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Freshman midfielder Kelly D’Ambrisi

An aggressive Villanova team was no match for Georgetown Friday, as the Hoyas bested the Wildcats 3-0 in their Big East opener.

The blowout was only the second time that Georgetown has come out on top in the past 15 match-ups against Nova, as well as the first time in four years that the Hoyas have won their conference-opener. The Hoyas dealt the Wildcats their first loss of the season, ending their seven-game winning streak. Georgetown improved to 6-0-1 on the year after the win.

Junior forward Toni Marie Hudson was again a standout in Friday afternoon’s game, scoring two goals for the Hoyas and bringing her season total to a team-leading seven scores.

“Toni’s always been a player capable of doing what she’s doing,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “She is starting to show some of the potential we had hoped for. Her general play has improved a lot. She defends from up front, creates chances, she’s brave, strong and fast . the light bulb has finally gone off.”

Hudson and the rest of the offensive lineup wasted no time in attacking the Wildcats’ defensive unit. Not even 10 minutes into the first half, the Hoyas seized an offensive opportunity when freshman midfielder Kelly D’Ambrisi passed off to sophomore midfielder Caitlin Durkee in the thick of the Villanova defense. Durkee dished a pass off across the box to Hudson, who flipped a shot into the goal with her back to the Wildcat goaltender, junior Molly Williams.

The Hoya offense continued to penetrate Wildcat territory as the first half wore on, with Durkee banging a close one off the goalposts and an attempt by junior defender Norah Swanson missing over the top of the goal. Despite the offensive attack, Villanova found some opportunity to score as well. Nova drew four corner kicks in the first half and had one direct header at the Hoya goalposts, but the shot was denied by a quick save from sophomore goaltender Jackie DesJardin. While the Wildcats kept the ball on the Hoyas’ side of the field for the waning minutes of the first half, the Hoya defense, led by sophomore Michaela Buonomo, freshman Gabby Miller, senior Laura Snyder and Swanson kept them from finding the back of the net.

Villanova, with one of the highest-scoring offenses in the Big East, continued to pressure the Hoyas in the second half, but Georgetown’s defense showed new strength as it continually denied the Wildcats’ advances.

“The back four were great on Friday,” Nolan said. “Particularly Gabby, who was playing in her first Big East game. Our whole team was great defensively. Everyone contributed.”

The defense’s strong play also resulted in some offensive opportunities for the Hoyas. When DesJardin made a save late in the second half, the Wildcat defense found themselves unready for the Hoyas’ counter attack. The scuffle led to a throw-in for freshman Samantha Baker, a lofted pass that found Hudson, who drilled in her second goal of the game.

inutes later, another long throw from Baker found D’Ambrisi in front of the Wildcats’ goalposts, and the freshman kicked one past Williams for the Hoyas’ third goal of the contest and D’Ambrisi’s first score of the season.

Georgetown 2, Penn 2

Coming off of the stellar performance on Friday afternoon, the Hoyas faced the Pennsylvania Quakers on Sunday at North Kehoe Field. The flawless play the Hoyas showed on Friday seemed to be missing in the start of Sunday’s game.

“I understand exactly what our kids were going through,” Nolan said. “After the big conference game on Friday, it was difficult to switch hats and play with the same intensity in a non-conference game.”

Barely 10 minutes into the game, Penn penetrated the Georgetown defense and worked a goal past DesJardin and the rest of her defenders to put the Quakers up 1-0. Twenty minutes later, after several offensive attempts from Georgetown missed their marks, the Hoya defense was broken again as Penn scored its second goal of the game.

But the Hoyas were not going to let their undefeated record be taken away without a fight. DesJardin made several well-executed saves to keep the Quakers from running up the score in the second half, and Georgetown finally capitalized on some offensive chances in the closing minutes. In the 77th minute, another long throw-in across the box from Baker found senior Nicole Smith, who rifled a shot past the Quaker goaltender for her first goal of the season, slicing the Penn lead in half.

Only minutes after that score, a pass from downfield connected with the arm of a Penn defender, and the Hoyas were awarded a much-needed penalty kick. Hudson took the shot and blew one by the Quaker goalie to tie the game up 2-2.

Despite half a dozen corner kicks in the final minutes of the game, the Hoyas were unable to get another goal on the scoreboard, so the game headed into overtime. The Hoyas could not convert six corner kick tries during the extra frame, so the game ended in a draw, bringing Georgetown’s season record to 6-0-2.

Two Georgetown players were recognized by the Big East for their impressive weekend performances: Freshman Samantha Baker was named to the Big East Honor Roll, and Toni Marie Hudson was honored as the Big East Offensive Player of the Week.

Georgetown next heads to Seton Hall for their second Big East game of the season on Friday with a 7 p.m. kickoff.

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