WOMEN’S SOCCER GU Drops Pair Of Big East Games By Eric Kim Hoya Staff Writer

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Junior defender Liza Yannuzzi anchored the Hoyas’ defense in its two weekend losses.

Riding a four-game winning streak, the Georgetown women’s soccer team faced its biggest test of the season as it opened up Big East Conference play on the road at Pittsburgh and No. 4 Notre Dame. Though the Hoyas came up empty in both games, they proved their mettle on Sunday, barely losing a hard-fought match 2-1 against the Fighting Irish, an NCAA Final Four team last year.

Last Friday, the Hoyas could not hold onto a one-goal second half lead, losing 2-1 to Mid-Atlantic division rival Pittsburgh.

For more than half of Sunday’s game, Georgetown kept Notre Dame (5-0-1) in check, preventing them from scoring. This was an improvement from last year’s game, where Notre Dame exploded for eight goals en route to a shutout win at Harbin Field. Anchored this year by junior defenders Liza Yannuzzi and Casey Hoffman and sophomore defender Alyssa Conlow, the Georgetown defense has allowed just three goals in the past four games.

However, at the 61-minute mark, the Irish broke through. Mia Sarkesian sent a nice pass by the Hoya defense to Melissa Tancredi, who struck the ball past charging senior goalkeeper Shereena Chang, giving the Irish a one-goal lead.

Rather than wilt under the pressure, Georgetown stuck to its attacking style and it paid off. At the 76th minute of the game, senior midfielder Alyson Smith delivered a nice pass from the left corner to freshman forward Casey McCann, who got her second goal of the season. McCann’s goal came against the nation’s stingiest goalkeeper last year, Elizabeth Wagner. Smith and junior forward Karin Ostrander were credited with the assists.

Unfortunately, the Hoyas’ euphoria was short-lived. All-Big East First Team member and Notre Dame’s top returning scorer, Amanda Guertin, sent Georgetown back to earth with the eventual game-winning goal at the 78:50 mark.

There would be no upset Sunday as the Irish held on to their one-point lead for good.

Notre Dame and its offensive pressure clearly showed in the shot statistics, as it accounted for 18 shots compared to Georgetown’s six. In the losing cause, Chang performed admirably with a season-high nine saves.

Having won four of their first five games of the season, the Hoyas looked to start their Big East tour with a win at Pittsburgh on Friday. Senior forward Christy DeLorenzo got Georgetown onto the right track, notching her first goal of the season at the 18-minute mark of the first half. DeLorenzo deflected a pass from Ostrander into the left corner of the net.

The Hoya defense fortified the field throughout the entire first half and into the first nine minutes of the second half. The Panthers, though, found the hole they needed and clawed their way to the score board at the 54th minute. Annette Agredano received the ball off a corner kick and shot it past Chang to knot the score at one.

Later in the half, freshman midfielder Nicole DePalma nearly gave the Hoyas the lead again. DePalma tipped the ball past Pittsburgh goalie Rachel Brown, but out of nowhere, defender Cara Kappler got just enough of the ball to deflect it away from the goal.

While the Hoyas missed their opportunity, the Panthers made sure to capitalize on theirs. With 16:33 remaining in the contest, Pittsburgh’s Jacqueline Fix got the tie-breaking goal and the eventual game-winner.

Georgetown outshot Pittsburgh 12-10, and Chang made three saves in the game.

The women’s soccer team is now 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the Big East.

The Big East schedule continues at Harbin Field tomorrow, as Georgetown will go up against divisional rival Villanova at 4 p.m. The Hoyas will match up against Mid-Atlantic divisional opponent Rutgers at home Friday. Last year, the women’s soccer team was shut out by the Wildcats 3-0, and tied the Scarlet Knights 1-1.

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