior midfielder Meghan Devaney knocks the rock upfield. Georgetown mustered a strong second-half display to earn its first win since its season opener.

Four weeks after their season-opening victory against Longwood, Georgetown field hockey finally picked up its second win of the season, 3-1, over University of Maryland at Baltimore County on Saturday. The Hoyas improve to 2-7 after breaking their seven-game winless streak, while the Retrievers fall to 1-7.

“We’re happy with the win,” senior midfielder and co-captain Leeanne Rizzo said, noting that the team’s success was keyed by the strong second half play of several Hoyas, including senior midfielder Beth Gagnon and freshman forward Jen Kosloski.

“[Now] we don’t have to focus on the loss,” she added. “We can focus on how we play the game and not worry about the outcome.”

Following last Wednesday’s defeat against American University – in which the Eagles dominated offensively in the second half and turned a 2-1 halftime deficit into a 6-3 triumph – Georgetown entered Saturday’s contest with the goal of remaining on the attack and preventing another of the second-half letdowns that have plagued the team this season.

“We just tried to set the tone from the beginning of the game,” Rizzo said afterward.

Against UMBC, Georgetown again employed its trademark quick start when senior forward Dionna Jordan opened the scoring just 1:16 into the game. Jordan drove in from the right side after picking up a loose ball and scored unassisted, notching her second goal of the season and first since a 3-2 loss against St. Joseph’s on Aug. 31.

Just over five minutes later, the Hoyas extended their lead to 2-0 on a penalty shot from senior defender and co-captain Lauren Galbally, her fourth goal of the season and third in the last two matches.

Georgetown resumed the attack immediately, adding another goal only 2:55 later, and once again victimizing the right side of the UMBC defense. Gagnon’s pass found the stick of sophomore forward Jessica Quinn, who put away the shot for her team-leading ninth goal of 2003.

The Hoyas did not let up on the offensive end for the duration of the half, winning several more corners and applying pressure against the Retrievers’ back line. UMBC junior goaltender egan Polek made seven saves in the period, and forced several Georgetown point-blank shots just wide of the cage.

At the break, the Hoyas carried a massive 17-4 advantage in shots, in addition to a 6-2 lead in corners. However, they were careful to emphasize the importance of keeping up the intensity level in the second stanza and finally taking advantage of their strong play in the first 35 minutes.

Nonetheless, it appeared as though another breakdown might be on the way when the Retrievers cut the lead to 3-1 in the third minute of the second half. Freshman attacker Julie Moore converted a centering pass from junior midfielder Jennifer Rowe after a UMBC corner, putting the ball past Georgetown freshman goalie Caitlyn Faller.

For the next several minutes, the Hoyas appeared to be falling back on their heels, getting away from the successful attack up the right side that they had employed so effectively in the first half.

After a timeout with 12 minutes remaining, the Hoyas gathered themselves and resumed the pressure, winning several corners in a row and sending a pair of shots just wide of the net. Keying the Hoya rally was Kosloski, who came off the bench to put three shots on goal, though she didn’t score.

In the waning moments of the game, Georgetown went back on the defensive, finishing the half even in corners (5-5) and holding only a 9-8 advantage in shots. But before the game could get away, the defense held fast and the clock expired to give the Hoyas their second win of 2003.

“We’ve struggled to get that win, but we had confidence today. We’ll want to play like we did in the first half [in our next game] on Saturday and focus on what we did well,” head coach Laurie Carroll said.

She added that, though the Retrievers played a solid game, it was a bit of a break after playing opponents with winning records in each of their last three games. “Our last three opponents have all been very good teams. UMBC was basically in the same boat we were in.”

Carroll noted that her team still had some struggles in the second half, even though they escaped with a win. “We’re great in practice – we’re well-prepared. We just need to get mentally stronger,” she stated. In preparation for their next match, the Hoyas will be happy to take several positives from this Saturday’s win, knowing that they can now make several adjustments and focus on returning to their winning ways over the remainder of the season.

Georgetown will host Rutgers University next Saturday on Kehoe Field at 1 p.m.

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