WOMEN'S SOCCER | After Eight Wins, NCAA Berth In Sight for Georgetown
Published: Friday, September 21, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 21, 2012 01:09
Midway through the season, the No. 19 Georgetown women’s soccer team (8-1-1, 2-0-0 Big East) has its sights set on making the NCAA tournament, which it missed out on a year ago.
The squad has a chance to make its case even stronger this weekend when it plays host to conference opponents Connecticut (5-3-1, 1-1-0 Big East) and Providence (7-2-1, 2-0-0 Big East).
Despite the Hoyas’ 15-6-0 overall record last season and their win over defending national champion Notre Dame, the NCAA committee still felt there was something missing from their profile.
“The argument was that we didn’t have enough resume wins,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “We had a number of wins, and we didn’t really have bad losses, but we didn’t have any banner wins.”
Because of that experience, Nolan is impressing on this season’s team that simply beating lower-ranked competition won’t be enough.
Up 4-0 at halftime against Seton Hall (6-4-0, 1-1-0 Big East) last Friday, the coach urged his team to continue to press forward.
“A good team will go bury this team. A good team will go for the jugular,” Nolan said afterward. “Are we a good team?”
His team answered him loud and clear, closing out the Pirates, 8-0.
“They did their talking with their feet,” Nolan said. “We came out and we could have won by 10.”
Going into last Sunday’s game against Rutgers (7-3-0, 0-2-0 Big East), Nolan’s message was considerably different.
This was the type of banner win the NCAA committee would be looking for, a road game against a top-20 team. The Blue and Gray responded with one of its best efforts of the year, dominating the Scarlet Knights and picking up the valuable conference road victory.
For their strong performances, sophomore midfielder Daphne Corboz and junior defender Alexa St. Martin earned offensive and defensive Big East player of the week honors, respectively.
Corboz registered her first career hat trick against Seton Hall, and her offensive prowess has been on display all season as a focal point of the Hoya attack. St. Martin has been a key to the strong Georgetown defense but earned acclaim this past weekend by shutting down Rutgers redshirt junior striker and Canadian national team member Jonelle Filigno.
“Alexa was fantastic,” Nolan said. “We challenged her. We told her, ‘If we’re going to win this game, it’s very important you do a good job on Filigno,’ and she was exceptional.”
St. Martin and the rest of the Hoyas’ back line — ranked second in the Big East in goals allowed per game — will have to do a similar job against Connecticut this afternoon.
“[The Huskies] also have a very good player up front,” Nolan said. “First and foremost, we need to do the same job on her, but I think these guys have a little bit more on the offensive side than Rutgers or Seton Hall has.”
That striker is senior Danielle Schulmann, who has already registered nine goals and six assists on the season, standing out even in comparison to Corboz’s seven goals and four assists.
The Hoyas’ second opponent this weekend will be Providence — winners of six in a row — whose reputation has been steadily improving.
“They’re probably in a similar spot to where we were about four years ago, where you’re trying to get over that hump to be a consistent, good team,” Nolan said. “Because they’re such a young team, there’s not a whole lot of feet there. They don’t know, maybe, that Georgetown’s supposed to be better. They’ll probably play with the freedom to go after it.”
Both weekend games will take place at North Kehoe Field, where Georgetown has thrived this season.
“It makes a huge difference, because you’re playing on the surface you train on,” Nolan said. “Every time you play at home, you’ve got to get something from the game and then hope you can go on the road and get some results as well.”
The Hoyas take on the Huskies at 3 p.m. today before hosting the Friars Sunday at 1 p.m.