WOMEN'S SOCCER | After Strong Start, Hoyas Cruise
Published: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 01:10
Whether it was thanks to the beautiful fall weather or the visitors on campus for parents’ weekend, one of the largest crowds of the season turned out to Shaw Field on Sunday afternoon to watch the No. 15 Georgetown women’s soccer team take on Creighton. The Hoyas (13-1-2, 5-1-1 Big East) did not let to hometown fans down, scoring twice in each half on the way to a 4-0 win over the Blue Jays (9-6-1, 2-4-1 Big East).
On paper at least, the match closely resembled Georgetown’s 4-0 victory over St. John’s last Thursday: In both, the Hoyas scored twice in each half to beat a team closer to the bottom of the Big East table than the top.
But for Head Coach Dave Nolan, results are no indication of quality of play, and Sunday’s victory was far more satisfying.
“I was happy with the effort today,” Nolan said. “We always talk about coming out strong and coming out fast because we’re that type of team. Last year, we did it a lot, but this year, it’s seemed like it’s taken us a little bit longer to get into [the game].”
That was the case against St. John’s last Thursday, when the Red Storm generated several dangerous chances before Georgetown was able to find a groove. But on Sunday the Blue and Gray asserted their dominance from the start.
“We came out a lot stronger than we did against St. John’s, and that allowed us to get into a rhythm,” junior midfielder Daphne Corboz said. “I think it was an overall good performance.”
Corboz was a major part of that performance, jumpstarting the scoring when she slipped a deft ball through the Creighton defense to senior midfielder Kailey Blain in the 17th minute. Blain controlled the ball with a touch and then blasted it past freshman Blue Jay goalkeeper Danielle Rice for her fifth goal of the year.
Less than 15 minutes later, Corboz would contribute a goal of her own to give the Hoyas a 2-0 lead heading into halftime.
“We got a couple of good goals in the first half,” Nolan said — high praise coming from the demanding coach.
It was one of the more consistent halves of the season for the Hoyas. Sophomore midfielder Marina Paul played a large role in the center of the pitch, making tackles and distributing the ball, while senior outside back Colleen Dinn and sophomore outside back Sarah Adams got forward repeatedly to help out the attack.
“Colleen is an attack player who’s playing in the back, and Sarah is an attacking player who’s playing in the back,” Nolan said. “So for both of them, their first tendency is to go forward. There are times it hurts us because we get caught on counterattacks, but having [senior defender Emily Menges, senior defender Alexa St. Martin and senior defender Mary Kroening] back there gives those guys confidence.”
Indeed, the few chances Creighton did manage to generate in the game were almost exclusively on the
counterattack. The threats proved manageable for the Georgetown defense however, who allowed only one shot on net all game.
“As long as our defense stays compact and drops at the right time [while defending the counter attack] we’re good,” senior defender Mary Kroening said. “Then we always have Emily’s speed behind us.”
Georgetown would add to more goals in the second half, both scored by junior forward Vanessa Skrumbis.
The win extended the Hoyas’ unbeaten streak on Shaw Field to 19 straight games and the shutout was the second in a row for a Georgetown defense that gave up four goals last Sunday in a loss to Marquette.
“It’s our job as the defense to get the shutout and we had a rough performance against Marquette,” Kroening said. “We wanted to make sure we changed our mentality to not let any crosses off, any shots off or any opportunities.”
Combined with Marquette’s 1-0 victory over third place DePaul on Sunday afternoon, the win gave the Hoyas some breathing room for second place in the conference. With only two matches remaining in the regular season, Georgetown appears unlikely to catch Marquette atop the table, but a runner-up finish is nonetheless important as it guarantees a bye through the first round of the Big East tournament.
The Hoyas have a full week off before their match next Sunday against Villanova (6-7-3, 3-3-1 Big East).