Charles Nailen/The Hoya After finishing the season with an 11-7-1 record, the Hoyas hope for an NCAA bid.

ESPNews has perennially played third fiddle to its father station and ESPN2. On Monday at 4:30 p.m., however, the station that is only available on digital cable or via satellite, will have the undivided attention of the 18 to 22 age bracket at Georgetown University. The women’s soccer team will be glued to the set to witness what could be school history.

The Hoyas will find out the contents of the 32-team field for this year’s NCAA tournament along with the rest of the country. After losing to Connecticut in the first round of the Big East tournament the Hoyas are done playing for their spot. All that remains for Georgetown to do is turn on the TV and hope their efforts were enough to warrant selection.

This team is familiar with this situation. Last year, Georgetown had a record-breaking season in the win column amassing an 11-7-1 overall record. The Hoyas non-conference schedule, however, was not the strongest that season. This reflected itself in the team’s Big East record of 1-4-1. Although Georgetown only lost to eventual conference champion Notre Dame 2-1, the Hoyas lost to Pittsburgh and were soundly beaten 4-1 by conference power West Virginia.

This year’s team is similar in its wins and losses. The difference appears in the margin of the victories and defeats this fall. The 2002 Hoyas boast a team record of seven shutouts among those 11 wins. Only three of the team’s seven defeats were by more than one goal. The Hoyas also took their biggest win in school history against the same Irish team that outscored them 10-0 two years before.

This season was a showcase of personal achievement for a couple of Hoya athletes. Junior forward Jessie Beers-Altman stands among the leading scorers in the conference while her teammate, senior midfielder Nicole Depalma, led the Big East in assists. These individual efforts along with steady contributions from junior midfielder Courtney Shaub and sophomore forward Casey McCann brought the Hoyas to the top of the offensive standings in the conference.

The season, however, did not begin that auspiciously for the 2002 Hoyas. Georgetown began the season with a 1-0 loss to William and Mary. The Hoyas responded by defeating Howard, but the 9-5 win was more indicative of the Hoyas’ lack of cohesion on defense than of the team’s offensive power.

The Hoyas were unable to solve their defensive difficulties at the Dayton tournament. Georgetown dropped both games in Ohio and behind the eight ball with 1-3 record.

Georgetown regrouped and salvaged its road trip with dominant performances at James Madison and at the Furman tournament. The Hoyas return home marked the team’s first contests against Big East opponents. After outscoring Seton Hall and Pittsburgh 9-0 Georgetown faced the Notre Dame team that has plagued the Hoyas for years.

In an unbelievable see-saw contest on North Kehoe Field, the Hoyas got Notre Dame off their back and sent the Irish home for the fall without a bid to the Big East tournament that they had won the last seven years in a row.

Beers-Altman’s game-winning goal with 23 seconds remaining sent the team and the crowd into a frenzy and gave Hoya fans a memorable image of Georgetown women’s soccer.

The 4-3 victory over Notre Dame was the Hoyas seventh victory in a row in a stretch where the team outscored opponents 28-4. Clearly this was a high point of the season, however, the team knew that many more challenges opponents would follow and the streak would not last forever.

The streak ended three days later at Villanova. The Hoyas then fell into a three-game slide against some of the dominant teams in the conference. These teams victimized Georgetown last year, and the Hoyas were ineffective in reversing the tide in 2002. The same West Virginia team that outscored Georgetown 4-1 in 2001, however, could only muster a 1-0 overtime win this year.

After rebounding with a 2-0 victory at American, the real test of the regular season loomed. Consecutive games at home against the division-leading UConn Huskies and Miami Hurricanes. Unfortunately for the Hoyas both games were canceled, and Georgetown was denied its opportunity to reverse the trend of losing close games to strong teams. This year’s team was also stripped of the chance to gain valuable experience against a Connecticut team that it would later face in the Big East tournament.

“That was frustrating,” senior defender Liza Yannuzzi said. “Those were important games and we wanted to have the opportunity to play those teams.”

“I think we regret that it happened a little. But its out of our control,” senior midfielder Jen Choinere said.

The Hoyas had quite a bit of competitive fire coming off of their seven-day break. The squad went to Queens and beat a strong St. John’s team 1-0. The Hoyas season ended two days later on Senior Day. Despite a biting wind and muddy field, that rainy Tuesday afternoon was a success for the Hoyas.

The Hoyas have done all the lobbying they can on the field. These athletes have competed against some of the best teams in the country. Now all they have to do is watch TV and wait. Easy, right? Not when the goal of your whole season has been to hear your name called next Monday.

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