WOMEN'S SOCCER | GU Preps for Creighton
Published: Friday, October 18, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2013 01:10
This Sunday, No. 6 Georgetown women’s soccer (12-1-2, 4-1-1 Big East) will return to Shaw Field to host Big East newcomer Creighton (9-4-1, 2-2-1 Big East) at 3:00 p.m.
Despite the abrupt end to Georgetown’s 13-game undefeated streak in a 4-0 loss against No. 4 Marquette (12-3-0, 5-0-0 Big East) last Sunday, the Hoyas remain one of the top squads in the country. Head Coach Dave Nolan doesn’t see one loss as a setback and is looking forward to Sunday’s game.
“I hoped [at this point that] we would have been ahead of Marquette,” Nolan said. “But, are we kind of in a bad spot? No, we’re where we need to be to do the important things we hoped to do when we set out in the start of the season.”
Although the home turf advantage was crucial to the Creighton Bluejays’ success during the regular season, as they posted a 6-1-0 home record, the same cannot be said of their conference play, during which the Bluejays dropped two games at home and instead have an undefeated 3-0-1 record on the road. However, Nolan hopes that the Hoyas’ home advantage will outweigh the Bluejays’ momentum on the road.
“I think there always is a home field advantage, in our conference in particular…. Any time you can get a result on the road, it’s always very good, but [that’s] difficult to get,” Nolan said.
Creighton has fared better than other Big East newcomers, like Butler (9-4-2, 2-3 Big East) and Xavier (8-5-1, 1-4 Big East), so far during conference play, proving they belong at this level of competition. Georgetown beat both Butler and Xavier easily in recent weeks, winning by scores of 3-0 and 7-1, respectively; however, judging by their road victories and progress since last season, the Bluejays will not go down so easily. Creighton has made the greatest improvement in its RPI rankings than any other team in the NCAA, finishing the 2012 season at 268 and currently holding the 97th spot in the 2013 season.
“They’ve probably surprised people a little bit,” Nolan said of Creighton’s team development. “They didn’t have a great season last year, and Bruce [Erickson] is a very good coach, so he obviously has them feeling confident now. For them, this is all new and exciting.”
Georgetown has established a legacy as a seasoned and successful Big East competitor, but Nolan believes that Creighton will view the upcoming match as more of an opportunity than an obstacle.
“I’m sure, coming in here, that they’re going to be looking at us going, ‘Wow, this is a team that’s highly regarded and highly ranked,’…they’re going to get up for the game,” Nolan said. “We just need to make sure that we’re able to deal with their excitement and energy.”
Nolan says that what his well-balanced team just needs to do is keep playing their game — which has already yielded an undefeated streak that surpassed the 10-game record of the 2008 season, as well as the second-best scoring offense in the league with an average of 3.07 goals per game. He is confident that Georgetown will be well-prepared when they take the pitch this weekend.
“It’ll be more for us trying to focus on what we do well,” Nolan said of his goals for Sunday’s game. “Logic dictates that the home team should have an advantage, and we are having a very good season, so we really need to let Creighton focus more on us.”