Despite the inconsistency that has marred its season, Georgetown field hockey has finished with a winning record for the third year in a row. A 1-0 shutout – the Hoyas’ sixth this season – over Bucknell ends the regular season with a 9-8 record. The team now awaits next week’s selection committee decision on its 2002 playoff future.

Though the score would indicate a close contest, the stat sheet more properly reflects the Hoyas’ fiery showing on Sunday afternoon. After 35 minutes of play, the Hoyas held an edge in corners, 6-1, and had also outshot the Bison by a 7-3 margin. In spite of the impressive numbers, the teams went into halftime locked in a scoreless tie.

With fewer than 10 minutes remaining in the contest, the attacking Georgetown forwards gathered another corner. After junior midfielders Beth Gagnon and Shelby Samperton corralled the bouncing ball, junior defender Lauren Galbally buried her fourth goal of the year to put the Hoyas up for good.

Galbally was impressed with the Hoyas’ performance on the whole, saying, “We capitalized on only [one] corner . but the forwards did a good job getting corners. On defense, we did a good job keeping the ball out of the circle. The two seniors [forward Michaela Brown and goaltender Jessica Herring] played great.”

Head Coach Laurie Carroll was also impressed with the overall performance. “It was nice to get the corners. I thought we played well from the goalkeeper all the way up to the forward line. It was one of our forwards’ best performances.”

For the match, Georgetown finished with an 18-6 edge in shots, and also held a 10-2 lead in penalty corners. Herring blanked the Bison with four saves, while Bucknell goaltender Sonja Wettergreen stopped nine shots.

“It makes my job difficult sometimes [when we’re on offense so much] because I’m standing, but the defense did a good job. A lot of their transitions were broken up, and it made my job easier,” Herring said.

Herring called the shutout victory in her final regular-season game, a “great gift from the team. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s a great feeling.”

Carroll was very pleased with the outcome for her two senior captains. “They played excellent. Jess has been outstanding all year, and this is the best performance [Michaela] has had all year. They were both very inspiring to their teammates,” she said.

Georgetown will not know for some time, however, if it will receive an invitation to the ECAC Tournament. The selection committee will be meeting in the next week as the conferences complete their schedules, and will make a decision early next week. “Hopefully, they will overlook the first three games and we can sneak in,” Herring said, referring to the teams’ three losses to open the season.

“We’ve lost in the first round the last few years, so we won’t let that happen again,” Galbally added. “[We need to] feed off the performance against Bucknell.”

Even with her squad’s playoff future up in the air, Carroll was very happy with the outcome this season. “As a team, we were very inconsistent,” she said. “But as for talent, this is the best Georgetown team we’ve ever had. I’m pleased we got through the challenges we faced. It’s been the most enjoyable team I’ve coached.”

Carroll added, “The leadership we got from the junior class was important. It was my first recruiting class . the majority of them have played a lot since their freshman year and they have become great leaders. They helped our captains, and they helped the younger players come along.”

With such an optimistic view of an up-and-down year, Georgetown field hockey has high hopes for its postseason prospects. “I think this program is going to continue to grow and to flourish,” Herring said. “We could be a consistent top-20 team.”

For the time being, a winning record and a strong finish will have to suffice as the Hoyas await the selection committee’s decision next week.

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