FIELD HOCKEY | Seniors to Play Final Game
Published: Friday, November 1, 2013
Updated: Friday, November 1, 2013 01:11
In its last game of the season, the Georgetown field hockey team (2-15, 0-6 Big East) will play host to Villanova (3-12, 0-6 Big East) on Saturday at 3 p.m. in College Park, Md. Senior midfielder Caitlin Samela and senior forward Katie Dempsey will be honored as the only non-returning Hoyas in a senior day ceremony prior to the game.
With the Hoyas as young as they are, Samela and Dempsey have added much needed experience to the squad this season. Samela has seen action in seven games this year, while Dempsey has played in all 17 games and recorded a goal against Holy Cross. The two seniors were an integral part of the Hoyas’ rebuilding season and added depth and leadership both on and off the field.
“Being that there are only two of them, the underclassmen really look up to them,” Head Coach Tiffany Hubbard said. “They have the most experience on the team and have really been around the block. They have big personalities in the team, and we’re really going to miss them a lot.”
As the Hoyas look to snap a seven-game losing streak, they are optimistic that the experience of playing two nationally ranked teams will carry over to their game against the Wildcats. While neither team has won a conference game yet, the final Big East faceoff will result in a check in one of the teams’ win columns.
Villanova is also looking to put an end to its winless drought. The Wildcats are currently riding a six-game losing streak. Junior defender Maddy Harding leads the team with six goals, followed closely by junior forward Jessica Swoboda with five. The duo has accounted for the majority of points earned on the team. Wildcat senior goalkeeper Alex Diekmann has just under a .600 save percentage, while Hoya freshman goalkeeper Rosalie Nolen has over a .650 save percentage.
“When we hit the middle of the second half, we seem to fall off a little. I’m hoping the emotion of the last game of the season and Villanova always being a big rival for us will help us overcome that. I already feel like there’s something different about this week that we can bring into Saturday,” Hubbard said.
The key in this game will be shots on goal. If the Hoyas can break through the Wildcats’ defensive line and get opportunities near the net, a win may be in the cards for the Hoyas. The focus will be on sophomore forward Sarah Butterfield. Though Georgetown’s offensive has been quiet as of late, Butterfield’s quickness and skills are bound to be a game-changing in the Blue and Gray’s last game. Butterfield currently leads the team with six goals and one assist for a total of 13 points. She is followed by sophomore forward Emily Weinberg, who currently has two goals.
Though Georgetown has struggled this season, Saturday’s game is highly anticipated due to the emotion surrounding all aspects of the game: Georgetown and Villanova are usually close competitors, especially this year, and that it is the last game for the Hoya seniors will only further motivate the team.
“There’s always a lot of emotion around [senior day],” Hubbard said. “I think it hits home to not only the seniors but to the underclassmen knowing that this is the last game they get to play.”
While the Hoyas have not had much to be excited about this season, the last could bring out the best in the team.
“I think we’ve been fortunate to put a Big East win on the board the past couple of seasons, and it gives us confidence. It helps the league know that we’re coming — slowly but surely, we’re coming,” Hubbard said.