Women’s Soccer GU Takes Two Wins Hoyas Best Elon, GW

By Eric Kim Hoya Staff Writer

With five consecutive road games looming on the horizon, the Georgetown women’s soccer team took advantage of its weekend in D.C. by winning 2-1 at George Washington on Friday and then dominating Elon 3-0 in its home opener Sunday.

Senior midfielder Alyson Smith scored a goal in both contests as the Hoyas improved to 3-1.

After playing its first three games on the road, Georgetown came home to Harbin Field to take on winless Elon. The Phoenix (0-4), a member of the Big South Conference, entered the game having lost its first three contests and playing its third of four straight road games.

Using a new lineup of five midfielders instead of four, Georgetown kept the ball pinned on Elon’s side of the field and the Phoenix saw little daylight on the other half of the playing field. Nearly any ball that crossed into Georgetown territory was due to a defensive clearout or an errant deflection. However, the Hoyas had trouble finishing off their offensive opportunities in the first half. Though they took eight shots in the half, most of them harmless and off-target. In addition, the Hoyas were burned by several offside calls that prevented any serious charges at goal.

Georgetown did make things interesting in the last 10 minutes of the half as they nearly capitalized on two scoring chances. Elon goalkeeper Kara Zagal barely tipped away an angled shot from Georgetown sophomore forward Jessie Beers-Altman. Minutes later, freshman defender Elizabeth Roberti used a screen to her advantage, sending a direct kick from 10 yards out just wide of the goal.

The Hoyas’ attacking style stymied the Phoenix offense, preventing it from taking a single shot in the first half. Junior defenders Liza Yanuzzi and Casey Hoffman as well as sophomore midfielder Alyssa Conlow neutralized any inkling of a scoring chance from Elon.

“All three of our backs played really well,” Head Coach Diane Drake said.

In the second half, Georgetown worked out the bumps in its five-midfielder system and finally started clicking on offense. Though Elon started the half with more energy, leading to its first two shots of the game, Georgetown got the first point in the 52nd minute of the game. Junior forward Karin Ostrander found Smith on a cross pass from the left side off a direct kick from Roberti,. It was Smith’s second goal of the season.

“It was a matter of patience,” Drake said. “We made the system change to five midfielders and finally we were able to open up their seams.”

The Hoyas got their second goal at the 54-minute mark as sophomore forward Courtney Shaub tried two times before sending the ball into the net. Conlow launched a deep pass from the Georgetown side of the field, hitting Shaub on a near breakaway. After her initial shot was blocked by the goalie, Shaub got a reward for her second effort – her first goal of the season.

Shaub almost found net again at the 65th minute as she hit a point-blank header right to the goalie’s hands. The Hoyas closed out the scoring at the 76:04 mark of the match as senior forward Liza Rojas-Alford converted a cross pass from Jessie Beers-Altman for her first goal of the season.

With starting goalkeeper senior Shereena Chang taking a day off, sophomore goalie Alexis George faced little pressure from the Phoenix offense and made two saves. Meanwhile, Elon’s goalie was bombarded with 20 shots from the Hoya attack.

Last Friday, the women’s soccer team took a short trip to cross-town rival George Washington (2-1), where it faced an artificial turf field and a Colonial team featuring Canadian National Team member sophomore forward Kim Warner. Things started off well as Smith got her first goal of the year just nine minutes into the matchup. Shaub had the assist. Georgetown managed to contain Warner and the George Washington offense to just two shots in the first half, while constantly pressuring the Colonials with 12 shots.

In the 52nd minute of the game, Warner displayed her world-class skills as she took a cross from a teammate, beat two Hoya defenders, and squirted the ball in the bottom right corner of the net past goalkeeper Chang. Warner’s goal tied the game at one and gave some momentum to the home team.

However Georgetown overcame the pressure and converted a scoring opportunity at the 74th minute, giving it the lead for good. Freshman midfielder Nicole DePalma served up a corner kick, which Beers-Altman tapped past the George Washington goalie, making the score 2-1.

Starting tomorrow, Georgetown will play three games in six days starting with a contest at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County and ending with the Brown Invitational. It will then open up Big East play at Pittsburgh and at Notre Dame before returning home Sept. 26 to face Villanova.

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