Women’s Soccer | Hoyas Battle for Bye In Big East Playoffs

ELIZA MINEAUX/THE HOYA Sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz scored once in Georgetown’s tie with DePaul last Sunday. Corboz has nine goals on the year.

Sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz scored once in Georgetown’s tie with DePaul last Sunday. Corboz has nine goals on the year.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (10-5-2, 5-1-2 Big East) enters a critical matchup Friday against the Creighton Bluejays (10-9-0, 2-6-0 Big East) with immense Big East tournament implications on the line. Georgetown has constantly emphasized the importance of securing a top-two seed in the Big East tournament, and it can do that with a win over Creighton.

“As it sits right now, if we win on Friday we’re guaranteed to finish no worse than second. That’s crucial because the top-two teams in the conference tournament get a bye,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said.

Georgetown can even finish as high as first place and be crowned regular season champions if St. John’s (14-2-1, 6-1-1 Big East) loses to Providence (12-6-0, 5-3-0 Big East) Friday night.

“That’s held to be a tough game for St. John’s because Providence is playing hard to get a home seed for the tournament,” Nolan said.

However, if Georgetown loses, it could finish as low as fifth in the conference if some other results in conference play do not go its way. A fifth-place finish would lead to a much harder road to winning the Big East tournament and securing an automatic bid for the NCAA tournament, as the Hoyas would be forced to play a quarterfinal game on the road.

Nevertheless, Georgetown is confident it will be able to defeat Creighton and avoid such a scenario.

“Friday’s game against Creighton is a crucial must-win game for us. Going into the game we know that if we win, we are guaranteed at least second in the league and therefore a first-round bye in the tournament which is very important,” sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz said.

The Bluejays are currently on a four-game losing streak and have been shut out twice in that span. They currently sit in eighth place in the Big East standings and have been eliminated from Big East tournament contention.

In contrast, the Hoyas have played well as of late, winning two and tying two of their last four games. The team’s last game resulted in a hard-fought draw on the road against one of Georgetown’s biggest rivals, the DePaul Blue Demons (11-3-4, 5-1-2 Big East).

The Hoyas controlled the game for the majority of regulation, holding a 1-0 lead after sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz scored her ninth goal of the season midway through the first half. Corboz has been a significant contributor to the Hoyas’ success this season. She has served as the team’s free kick specialist and has consistently put the ball in dangerous spots.

“We know each and every game is important, so just personally trying to make a difference in each game and doing whatever I can to help the team succeed has been important for me, whether that be me scoring, setting up chances for my teammates or just being very involved in the game. I think just being confident and having fun every time I step on the field has also helped,” Corboz said.

Georgetown’s defense fell victim to a well-executed set piece goal in the 80th minute, which tied the game and forced overtime.

In overtime, Georgetown nearly scored the golden goal, but DePaul’s goalkeeper rescued her team with a miraculous double-save, maintaining the tie. The match would end 1-1.

Though only one game stands between Georgetown and the start of the postseason, Nolan is not looking beyond the match against Creighton.

“We want to take it one game at a time, and we understand that first of all we have to figure out whether we are playing in the quarterfinal or the semifinal,” Nolan said.

Junior forward Lauren Sullivan leads Creighton with 10 goals while junior defender Ylenia Sachau has added six. Senior defender Jill Richgels leads the team with seven assists and freshman goalkeeper Erin Scott has started all 19 games in goal.

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