Hoyas Earn Quarterfinal Berth
Published: Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 00:10
The No. 11 Georgetown women’s soccer team entered the weekend looking to make history — and that was exactly what it did.
The Hoyas (14-1-2, 7-0-1 Big East) won their first Big East division title and clinched a bye to the Big East tournament quarterfinals by defeating Notre Dame and DePaul.
Georgetown began the weekend with a resume-building win, knocking off No. 24 Notre Dame (11-4-2, 7-1-1 Big East), 2-0, on Friday at North Kehoe Field. But facing a formidable opponent and battling difficult weather conditions, the Blue and Gray struggled in the first half.
“The weather had a lot to do with [our slow start],” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “It was really difficult because every time we tried to pass the ball, the wind would hold it up and we couldn’t adjust to that difference.”
But in the second half, with the wind now at their backs, the Hoyas came alive. Just five minutes into the half, junior forward Colleen Dinn collected a blocked cross from junior forward Kaitlin Brenn and drove the ball past the Notre Dame keeper.
“It was a pretty even game up to that point, and we definitely needed the break early to really get into gear,” Dinn said. “[After that] we did a great job keeping it in their half. Everyone was hungry for a goal after that and we broke them down a little bit.”
Notre Dame had an opportunity of its own in the 60th minute, but freshman keeper Emma Newins made a beautiful diving save to preserve the 1-0 Hoya lead.
“I thought there were two crucial moments. First, Colleen made a great play on the goal. That gave us a little bit of energy when we needed it,” Nolan said. “Then, Emma made a fantastic save and stopped [Notre Dame] from gaining any momentum.”
In the 74th minute, the Blue and Gray’s leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Daphne Corboz, scored the final goal of the match by tapping in a cross from sophomore forward Audra Ayotte to put the team up, 2-0.
“You had probably the two best teams in our division trying to compete for a divisional crown, so [the win] does mean a lot. Also for the NCAA, it will be a significant game for the resume,” Nolan said.
The weekend would only get better from there, with Georgetown defeating DePaul in a 1-0 overtime thriller.
The Hoyas’ offense was held in check throughout regulation, as the Blue Demons packed the box and prevented Georgetown from finding any holes. But DePaul’s defense could not contain Georgetown in the end, with the breakthrough coming in the eighth minute of overtime.
Junior forward Kaitlin Brenn flipped the ball to sophomore forward Vanessa Skrumbis off of a free kick taken by junior defender Mary Kroening. Skrumbis then lofted the ball over the DePaul keeper for the golden goal, giving the Hoyas the 1-0 win.
“Once it gets into overtime, anything can happen on a set piece. We felt that that it was always going to be scored on by a mistake or a moment of brilliance,” Nolan said. “But thankfully for us, [Skrumbis] made a great play to put the ball in the back of the net.”
The Georgetown defense, which posted its twelfth shutout of the season, held DePaul to only one shot in the game.
“[Our defense] has been fantastic,” Nolan said. “It has been crucial for us to get Emma back in goal because she gives us so much confidence and when you need her to make a save, she does.”
With the weekend wins, Georgetown claimed the Big East National Division crown for the first time ever and sealed a bye to the Big East quarterfinals.
“It is a great reward for the kids for all the work they have put in. Every year I challenge the [players] to make their own history,” Nolan said. “I challenged this group not to recreate someone else’s legacy, but … to do something no one else had done.”
Having already made history, Georgetown will have a chance to begin the next chapter on the right foot when it travels to Villanova Friday for its final regular season game.