CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Nov. 16 – It seems all good things must come to an end.

For the Hoyas, their magical run ended Friday night at the hands of William & Mary as they fell 2-1 in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

The Hoyas were unable to put themselves on the scoreboard early throughout the season, and the game Friday was no different as they found themselves trailing the Tribe in the opening minutes.

William & Mary, making their 15th NCAA tournament appearance in 16 years, got an early break when Georgetown freshman defender ichaela Buonomo was called for a questionable foul in the fourth minute. Tribe freshman defender Kaitlin O’Connor took advantage of the subsequent free kick, sending it to the top left corner of the goal and past senior goalkeeper Jade Higgins for an early 1-0 lead.

“I thought it was a soft call,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “And sometimes when there is a soft call, it’s a turning point. I wasn’t too happy with the referee’s performance. I don’t feel he affected the game, but I don’t feel that there was a whole lot of consistency with his decisions.”

The Hoyas, in their first NCAA tournament appearance, had little trouble controlling the ball in the first half, but could not create many scoring opportunities. William & Mary’s defense was particularly strong, keeping the normally explosive Georgetown offense at bay, but the Blue and Gray could only blame themselves for numerous offensive miscues.

“We did a good job controlling the ball in the midfield, but when we got to the attacking third I think we were a little anxious and didn’t show much composure,” senior forward Sara Jordan said. “It was definitely something we talked about at halftime, looking to connect a little more on our opportunities.”

After recording one shot each, both sides came out firing in the second half. Georgetown continued to maintain significant possession of the ball, but the Tribe created scoring opportunities in the first ten minutes of the half. Higgins made a great save in the 58th minute, coming out to stop a one-on-one opportunity for William & Mary to keep the Hoyas in the game.

The Tribe found the goal again in the 60th minute, when junior defender Abby Lauer sent a free kick into the box to junior midfielder Danielle Collins, who headed the ball to junior forward Claire Zimmeck on the right side. Zimmeck then headed the ball past Higgins for her 17th goal of the season to put William & Mary up 2-0 with only 30 minutes to play.

As has been the case all season, the Hoyas refused to give up, and went on the attack with a vengeance in the last 20 minutes of the game. Georgetown kept Tribe junior goalkeeper Meghan Walker on her toes in those final minutes with a barrage of free kicks and shots.

“After we went down 2-0, we got mad,” Jordan said. “You could see it on everyone’s faces. And instead of getting mad and giving up, we got mad and started playing amazing. I think in the last 20 minutes, we played some of the best soccer we’ve ever played.”

Jordan, a second team All-Big East selection, went on the attack recording three shots, including two on goal in the second half. In the 78th minute, Jordan found freshman forward Ingrid Wells’ corner kick in a crowd and was able to put it in the back of the net to pull the Hoyas within one goal at 2-1.

“Ingrid [Wells] sent a great corner,” Jordan said. “On corners my role is to stand in front of the keeper, and it came right in to me, and the keeper was out of position and I was able to knock it in.”

With only 12 minutes left in regulation, hope began to spread across the contingent of Hoya faithful who braved the cold and made the journey to Charlottesville. Georgetown gave them every reason to cheer as they continued to attack and create scoring opportunities.

In the 88th minute, freshman forward Daryn Towle tried a header on a pass from Wells, but the ball sailed high and out of play. With only two minutes left, it seemed that the match was safely in the hands of William & Mary, but a Tribe turnover with 30 seconds to play gave the Hoyas one final chance to tie the game.

With just seconds left on the clock, the ball came to Jordan who dodged her defenders and attempted a difficult shot that rolled slowly and painfully just wide of the net. Moments later, time expired on the game and on the Hoyas’ season.

While the loss was difficult to cope with, Nolan said his team can look back on a great season filled with unprecedented success, including a program record 14 wins and a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time.

“We’re all disappointed with the result,” Nolan said after the game. “I told the girls, `Take an hour, and after an hour, I want you to start looking at the big picture and what we accomplished this season and how far we have come this year.’ Hopefully – and this is my hope – it will give the returning players a taste of what it’s like. And now that they’ve tasted it they’ll go above and beyond like my seniors did this year.”

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