Claire Soisson/THE HOYA Junior midfielder Marina Paul assisted Georgetown’s second goal.
CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA
Junior midfielder Marina Paul assisted Georgetown’s second goal.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (5-2-2) handily defeated Duquesne University (3-3-2) on Sunday afternoon at Shaw Field. The Hoyas’ 2-0 win came on the strength of two early goals, effectively putting the game out of reach for the conservative Dukes, whose playing style saw them sit back in deep defensive positions, hoping for chances to counterattack.

Georgetown created history in addition to its win, as senior attacking midfielder Daphne Corboz tied midfielder Ingrid Wells (COL ’11) for the Georgetown women’s soccer points record with 108 points. Corboz scored the first goal in the 10th minute and added an assist 12 minutes later. Goals count for two points, while assists count for one.

Corboz had several shots throughout the match and as usual provided the Hoyas with their best chances on goal. Her goal was assisted by her sister, freshman midfielder Rachel Corboz.

“Obviously, scoring a goal pretty early is super important in any game and especially in a game like this where we knew they were going to try to sit in on us,” Corboz said. “Rachel played a good ball in to me and I was able to turn and finish it. And it was awesome connecting with my sister for the first time in an official game. It was really special and definitely good for the team as well.”

The Blue and Gray continued to put the Dukes under early pressure. The second goal soon followed, as junior midfielder Marina Paul headed down a pass to senior forward Vanessa Skrumbis to smash past the Dukes’ goalkeeper.

Despite the victory, Head Coach Dave Nolan remained frustrated by the attack’s production.

“We talked about coming out fast on them and we did because we knew they were going to come here and sit in against us and try to counterattack. We knew that if we got an early goal, hopefully it would encourage them to come out and open up the game a little bit. And to be fair, it really didn’t,” Nolan said. “At 1-0 they never really came out. At 2-0 they never came out and it was only in the second half that they started to get braver. And that was the disappointing part for me. When it actually did open up, we weren’t good enough to take advantage of the space that was now open to us.”

Duquesne’s propensity to sit back led to many close chances for Georgetown, but not many solid goal-scoring opportunities.

In fact, due to the dearth of real opportunities,  one of the game’s more exciting moments came when the wind, coming from a helicopter landing nearby, blew the metal sideline banner dangerously across almost a quarter of the field. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

After that bizarre incident, Georgetown created a few more half-chances, but the real highlight came in the 80th minute when junior goalkeeper Lauren Trower, during her first start of the season, made a spectacular save to keep the score at 2-0.

The defense played well too, with freshman defender Drew Topor’s confident defending and passing from the left-back position helping veteran Paul.

“Drew was very good again today,” Nolan said. “To be honest, I don’t really know what her natural position is. She’s very similar to Mary Kroening (COL ’14) … in that she can play right-back comfortably, she can play left-back comfortably, and she can play center-back comfortably. And what I like about her is that she doesn’t get flustered. She makes good decisions all the time. I can always count on her to make good, smart decisions and she’s probably been our one freshman who has done the best job at that.”

Paul said that despite the recent defensive injury and repositioning issues, her understanding with her central defensive partners has remained strong.

“[Freshman defender] Liz [Wenger] is a phenomenal athlete,” Paul said. “We’re still both learning the ropes, learning how to play with each other, and I think it’s just being comfortable back there and making smart decisions.”

With the score at 2-0 and the result looking relatively comfortable, Nolan decided to change his lineup after halftime.

“I wasn’t happy with what I was getting out of some people,” Nolan said. “And some of it was that with the score at 2-0, I felt there was the chance to try to get some kids on the field and give them an opportunity to show me what they could do.”

In fact, at one point there were five freshmen on the field at the same time.

Daphne Corboz thought that the team did a better job with the new players, though the overall performance was not quite up to par.

“Today we did a pretty good job of keeping the ball moving. Throughout the season, our problem really has been combining up top,” Corboz said. “Obviously, losing Kaitlin Brenn (MSB ’14) last year, who was such a fulcrum for our attack … she and I had a great relationship up top. So it’s a little different. There are new players up there, but it’s something we need to be better at to get to where we want to be as a team.”

Georgetown will begin Big East play on the road against DePaul University on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 3 p.m.

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