Forty seconds into the first half of the match, a strong header from sophomore midfielder Chloe Knott whipped into the back of the net, and it was instantly apparent that the Hoyas had come ready to fight.
In a match featuring two of the toughest teams in the Big East, Georgetown (8-4-0, 3-0 Big East) took on a record-breaking St. John’s team (11-2-0, 3-1 Big East) in a very technical and fast-moving game. Georgetown dominated the majority of the match and ultimately ended St. John’s seven-game winning streak in a crucial 3-1 win at Shaw Field.
Within seconds of the referee’s initial whistle, Georgetown moved the ball swiftly up the field and aggressively attacked the St. John’s defensive line. Less than a minute into the game, sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz delivered a perfectly placed corner kick into the box, on which Knott capitalized to give the Hoyas their first goal of the match.
“When you can get a goal like that, it just gives you momentum,” said Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan. “It gave our kids confidence for the next 25 minutes.”
The Hoyas controlled the ball in the midfield for a majority of the first half, until Red Storm senior forward Rachel Daly discovered a gap in the Hoyas’ defense and found herself head to head with the Hoyas’ graduate student goalkeeper Emma Newins. Newins tackled Daly for the ball, resulting in a penalty kick for St. John’s in the 30th minute. Daly executed the PK to the top right corner of the net, tying the match 1-1.
Following this lapse in concentration by an otherwise strong defensive lineup, Georgetown continued to be an offensive threat, taking seven shots in the first half as opposed to St. John’s four. At the end of a very competitive first half, the scoreboard displayed a 1-1 tie.
From the moment the second half started, it only took the Hoyas three minutes to capitalize on another corner kick and take the lead. Once again, Corboz crossed a well-timed ball into St. John’s defensive box, which sophomore defender Taylor Pak headed into the back of the net. This assist by Corboz marked her second of the game and sixth of the season, making her the team leader in assists.
“Rachel is our midfield general,” Nolan said. “In the last three or four games, she’s starting to get some dangerous, quality balls into the box, and you can see we scored from two of them today.”
With Pak’s goal, St. John’s trailed Georgetown by one goal, with plenty of time remaining in the second half. Over the course of the second half, Georgetown dominated offensively, and a majority of the final minutes were played in St. John’s defensive end.
“At 2-1, it’s always going to be who scores the third goal,” Nolan said. “Thankfully for us, we caught them on a counterattack and scored.”
In the 76th minute of the match, the St. John’s defense turned the ball over to freshman forward Caitlin Farrell, who controlled and shot the ball from the 18-yard line. Farrell’s shot slid past the St. John’s keeper and found its way into the back right corner of the net. With the freshman’s unassisted goal on the board, Georgetown climbed to a 3-1 lead.
Feeling secure with their 3-1 lead over the Red Storm, the Hoyas moved the ball with ease for the remainder of the second half. The defense controlled the back line, giving St. John’s few opportunities to attack the goal. While it was the offense’s ball distribution and shot placement that put Georgetown on the board, it was the defense’s ability to win the ball out of the air that prevented St. John’s from matching Georgetown’s three goals.
With a 3-1 result over St. John’s, Georgetown’s postseason prospects just got better.
“We knew if we want to have a resume for the NCAA committee to review, we needed some wins against some highly ranked RPI teams, and St. John’s was one of them,” Nolan said.
On Sunday, Georgetown will play another critical Big East match against Butler (9-5-1, 2-2 Big East). Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.
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