WOMEN'S SOCCER | GU Falls to Marquette 0-4, Beats St. Johns 4-0
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 01:10
Fresh off a three-game road trip, the No. 15 Georgetown women’s soccer team returned to Shaw Field Thursday afternoon for a match against St. John’s. The trip concluded Sunday in Wisconsin, where the Hoyas (12-1-2, 4-1-1 Big East) suffered a 4-0 defeat to No. 20 Marquette (12-3-0, 5-0-0 Big East) in a rematch of last year’s Big East tournament final. It was the first loss of the year for the Blue and Gray.
The four goals were the most a Georgetown defense had conceded since a 6-0 loss to Stanford last year, and the result dropped the team from sixth to 15th in the national rankings, so it was crucial for the Hoyas to bounce back against the Red Storm (7-4-3, 1-3-2 Big East).
On paper, at least, that is exactly what they did. The Hoyas scored twice in each half en route to a 4-0 win over the Red Storm. Head Coach Dave Nolan, who concentrates more on his team’s performance than its result, did not see the victory in such a positive light.
“We played much better in the Marquette game than we did today,” Nolan said. “I’m honestly surprised. I thought we’d really come out and give it to [St. John’s], but we didn’t.”
It certainly appeared that Georgetown was experiencing a bit of a hangover from the disappointment of the Marquette loss in the opening minutes of the match. The Red Storm’s offense, spearheaded by the country’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Rachel Daly, was aggressive from the starting whistle.
Daly’s talent was immediately apparent. The sophomore probed the Hoyas’ defense with precision, creating numerous chances that required Georgetown redshirt sophomore goalie Emma Newins to come up with several quality saves.
For the Georgetown defense, it took a while to grow accustomed to the tactics they were using to mark Daly.
“Before the game, [Nolan] assigned me to follow [Daly] to whatever side of the field she was on,” senior defender Emily Menges said. “I think after the first five minutes, we started to handle her a little better.”
Indeed, it was the Hoyas who got on the board first in the 20th minute with a bit of quality passing in the offensive third of the pitch. Senior defender Colleen Dinn played a hard ball on the ground from outside of the 18-yard box to senior forward Kaitlin Brenn, who was at the corner of the six-yard box. Brenn slid the ball across the front of the goal to senior midfielder Kailey Blain, who put it in the back of the net.
Five minutes later, Georgetown would add another when a cross hit by Brenn found sophomore midfielder Marina Paul at the penalty spot. Paul headed the ball past Freshman Red Storm goalie Diana Poulin to put the Hoyas up 2-0 heading into halftime.
“I was very disappointed with our first half performance. I thought we were fortunate to be up at all in the game,” Nolan said. “I thought they were better in the first half. Emma made a couple of key saves for us, and Emily made a few last-ditch tackles.”
In the second half, the Hoyas seemed to settle down and find their rhythm. Junior forward Audra Ayotte scored one of the team’s best goals of the season on a powerful volley in the 63rd minute, and leading scorer Daphne Corboz added a fourth goal on a free kick with 30 seconds remaining in the match.
Apart from the dicey opening minutes, the Georgetown defense largely shut down Daly. After the match, Nolan had praise not only for the Red Storm forward but also for his senior defender, Menges.
“Daly is a very special player, but Emily is a very special player, too,” Nolan said. “Any time [Emily] did get in trouble, there was always a second defender around to help her. I think, unfortunately for Daly, any time she got past Emily, she was by herself.”
Nolan was not the only one to notice Daly’s lack of support on offense. Daly herself became more and more visibly frustrated as the minutes ticked by, which only spurred the Hoya defense on.
“It was definitely satisfying,” Menges said of seeing Daly’s reactions. “I think she was more frustrated with her team not playing off of her than anything we were doing.”
Daly was held to only two shots on net and was eventually subbed out of the game in the 69th minute. For Newins and the Georgetown defense, the shutout — their seventh of the season — was especially satisfying coming on the heels of allowing four goals to Marquette.
“It’s great that we scored four goals,” Menges said. “But defensively, we needed this shutout.”
The victory assured that the Hoyas would remain in second place in the Big East behind Marquette. Creighton is next up for Georgetown in a match that is slated to kickoff at 1 p.m. Sunday on Shaw Field.