ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA
ALEXANDER BROWN/THE HOYA

The No. 10 Georgetown women’s soccer team opened up Big East play Thursday afternoon, playing host to DePaul on Shaw Field. The sunny day turned into an afternoon full of frustration for the Hoyas (8-0-2, 0-0-1 Big East) who, after conceding an early goal to the Blue Demons (6-1-2, 0-0-1 Big East) and dominating the run of play for 110 minutes, emerged with only a 1-1 draw to show for it.

The match started off poorly for Georgetown, when DePaul’s leading scorer, sophomore forward Elise Wyatt, counterattacked in the second minute, speeding down the left side of the pitch and hitting a firm cross on the ground. Senior midfielder Ashleigh Goddard managed to get a foot on the ball and flick it toward the goal,
where it was misjudged by Hoya redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Emma Newins and rolled into the back of the net.

For a Georgetown defense that has allowed only three goals at home all season and none before the 40th minute, the early goal was a shock.

Head Coach Dave Nolan declined to blame the goal on a lack of energy out of the gate.

“I’m not really sure what happened; to be fair, I’d just gotten settled,” Nolan said. “[Our] girls were fired up — they were ready to play.”

Georgetown recovered from the early deficit to seize control of the match. Despite racking up an impressive nine corner kicks in the first half, however, the Hoyas could not break through and went into the locker room down a goal for the first time since the season opener against William & Mary.

“I felt we were a little too predictable in the middle of the field,” Nolan said. “I wanted to get it wide and come around the back of [their defense] and we did it at moments, but we didn’t do it enough.”

The Blue and Gray continued to control play in the second half, limiting DePaul’s opportunities on the counter attack and generating plenty of pressure in the offensive third of the pitch.

In the 58th minute, the Hoyas finally got on the board when senior defender Mary Kroening beat Blue Demon sophomore goalkeeper Alejandria Godinez to the front post on a corner kick then headed a cross from junior midfielder Daphne Corboz into the net.

“Daphne played a great ball to the front post,” Kroening said. “I just headed it in.”

Georgetown had numerous chances to take the lead during the rest of the second half, only to be thwarted time and again by the refereeing and Godinez.

First, a sure-fire Georgetown goal was called back on an extremely tight offside call; Godinez then made a full-extension diving save on a blast from senior forward Kaitlin Brenn that was heading for the side of the net.

Finally, Georgetown was awarded a penalty kick when a DePaul defender was whistled for a handball inside the box. Corboz stepped to the penalty spot and hit a rocket to the lower left corner of the net that Godinez saved. Brenn rushed in, collected the rebound and fired another shot at goal, but once again the DePaul keeper made the save.

“I think if [Godinez] makes a highlight tape at the end of the year, we’ll probably be on it,” Nolan said “She made an absolutely amazing double save on the penalty. That’s when you start thinking it might not be our day.”

That hunch turned out to be correct. Despite ending regulation having outshot the Blue Demons 21-5 and having taken 14 corner kicks to DePaul’s one, the Hoyas could not convert the game winner.

Georgetown’s best chance in sudden death overtime came only 30 seconds in, when a shot fromCorboz rang off the post followed by yet another impressive Godinez save on a rebound from Brenn.

On the last play of the match, a corner kick — the 17th of the match for Georgetown — was flicked dangerously into the box by junior forward Vanessa Skrumbis, but Godinez was there once again to make her 14th and final save.

After the match, Nolan was not overly concerned with his squad’s lack of finishing.

“I thought we were dangerous on set pieces,” Nolan said. “Our sport is funny like that — sometimes the best team doesn’t win.”

Next up for the Hoyas is a tilt on Sunday against Big East newcomer Xavier (7-1-1).

Nolan expects that the Musketeers will pose many of the same challenges to the Hoyas as DePaul did.

“They’re a good team, confident, good bunch of kids that will be fired up,” Nolan said. “We’ll probably have to play a similar kind of game and this time, hopefully, we’ll take our chances.”

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