Women’s Soccer | Hoyas Battle Friars to Draw

FILE PHOTO: ROBERT CORTES/THE HOYA Senior forward Grace Damaska had one shot in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Providence.

Senior forward Grace Damaska had one shot in Saturday’s 0-0 draw against Providence.

In the opening match of its Big East conference season, the No. 6 Georgetown women’s soccer team (8-1-1, 0-0-1 Big East) slumped to a 0-0 home draw after two periods of overtime against Providence (6-3-2, 0-0-1 Big East) Sunday at Shaw Field.

Despite creating chances, highlighted by an 18th minute sequence where junior midfielder Rachel Corboz had one shot saved and then sent another off the inside of the post, Georgetown proved unable to find the net against the Friar team that has taken the Hoyas to overtime in each of their last three meetings.

The draw extends Georgetown’s unbeaten streak to eight matches, a run that has seen the team’s rise to the highest ranking in program history.

From the opening kickoff, Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan understood that the Friars’ strategy would involve sitting back trying to disrupt the Hoyas’ style, but gave them credit for solid execution.

“I’m a little bit disappointed,” Nolan said. “I mean, we worked hard. We huffed and puffed. I just don’t think we had that little bit of quality that we normally have. They’re a good team; they set up to play a counterattacking style, and to keep numbers behind the ball … And I thought their three up front were always a danger. It took some good defending in moments, and it always looked like they could get one.”

The game, though a goalless draw, was far from dull; a bevy of half-chances, exciting moments and near misses for both teams — as well as a touchline kerfuffle — provided entertainment throughout, but ultimately the Georgetown offense was not as prolific in the attacking third Sunday as it had been in putting up the 11th best goals per game in the country entering the match.

“I just don’t think we did enough to win the game,” Nolan said. “If it was a boxing match, we would’ve won on points, but you have to score a goal. I don’t think we had too many clear-cut chances … So the game comes down to, can you finish your chances, and today it just didn’t go in.”

Providence’s goalkeeper Kristyn Shea made seven saves, including five in the first half, and looked confident in claiming balls in the air — a necessity given Georgetown’s 13 corner kicks; Shea notched her 21st shutout, extending her Providence program record.

At the other end, Georgetown’s sophomore goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman recorded her fifth shutout of the season, and noted the importance of matches not against the country’s top teams.

“Games like this require more from us than big games where we all know individually what we need to do, who we need to mark,” Schechtman said. “It’s really important to get up for every game. We need to work on containing our players, getting the ball on the other side of the field, and taking care of the little tackles when we need to, and getting up for every tackle.”

In addition to the goalkeeper, Georgetown’s defenders excelled again, with graduate student Marina Paul’s aerial presence and junior Liz Wenger’s flying tackles bolstered by the work of outside backs junior Drew Topor and graduate student Corey Delaney.

“I always preach to our defenders that I’d rather win a game 1-0 than 9-1, because championship teams don’t give up goals,” Nolan said. “And defense always wins championships. That’s three shutouts in a row against good teams, so we’ve certainly learned to be better at that.”

Though disappointed with the 0-0 draw, Schechtman thought the team avoided frustration during the game, and sees the result serving as motivation for the Hoyas to build on going forward.

“In the run of play, you just have to stay focused on the game; you can’t think about things that have happened in the past,” Schechtman said. “Specifically, as a goalie, I know if I let one in I have to forget about it and keep working towards the next goal, and keep working towards getting forward. So I just think we need to learn from our mistakes and know when to run in the box, know when to put one away and if we miss one, just work that much harder the next play.”

Before addressing the team post-game, Nolan anticipated his players’ mood about the result.

“They’re going to be disappointed, because we’ve been on such a great run of form,” Nolan said. “But … sometimes you get a bounce of a ball and you win a game here or there, and sometimes that bounce of the ball doesn’t go your way. And today was just one of those days where it didn’t quite, never quite bounced our way.”

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