FIELD HOCKEY | Hoyas Face Nation's Best
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 01:10
After an uphill season, the Georgetown field hockey team (2-13, 0-5 Big East) faces its most challenging weekend yet. The Hoyas will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to play No. 17 Temple (12-4, 3-2 Big East), before heading back to College Park, Md., to play No. 1 Maryland (15-1, 4-0 ACC). The Blue and Gray have been working diligently to ensure defensive strength, but playing two nationally ranked teams in three days poses a daunting challenge.
Temple is coming off a two-game winning streak, and with the return of junior forward Amber Youtz, who has scored three goals after returning from an injury just over a week ago, the team is playing competitively. Youtz leads the team in goals with 13, followed by senior midfielder Molly Doyle, who has eight. Ten different Owls have contributed goals this season. On Sunday, Temple dominated Drexel, but won only 1-0 on a penalty stroke. Like the Hoyas, the Owls have had trouble finishing.
“We had a tough weekend last weekend, but it definitely gave us perspective,” Head Coach Tiffany Hubbard said. “This weekend, we want to put a full game together, and hopefully we’ll see something correlate in terms of shots and goals.”
The Hoyas’ focus will then quickly turn toward Sunday when they take on the best team in the country. Maryland was flawless all season, until last Sunday, when the team lost 3-2 to Old Dominion. Additionally, the Terps have a highly anticipated game against No. 5 Virginia prior to their match against the Hoyas. Senior forward Jill Witmer leads Maryland with 14 goals on the season, and she missed three games earlier in the season to play with the U.S. National Team in the Pan American games in September. She also received ACC player of the week honors in early October.
The game will be played in College Park, Md., on the Hoyas’ usual home field; however, they will be the away team. In the battle of the home field, the Terps are the clear favorite. While Georgetown will look to give Maryland a competitive game, the two teams are at different levels.
“Playing a non-conference team that is ranked so high is a special thing. Although Georgetown and Maryland haven’t played each other a lot, two big schools facing off is always fun. There’s a lot of excitement surrounding the game,” Hubbard said.
While playing some of the best teams in the country can be intimidating, it will give the Hoyas something to grow on. Taking things away from a game and implementing them in future play is just as important as playing the actual game. Georgetown’s final game of the season is against Villanova (3-10, 0-5 Big East).
“We need to focus on ourselves and improve. We’re playing good teams this weekend, but we’re also playing Georgetown. We want to take what we learn and bring that into our last game against Villanova, where all of our emotions are going to be, and hopefully get a win,” Hubbard said.
The Hoyas will play host to Villanova on Saturday, Nov. 2 for their senior game. Because the Blue and Gray did not qualify for the playoffs, this will be the last game of the 2013 season.