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Freshman midfielder Kelly D’Ambrisi

Coming off of two tough, double-overtime losses last weekend – against Pittsburgh and West Virginia – the Blue and Gray put together a 1-0 win against St. John’s this Tuesday in a post-norovirus makeup game. The Hoyas’ season record now stands at 11-3-2 as they gear up to take on Cincinnati and Louisville on the road this weekend.

“St. John’s was a good win; it was certainly nice to rebound after a disappointing weekend,” Hoya Head Coach Dave Nolan said of his team’s success this week. “Overall, they played very well, and we were happy to get back to winning.”

Knowing that they needed to grab another win as the season winded down, the Hoyas started off the first half strong. Georgetown’s offense fired off six shots at the St. John’s goal during the first half, while the Hoya defense prevented the Red Storm from making any attempts on the Georgetown goal. Despite the offense’s steady attack, the Hoyas couldn’t manage to find the back of the net, and the game remained tied at halftime.

Sophomore Courtney Kent subbed in for the offense at the start of the second half and fired off two early attempts on the St. John’s goal that narrowly missed. Freshman midfielder Samantha Baker added her own shot on goal, and the Hoyas prevented the Red Storm defense from clearing the ball out of their own zone for most of early second half. Georgetown’s steady barrage of offensive attacks finally paid off when Kent scored her first collegiate goal off a throw-in from Baker to put the Hoyas on top of the scoreboard.

“I made the decision to put Courtney in on top for parts of the game,” Nolan said. “We wanted to try to use her height against St. John’s, hoping we could get something off a corner kick or throw in, and lo and behold that’s what happened.”

Following the Hoyas’ goal, the Georgetown defense fended off a few attacks from the St. John’s offense to record their ninth shutout of the season, one short of the single-season Georgetown record.

This weekend, the Hoyas will face off against Cincinnati and Louisville. “Both teams are below us in the Big East standings,” Nolan said. “We still need to get a winning result from one of these two games . if we win both our games, we should finish second. If we lose both, we could be out of it, or finish fifth. If we split them, we could finish anywhere between third and fourth.”

With the top five teams in the division advancing to the Big East tournament, and Notre Dame having already clinched one of three first-round byes, this weekend’s results will play a crucial role in shaping the Hoyas’ playoff picture.

The Hoyas will first face off against Louisville this afternoon. Louisville has compiled a 7-5-3 record thus far this season and is riding a three-game winning streak going into the weekend. Louisville has come out on top in each of the teams’ last four meetings, so the Hoyas will be looking for redemption against the Cardinals.

“Louisville is a team that has had our number for the last three years,” Nolan said. “We’ve lost to them twice in the last minute and once in overtime over the last three years, so I feel we’re due for a result against them.”

The Cincinnati Bearcats are coming into the weekend with a record of 8-5-3. The squad is headed by first-year Coach Michelle Salmon, and this season the team is returning nine starters. Among the returnees is all-Big East forward Erin MacDonald, who scored seven goals for the Bearcats last season. The Bearcats’ midfield formation is also strong, as it is helmed by a trio of seniors – Jenn Johannigman, Melissa Bigg and Kristin May. Together, the senior midfielders contributed 13 goals for Cincinnati last season.

The Bearcat defense is anchored by junior goaltender Andrea Kaminski, who led the Big East last season in saves. Kaminski is supported by a backline that boasts both returning veteran defenders and several new promising freshman prospects.

“Cinncinati is having their best season in a long time,” Nolan said. “They’re having a pretty successful run at the Big East, and they have the ability – if they win the last two games – to finish second also. They are quick and they’re quite athletic.”

With their final standing in the Big East on the line, the Hoyas kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Louisville. The season finale at Cincinnati starts at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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