WOMEN'S SOCCER | Big East Schedule Begins With Pirates
Published: Friday, September 14, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 14, 2012 00:09
Although the No. 23 Georgetown women’s soccer team (6-1-1) emerged with only one of a possible six points on their West Coast road trip last week, Head Coach Dave Nolan doesn’t anticipate changing much going into two weekend games.
After a hard-fought 1-1 draw with perennial power Santa Clara (3-2-2), the Hoyas were embarrassed by No. 5 Stanford, 6-0. But Nolan thinks there is more to those games than the box score suggests.
“When I looked at the game again last night, I came [out of it] with a much better feeling for the game because we actually played quite well,” Nolan said. “So there’s nothing you can really do, other than continue to train how you’ve always defended.”
While the Hoyas had allowed only three goals in seven games before encountering Stanford, their opponents in that match put up twice that many over the course of just 90 minutes. Three of the Cardinal’s goals came off set pieces, something the Blue and Gray did not allow until their 20th game last year.
“Against a good team that’s dangerous on set pieces, maybe we were just a little bit naive or a little bit complacent,” Nolan said. “We’ll certainly go over them, but we’re not going to change anything.”
Nolan’s bigger worry is the mental state of the team going into this weekend, with discouragement over the loss to Stanford still lingering.
“I talked to the group a little bit yesterday, and today we’re going to go watch some of the game,” Nolan said on Wednesday. “I want them to see that we played well, but the mistakes we made are very preventable, and if we had lost 1-0 or 2-0 to Stanford, I think maybe we would have come out of the weekend feeling much better about ourselves.”
Despite the impact of the loss on his team, Nolan doesn’t regret going for the win against the Cardinal.
“It was my decision to go toe to toe with Stanford. We could have done what the majority of teams in the country do, which is sit back, get all 10 players in your half, and try and lose narrowly,” Nolan said. “But I had more confidence in this team. … I felt if we played it a certain way, [then] we would get chances … and essentially, we did. We got chances: We didn’t score them, but we got them.”
While Georgetown works to regroup from the defeat, it will face two Big East teams as it opens league play this weekend, including a road date with No. 16 Rutgers.
Before the Scarlet Knights, however, the Hoyas get Seton Hall (5-3) on North Kehoe Field this afternoon.
The Pirates have been shaky this season, losing 6-2 to LaSalle last weekend. As was the case for the Blue and Gray last time out, though, Seton Hall likely deserved a better fate.
“It was the exact same game as us against Stanford,” Nolan said. “LaSalle scored six times on maybe six chances, but Seton Hall scored twice off six chances, so it was a very even game.”
After losing three in a row, the Pirates will be desperate to get back on track in a season they started with five straight wins.
“We lost a tough one last year up at Seton Hall, 3-2 double-overtime loss, where on the night we played quite well and deserved something from the game, but when you get into golden goal opportunities, anything can happen,” Nolan said.
While the Hoyas will be seeking revenge this afternoon, they will be on the receiving end when they travel to New Jersey to face No. 16 Rutgers on Sunday.
“We absolutely battered [Rutgers] here last year, and they were having a difficult year. Now they’re 7-1, and they’re probably looking at us and saying, ‘That’s the game we want back.’ So I think we’re going to get that kind of emotion.”
With Big East play opening this weekend, Georgetown must do well to maintain a good position in the National Division, where the Blue and Gray were tabbed third in the preseason poll.
“It’s early in Big East play, and everybody’s jockeying for points,” Nolan said. “There is going to be a little bit of an edge in both of those games.”
The Hoyas take on Seton Hall at North Kehoe Field today at 3 p.m. They then face Rutgers in Piscataway, N.J., Sunday at noon.