WOMEN'S SOCCER | Second-Half Surge Overwhelms Friars
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
The No. 9 Georgetown women’s soccer team played the second match of a three-game road trip Sunday afternoon, facing off against Providence in a Big East conference match.
Sunday’s warm weather in the Washington, D.C. area did not extend to Rhode Island, however, where the temperature hovered in the mid-50s and a steady drizzle fell at kickoff.
“It was a very challenging field to play on,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “The field conditions were very poor.”
The Friars (4-6-3, 1-3 Big East) proved a resilient opponent but were ultimately downed by the Hoyas (11-0-2, 3-0-1 Big East) by a final score of 2-1. The victory marked Georgetown’s fifth straight win on the road and extended the team’s record-setting unbeaten streak to 13 games.
“We played a team today that was almost playing for [its] Big East life,” Nolan said. “[Providence] entered the game 1-2 in the conference, and they felt like they really needed to win the game. It was always going to be very scrappy.”
Indeed, the win did not come easy for the Hoyas. The teams were evenly matched through the first 45 minutes and spent much of that time feeling each other out. The Blue and Gray outshot the Friars 6 to 2 in the first half, but Providence had a 2-to-1 edge in corner kicks. Both teams saw a shot ring off the crossbar in a half that ended with the score knotted at 0.
At halftime, Nolan stressed to his team the importance of making adjustments to deal with the conditions of the pitch.
“I talked to the kids about shooting while they were on the run instead of shooting from a standing stop,” Nolan said. “I felt that the conditions were so muddy that we really needed to be running on to the ball as we took our shots.”
The Hoyas took their coach’s words to heart. Just 30 seconds into the second half, senior defender Kailey Blain found the ball at her feet a few yards outside of the 18-yard box. The senior fired a shot past Providence junior goalkeeper Jessica Goudreault for her third goal of the season.
“A great shot on the run from about 28 yards out,” Nolan said of the goal.
Twenty minutes later, the Blue and Gray scored an insurance goal to go ahead 2-0. Junior midfielder Daphne Corboz and sophomore forward Sarah Adams connected on a nifty give-and-go in the Providence box that resulted in Corboz’ fifth goal of the year.
“That combination was probably the only pure piece of soccer played in the game,” Nolan said. “Up 2-0, we were very confident and thought that they weren’t going to score as long as we didn’t give away any set pieces.”
Yet that is precisely what the Hoyas did only five minutes after going up by two. Senior defender Alexa St. Martin got her feet tangled up in the box with Friar sophomore forward Catherine Zimmerman and was whistled for the foul. Zimmerman stepped to the penalty spot and put a shot past Georgetown redshirt sophomore goalie Emma Newins to close the gap to one goal.
Suddenly, what had appeared a surefire Georgetown win was in doubt, as Providence threw everything they had forward in the final minutes in search of an equalizer.
“[Providence] was very energized, very hard working and competitive,” Nolan said. “We really had to ride out the emotion they had after that goal.”
The experienced Hoya back line rose to the occasion and denied the Friars any quality chances in the closing minutes, allowing Georgetown to hold on for the 2-1 victory, its second road win in four days.
“This was a very challenging road trip. Both [Butler and Providence] were very difficult places to play,” Nolan said. “Credit to the kids for stepping up and competing.”