WOMEN'S SOCCER | California Trip Ends in Defeat
Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 01:09
With a blistering six-game winning streak to open the season, the Georgetown women’s soccer team has played its way into the national top 25 once again. If there were any weekend that was likely to spoil an unblemished record, though, it was this past one.
The No. 23 Hoyas (6-1-1) began their West Coast road trip Friday with a 1-1 tie against perennial power Santa Clara (2-2-2) in the first round of the Stanford Nike Invitational in Palo Alto, Calif. But a spectacular offensive effort from No. 5 Stanford (4-1-1) put the Blue and Gray on the wrong end of a 6-0 decision Sunday afternoon, sending them home with their first loss of the young season.
Friday’s match started quietly enough, with neither team on the board when the halftime buzzer sounded, but the second frame was a different story.
Santa Clara senior midfielder Lauren Matheson knocked in an unassisted goal off a deflection just over five minutes into the second half. The Georgetown response came just two minutes later from freshman forward Sarah Adams, who scored from 10 yards out after receiving a feed from sophomore midfielder Daphne Corboz.
But except for that two-minute flurry, the game was a defensive battle. Neither team would score again for the remainder of regulation or in double overtime — largely due to the efforts of redshirt freshman goalkeeper Emma Newins, who tallied a career-high 14 saves for the Blue and Gray.
“Emma was fantastic tonight. She made some terrific stops, including that shot in the first overtime that was just spectacular,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan wrote in a press release, referring to a game-saving block in the 102nd minute.
Adams, senior midfielder Christina O’Tousa and junior forward Kaitlin Brenn all had chances to score in the overtime period, but none of them found the back of the net. The Hoyas were outshot, 20-10, and held only a 2-1 advantage in corner kicks but left the pitch with a draw.
“I don’t think people realize what an important game Santa Clara was,” Nolan said. “In recent years, Santa Clara has been the team to beat in the San Francisco area, not Stanford. … That was the game we felt we needed to go get a result in.”
Georgetown took Saturday off to prepare for a Sunday date with the tournament’s host, which hadn’t lost at home in 56 games. The Cardinal defended its streak in dramatic fashion, lighting up the pitch for six goals on 22 shots while holding their opponents scoreless on only four.
“It was a tough day at the office,” Nolan wrote. “The hard part is that three of their goals came off set pieces, which we’ve defended well, but we didn’t seem to respond after they got the first one. The shame is that I felt we had some pretty good chances in the opening minutes of the game.”
Nolan was referring to Corboz’s three corner kicks in the first 10 minutes, none of which made it past the solid Stanford defense. The Cardinal, meanwhile, stayed off the board until senior midfielder Mariah Nogueira headed in a free kick from senior defender Rachel Quon in the 12th minute.
Nogueira’s header sparked a three-goal rally over the next 22 minutes for Stanford, which allowed the Cardinal to cruise to an easy victory in which five different players scored.
“We shot ourselves in the foot — we gave up four goals on set pieces, between corner kicks and free kicks,” Nolan said.
Georgetown will look to rebound from the blowout loss this Friday at North Kehoe Field, where they will play host to Seton Hall (5-3) at 3 p.m.
“I told them afterward that it just wasn’t our day,” Nolan wrote. “We came out here two years ago and had two tough losses and ended up going to the NCAA tournament and the Elite Eight, so there is a good chance for us to bounce back.”