FIELD HOCKEY | In Weekend Homestand, Hoyas See Mixed Results
Published: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 00:10
On Saturday, the Georgetown field hockey team (2-8, 0-2 Big East) suffered its worst loss of the season against No. 16 Louisville (7-2, 2-0 Big East) by the score of 8-1. Although the Hoyas entered halftime down by a mere two goals, the Cardinals rallied in the second half scoring six unanswered goals in the last twenty minutes of the game.
Louisville got on the scoreboard just 52 seconds into the game with a goal from sophomore midfielder Elisa Garcia, but the Blue and Gray regrouped and played a phenomenal remainder of the first half, stopping six of seven penalty corners. Even after enduring 13 total shots, the Blue and Gray remained tough and deflected anything that came near the cage. Freshmen goalkeeper Rosalie Nolen allowed only one more goal in the ensuing 34 minutes of play.
“We really played some great hockey in the first half, and the goals Louisville did score were ones that we couldn’t do much about,” Head Coach Tiffany Hubbard said. “We were very proud of the girls — it was a really exciting 35 minutes of play.”
After failing to capitalize on two penalty corners with no time remaining in the first half, Georgetown came out determined after the break and got on the board with a goal from senior forward Katie Dempsey. On yet another penalty corner, sophomore midfielder Louise Chakejian took a shot from the top of the circle and Dempsey deflected it into the back of the net. It was Dempsey’s first goal of the season and would prove to be the Hoyas’ only goal.
After cutting Louisville’s lead in half with the goal from Dempsey, neither side was able to score for the next 15 minutes. But with only 20 minutes remaining, the Blue and Gray watched helplessly as the Cardinals took control, scoring six goals to take the game 8-2. Although Georgetown was an even competitor for the majority of the game, Louisville raised its play to another level and proved that it was worthy of its No. 16 ranking.
“Louisville scored two quick back-to-back goals, and that took the wind out of our sails. Whenever you give a team of that caliber too much time, they’re going to score. As soon as we let up, they took advantage,” Hubbard said.
The Hoyas responded to Saturday’s loss with a 4-3 win Sunday against St. Louis (1-9, 0-0 Atlantic 10). Again, the opposing team scored early as Billikens junior forward Jami Alexander put the ball past Nolen in the second minute of play, but the Hoyas did not give up. Georgetown’s offensive line drove into St. Louis’ defensive third when the ball found its way to sophomore forward Sarah Butterfield’s stick. Butterfield intercepted a pass in the circle and slipped the ball into the cage on a one-on-one match up with sophomore goalkeeper Tori Westhead.
“We didn’t play too well in the first half,” Hubbard said. “The girls were all pretty frustrated, especially after coming off the previous game. We needed to step up and play our style. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked.”
With a tie going into the second half, the Blue and Gray knew that in order to pull away, the offense would have to build on the solid defense. When sophomore midfielder Emily Weinberg took a shot from the top of the circle, sophomore midfielder Meghan Murphy was there to deflect the ball into the net.
Seconds later, St. Louis tied it up off a penalty corner. Georgetown struck again when Weinberg and Murphy reversed roles. This time, it was Murphy assisting Weinberg to her second goal of the season to put the Hoyas up. It looked as though the Blue and Gray were home free with just under five minutes to go in the game, but the Billikens’ leading scorer, junior forward Faith Mackin, deflected a shot from outside the circle past Nolen.
“We have such a young team that unique situations like the late goal happen. Luckily, the goal gave us a new challenge — overtime — which allowed us to redeem ourselves,” Hubbard said.
Regulation ended in a 3-3 tie, which brought the teams into two 15-minute, sudden-death overtimes. The first overtime proved to be a stalemate, neither team yielding an inch. With a little over three minutes to play in the second overtime, freshmen forward Aliyah Graves fed the ball to the team’s go-to player, Sarah Butterfield. Without hesitation, Butterfield rammed the ball home past the goalkeeper to clinch the victory.
The Hoyas take on Saint Francis (3-3, 0-0 Atlantic 10) next on Friday in College Park, Md.