COURTESY GUHOYAS
Junior defender Jenna Staudt, middle, has started all eight of the team’s games this year. Staudt was named a Big East Academic All-Star last season.

Josh Rosson is a staff writer for The Hoya.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team returned from its California road trip to win one game and draw another last weekend, as the Hoyas look to gain momentum heading into conference play on Sunday.

Georgetown kicked off the two-game home stand on Friday with a win against Saint Francis (Pa.), a rematch of last year’s first-round NCAA tournament game in which the Hoyas (5-2-1, Big East) beat the Red Flash (2-5-0, Northeast) 2-0.

As in last year’s contest, the Blue and Gray went into halftime up 1-0. Sophomore midfielder Carson Nizialek put the Hoyas in the lead, scoring off an assist from sophomore midfielder Paula Germino-Watnick and senior defender Taylor Pak. The Hoyas continued to take shots but were unable to convert again in the first half.

“I felt we got chances in the first half. I felt we got really good chances. It wasn’t like we weren’t creating. In the first ten minutes alone, we were unlucky not to have two or three,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan said.

This changed quickly after the halftime break. Germino-Watnick stepped up in place of the redshirt sophomore forward Amanda Carolan, who is suffering from an injury, and made her presence felt on the field.  She scored her first and second career goals as a Hoya with only eight minutes between them to put Georgetown up 3-0.

“I was happy to see her get off the mark today, because sometimes all it takes is those good moments to give you some confidence,” Nolan said.

Senior midfielder Rachel Corboz was a factor in the game as well, taking a team-high 10 shots. In the 64th minute, she displayed an array of dribbling moves and fakes to beat two Saint Francis defenders and then ripped a shot past the keeper, making the score 4-0.

Junior forward Caitlin Farrell finished off the scoring with a goal in the 75th minute off an assist from freshman midfielder Grace Nguyen.

“Our team had more energy in the second half, so I think we were able to create more space and work around the goal better,” Germino-Watnick said.

For the game, Georgetown dominated Saint Francis in shots (33-1) and corner kicks (11-1).

“When you play against a team, you want to try and get some shots to try and encourage them to come out and play you, and now that allows space behind, so we can slip balls in behind for the attacking players we have,” Nolan said.

The Blue and Gray returned to action Sunday, tying scoreless against No. 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-0-1, Big 10) after playing into double overtime.

Like their early-season loss against then-No. 1 West Virginia, the Hoyas held the statistical advantage on offense, taking more shots (14-4) and corner kicks (11-2) than the Scarlet Knights, but failing to score a goal. Part of the issue was a disadvantage in size up front, as Rutgers’ defenders easily headed away multiple Georgetown crosses and set pieces.

“It’s always a little frustrating, but we’re the type of team that we just keep plugging away,” senior defender Elizabeth Wenger said.

The first half of play was a back-and-forth affair, with neither team taking control of the game. Georgetown led the possession battle in the second half into overtime and had a few opportunities to take the lead. Pak had a shot that was saved in the 69th minute, Nizialek sent one wide in the 80th minute and Corboz had shots denied in the 95th and 105th minutes. Corboz finished with seven shots overall.

Rutgers had its best opportunity in the 99th minute, but Georgetown’s junior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman made a leaping save to knock away the shot.

“I felt we were the team that was most likely to win. If it was a boxing match, we would’ve won on points,” Nolan said. “[Rutgers] will probably be happier with the draw than we are, but I don’t think the result is a disaster.”

While Friday was a chance for Nolan to give each of his players ample playing time, he stuck to a short rotation on Sunday, relying on six of ten field starters to play all 110 minutes.

On Monday, junior defender Jenna Staudt was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week, leading a defense that did not give up a goal and only allowed five shots over the course of the weekend.

“I thought our two center backs, Jenna and Lizzy [Wenger] did a great job off of [Rutgers forward Amirah Ali], because she’s a real handful,” Nolan said. “I thought they kept her in check pretty much for the whole game.”

Georgetown’s next game is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sunday at Towson University (3-4-1, Colonial).

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