As the Hoyas prepare for their first Big East game of the season this evening at Notre Dame, they hope history will repeat itself.

The Hoyas have beaten the Fighting Irish nine out of the 12 times the two teams have squared off. The rankings give Georgetown the slight edge – but barely, with Georgetown at No. 6 and Notre Dame at No. 9.

The teams’ records don’t tell too much. Notre Dame has started off strong, with an 8-1 record. Additionally, it won its Big East opener against Rutgers convincingly, 18-9. The Hoyas are 5-3 so far, but with two of the losses coming to the two top-ranked teams in the country, Duke and Northwestern. While the Fighting Irish have thrashed most of their opponents, this may not be a true indicator of their success in the rest of the season. Their only match against a top-10 team was against Northwestern, and they were trounced, 21-5. Despite not having played a regular season match, the Hoyas may have the upper hand in experience.

Georgetown will have to track and defend senior attack Jill Byers, Notre Dame’s captain and all-time points leader. Second to Byers in goals scored this season is junior attack Gina Scioscia, with 24. Byers and Scioscia both get a lot of opportunities and take advantage of them, with .485 and .533 shot percentages respectively. The Fighting Irish have outscored their opponents, 145-98. They also have a total of 98 caused turnovers, as compared to 52 for their opponents.

The Hoyas have had lower-scoring games than the Irish have, with a total of 91 goals-for and 78 goals-against. Like the Irish, the Hoyas lead their opponents in nearly every major statistical category except one – forced turnovers. Offensively, the Hoyas’ three goal and point leaders are junior attack Molly Ford, sophomore attack Jordy Kirr and junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner.

At the end of this weekend, the Hoyas will not just be one game into their league season, but two. On Sunday, they will travel to New Jersey, taking on Rutgers. Though overconfidence should be avoided, the Hoyas will be heavy favorites in this matchup. Notre Dame played its first league match against Rutgers and won comfortably, 18-9. Rutgers is not ranked and has had a weak start to its season, at 3-6.

On paper, Notre Dame and Rutgers are hardly the Hoyas’ two toughest opponents. However, the matches are significant ones, particularly after the Hoyas’ disappointing loss to North Carolina last Saturday. The opening faceoff against Notre Dame is set for 8 p.m. today.

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