The Georgetown women’s soccer team (10-5-1, 5-1-1 Big East) is set to face DePaul (11-3-3, 5-1-1 Big East) Sunday on the Blue Demons’ home field. Since the DePaul game is the second-to-last game in regular season play, the pressure is mounting as the Big East tournament approaches.
After DePaul’s tie with St. John’s (13-2-1, 5-1-1 Big East), the Blue Demons dropped in the national women’s soccer rankings from No. 18 to No. 20. Currently, DePaul, Georgetown and St. John’s are tied for first place. A win for the Hoyas on Sunday could put them in first place going into the final stretch of the regular season.
“It’s going to be an exciting game. It comes down to whether we get a top-two spot and a bye in that Big East tournament, so you know, we’re both fighting for first place at this point,” graduate student forward Melissa Downey said.
Freshman forward Franny Cerny was the only Blue Demon to find the back of the net against the Red Storm. The goal came off a deflected shot by Cerny’s teammate, junior forward Abby Reed. Currently, senior forward Elise Wyatt leads the team with 26 points, having recorded 11 goals and four assists for DePaul. The Blue Demons have outshot every one of their opponents so far this season. Senior goalkeeper Alejandria Godinez has made 30 saves this season while allowing only eight goals.
The Hoyas began this week coming off a disappointing result against the Marquette Golden Eagles (6-6-4, 3-2-1 Big East), whom they led 2-0 until midway through the second half. After establishing a 1-0 lead in the first half with a goal by sophomore defender Taylor Pak, things seemed to be going well for the Hoyas, especially in the 57th minute when the Golden Eagles received a red card and were forced to play with 10 players for the remainder of the game. This, however, led to some complacency on the Georgetown side and added aggression for Marquette, who ended up scoring two goals late in the game, resulting in a tie.
This disheartening finish is motivating the team to improve as it inches closer to the postseason.
“I think we’re really clicking and trying to figure each other out now. So it’s kind of perfect timing, and we know what we need to do so going forward we’re definitely going to do that,” senior forward Crystal Thomas said.
Going into Sunday’s game, Head Coach Dave Nolan hopes to shorten the list of players who are out of commission.
“We have to stay healthy. We lost Drew Topor [against Marquette] from a smack in the face. She’s in the ER now with an eye injury. So we need to see the outcome of that,” Nolan said.
Moving forward, this injury changes the team’s reliable formation.
“We don’t have a natural replacement at left back. I had to put [sophomore midfielder] Chloe [Knott] there, and she’s not left-footed,” Nolan said. “She battled really hard and she did her best but it’s not naturally where she wants to be or feels comfortable. So we’re going have to see what we’re going to do.”
Despite this injury, several key players have continued to perform well throughout the season. Sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz scored two goals in last Thursday’s game and scored Georgetown’s second goal against Marquette. These achievements led to her being named Big East Offensive Player of the Week.
The Hoyas are continuing to work on other aspects of their offense, especially the connection between Thomas and junior forward Grace Damaska.
“We’re still getting used to each other; this is our first year playing together. So I think towards the end of the season we’ve really come together,” Thomas said. “So I think we’ll look at the tape and say, ‘Okay I should’ve done this, you should’ve done this.’”
Kickoff against DePaul is set for 2 p.m. in Chicago, Ill.
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