FIELD HOCKEY | Hoyas Face Mighty Huskies Next
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 01:10
The Georgetown field hockey team (2-11, 0-4 Big East) has been outscored 15-2 in its past three contests. Not only is the offense failing to produce, but the defensive wall has been almost nonexistent. In its most recent game, Georgetown fell to Rutgers (8-5, 0-2 Big East) 5-0. The Hoyas were unable to get a single shot on goal, but managed to hold the overwhelming Knights to five goals — the smallest of victories. Although Georgetown has had an unfortunate season so far, the team still has a chance to make noise in the Big East with three conference matchups remaining. The Hoyas also have two more out-of-conference games ahead.
The Hoyas begin this weekend against field hockey powerhouse No. 2 Connecticut (12-1, 3-0 Big East) on Friday. The Huskies have yet to lose a conference game and are shaping up to be serious contenders in the NCAA tournament.
Although Connecticut has multiple standout players, senior forward Marie Elena Bolles was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week for her three goals and two assists in a performance that helped Connecticut dominate in a two-win week. While Georgetown has a Big East star itself in sophomore forward Sarah Butterfield, Head Coach Tiffany Hubbard acknowledged the challenge ahead for the Hoyas.
“We definitely have a tough part of our schedule coming up. I think it’s a unique opportunity that not a lot of teams get to have. We’re trying to approach it in that way. … There’s a lot of excitement around it, instead of what could be dread,” Hubbard said.
Aside from the numerous awards Connecticut players have received this season, Head Coach Nancy Stevens’ recent accomplishment outshines them all. With a win this past Friday over No.15 Louisville, Stevens made NCAA field hockey history by becoming the coach with the most wins. Stevens has a history of coaching phenomenal teams, but this year, the Huskies are in especially rare form.
The Hoyas will continue their home stand in College Park, Md. on Sunday when they face off against Liberty (9-4, 4-0 NorPac). The Lady Flames are currently on a four-game winning streak, including a 9-1 victory over Appalachian State last Sunday. Although this is a non-conference game, it will give the Hoyas an opportunity to get ready for the two remaining Big East games and hopefully improve their overall record.
The Lady Flames have prevailed all season, repeatedly earning NorPac Weekly Honors. This week, sophomore forward Natalie Barr and her sister, freshmen midfielder Serena Barr, received the honor. Natalie Barr was named the NorPac Offensive Player of the Week after racking up five goals and four assists last week. Serena Barr received Rookie of the Week as she notched two goals and two assists in the same timespan. Liberty has received NorPac honors in six out of seven weeks.
“With [Liberty’s] resources, they’ve put together a very strong program,” Hubbard said. “If we can take what we learn from UConn and apply that to Liberty, I think that we can give them a better game than we think.”
The Hoyas are looking for anything to spark their play. With a four-game losing streak and just two wins this season, a defensive stand or offensive surge — or preferably both — needs to materialize in order for the Hoyas to do well.
“[The confidence] is not too bad right now. It does get hard every week when you’re facing these teams, but we do have a lot of forward thinking girls who realize we’re young and we have a lot of talent. They all do a really good job of keeping it all in perspective,” Hubbard said.
While Georgetown’s record and play has been on the downhill as of late, the team remains determined. With an upcoming weekend facing superior opponents, the Hoyas are nevertheless looking to notch an unlikely win in at least one of the two matchups.
“If we had been playing the way we are now at the beginning of the season, things could have been different,” Hubbard said. “We’re just playing teams that are substantially better than us in the conference right now.”