The Georgetown women’s soccer team (4-2-0) returns to the Hilltop this weekend to take on James Madison (3-1-1) and St. Francis (3-2-0) after a trying weekend at the Tribe Invitational.

The Hoyas lost, 3-1, to William & Mary before narrowly defeating Virginia Commonwealth, 1-0. An already thin squad sustained two more injuries along its depleted back line.

Sophomore fullback Alex Bushman and senior centerback Gabby Miller were the latest to join the ranks of the walking wounded, forcing freshman forward Jessica Clinton and sophomore midfielder Alexa St. Martin into emergency defensive duty.

“We’re starting to get a little bit light,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “We’ve been light all year [due to injuries], but we’re getting lighter.”

Bushman is the more likely of the two to play this weekend, and Nolan sounded optimistic about getting sophomore fullback Mary Kroening back from an ankle injury. However, Kroening would be filling in atcenterback instead of her usual position at fullback.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Hoyas are still adapting to the loss of sophomore midfielder KaileyBlain, who tore her ACL in training after a solid start to the season. Blain’s absence forced Nolan to play senior Kelly D’Ambrisi in a more withdrawn role, which has damaged Georgetown’s play in the attacking third.

Despite only scoring twice in two games last weekend, Nolan was encouraged by the team’s overall offensive play. Senior forward Camille Trujillo’s performance was particularly encouraging, as she netted her first goal of the year against VCU on Sunday after setting a program record with 13 goals last year.

“I’ve asked [Trujillo] to play in a different position [than last year],” Nolan said. “[The scoring drought] is as much her being unselfish and doing her best for the team as everything else.”

Up first for the Blue and Gray’s makeshift backline and improving attack will be James Madison, who impressed in a run to the second round of the NCAA tournament last year. Kroenig’s health could be critical to the Friday clash. The 6’0″ fullback is uniquely suited to combatting the Dukes’ aerial offense, which the Hoyas coped with well enough in last year’s 1-0 victory.

“JMU are going to come in fired up, they’re one of the better teams in the CAA,” he said. “It’s always a tough fight, [and] they’ll be coming at us with a target on our backs.”

Although the Red Flash managed only one shot on goal in a 5-0 beatdown when the teams met last season, Nolan anticipates a closer battle this weekend.

“They’re a very well-coached team, I really like how they play,” Nolan said. “They try and play good soccer … we caught them on a good day last year. [We] were scoring goals for fun and I felt we caught them unawares.”

JMU and St. Francis will be Georgetown’s last nonconference opponents of the regular season, and sweeping the weekend would likely put the team in a good place to repeat last year’s success.

“If we can be 6-2 coming out of this weekend going into conference play, I think we’ll be right where we need to be,” he said.

Kickoff is scheduled for Friday at 3 p.m. against the Dukes and for Sunday at 1 p.m. against the Red Flash. Both games will be played on North Kehoe Field.

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