FILE PHOTO: Claire Soisson/The Hoya Senior forward Sarah Adams scored two second-half goals in Georgetown’s 3-3 draw against the DePaul Demon Deacons on Thursday.
FILE PHOTO: Claire Soisson/The Hoya
Senior forward Sarah Adams scored two second-half goals in Georgetown’s 3-3 draw against the DePaul Demon Deacons on Thursday.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (5-2-3, 0-0-1), which was ranked 37th by the initial NCAA RPI standings, drew 3-3 after two overtimes at DePaul (8-0-2, 0-0-1) in an exciting game Thursday night which saw the Hoyas come back from a 3-1 second-half deficit with the help of two goals by Sarah Adams.
The match opened Big East conference play for the Blue and Gray, who will next travel to Cincinnati, Ohio , to take on Xavier on Sunday.

Head Coach Dave Nolan believed this game would be a stern early test for the team.

“I think DePaul is the best team in the conference right now,” Nolan said. “I feel they’ve improved upon last year, and ourselves and Marquette and St. John’s haven’t managed to perform at the level we all performed at last year yet. We’re probably the closest … so we’re essentially starting conference play with the toughest game as the first game, and it’s on the road.”

Freshman attacking midfielder Rachel Corboz had two assists in the match, including one to her sister, senior attacking midfielder Daphne Corboz, who buried the chance in just the fifth minute, before the Blue Demons soon pulled one back.

Nolan was disappointed with the Hoyas’ first-half performance.

“They got one back relatively quickly, and they got a little bit of heart from that. When we were 3-1 down, I really couldn’t see us getting back into the game,” Nolan said. “And then real quickly after they scored, I think within a minute, we had a real good combination play between Rachel [Corboz] and Sarah Adams. And Sarah got in and finished to make it 3-2.”

Versatile junior midfielder Sarah Adams began to terrorize DePaul down the left-hand side, scoring another goal 10 minutes later to draw the Hoyas level and open up the field.

“As it went into the last 10 minutes of the game and the overtime, it was just up and back, up and back,” Nolan said. “Considering it was the first soccer game on the new Big East Network, I don’t think they could’ve asked for anything more. It’ll be a classic that is probably already in the archives.”
Freshman defender Drew Topor, who has impressed so far this season, knows that difficult games against strong teams have already improved the Hoyas’ ability to approach Big East play.

“I think we had a very tough season so far,” Topor said. “We played Virginia Tech, Wake [Forest] and West Virginia, which were all really tough games. And we played them all on the road, which will definitely help this weekend when we’re away, just because we’ll probably be more used to the environment.”
Because of injuries, Topor has enjoyed more playing time than anticipated, and has looked strong both in her natural position as an outside-back and slotted in next to Marina Paul in the center of defense.

“I’ve always liked center-back,” Topor said. “It’s definitely different both because you don’t have to run as much as you do as an outside-back, which is nice, but you have to be aware of what’s going on all over the field … Playing next to [junior centerback] Marina [Paul], she is always there, always recovering for me.”

One aspect of their game the team is looking to improve on is their quality on Sundays after playing a game the previous Thursday or Friday: So far this season, they sport a respectable 2-1-0 record in that situation, but have performed well under expectations in two of those games, a loss against Wake Forest and a narrow overtime win against George Washington.

Though Xavier is ranked a lowly 217 in NCAA RPI, a small, narrow, artificial turf home field gives the Musketeers a solid home-field advantage.

“There’re no easy games in the conference. And certainly when you go on the road, you’re going into different environments,” Nolan said. “When you play teams like this early in the year where they still have optimism and belief, you’re getting more from them.”

And the Hoyas know the importance of starting the Big East season strong; last season, an early draw against DePaul forced the team to play catch-up to Marquette the rest of the year, and they never caught the Golden Eagles.

Additionally, only the top two teams from 10 total participants get a bye to the semifinals in the conference tournament.

“Essentially, once you get into conference play, everything you’ve done to this point doesn’t really matter,” Nolan said. “So that teams that haven’t had the starts they wanted, it’s a whole new season for them … Everything is geared towards this point on.”

Georgetown will look to score an important road victory when they kick off against Xavier Sunday at 1 p.m.

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