After losing consecutive games for the first time all season to DePaul and Notre Dame last weekend, the Georgetown women’s soccer team has no time for reflection as the Hoyas head up to New York to take on St. John’s (12-5-1, 6-5-1 Big East) on Sunday in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament.

The Blue and Gray have played an up-and-down season to this point. After surging to seven victories in their first eight games, with the only loss being to a Santa Clara team that is now ranked in the top 15, the Hoyas slumped to a 1-2-2 record in their next five games. Until the recent road trip, a

four-game home winning streak had Georgetown looking like it was back on track. As they head into the Big East tournament, the Blue and Gray hope that last weekend’s stumble was an aberration,

rather than the beginning of another slump.

“Overall I was very happy with how we played [against Notre Dame],” Head Coach Dave Nolan reflected. “The DePaul game was disappointing; the kids know they didn’t play well . It’s good that we still have at least another game to go.”

That game, while important to the Hoyas if they want a shot at the Big East title, is doubly important for their NCAA tournament aspirations. After going unselected for the tournament as an at-large team last year, the Hoyas would like to make their selection as obvious as possible by making a deep run in the conference tournament. Standing firmly in their way, however, is a potential semifinal matchup with Notre Dame if Georgetown can find a way past St. John’s.

“I think we definitely need to beat St. Johns,” Nolan said. “That may be enough to squeak us in, or, if we can go beat Notre Dame, that should be enough to put us in. We control our own destiny. If we win our next two games, I think we’re well in [the tournament].”

If the Blue and Gray barely miss out on the tournament for the second straight year, there are three results in particular that might hurt them the most: a 3-3 draw at Pennsylvania, when Georgetown lost a 3-0 lead in the last 17 minutes; a 1-1 draw at Seton Hall; and the recent overtime loss at DePaul.

The Hoyas might not be in the conversation at all, however, if they cannot find a way to go on the road and get a win against the Red Storm. That is easier said than done, as St. John’s has a stellar home record of 7-2, highlighted by wins against Indiana and Connecticut. On the flip side, the Blue and Gray have often seemed to be a different team away from the friendly confines of North Kehoe Field, where they are 8-2 on the year. Georgetown’s 2-3-2 record away from home – including a 1-3-1 mark in Big East play – is reflective of the fact that the Georgetown defense has yielded more than twice as many goals per game on the road (1.57) than at home (.7). Unless the Hoyas can fix these defensive problems, they could be in for a long 90 minutes against the Red Storm.

Beyond the NCAA selection implications that this tournament has for the Hoyas, Nolan simply would like his team to have another shot to prove itself against Notre Dame, especially on a neutral site.

“If we can go beat St. John’s on Sunday, that means we’d [likely] get another run at Notre Dame the following weekend up in Connecticut,” Nolan said. “We’d really like another run against them.”

Regardless of what happens in the tournament, the Hoyas have shown that last season’s 13-win effort was no fluke, and that this rising program will be a threat for years to come.”

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