The No. 7/2 women’s soccer team suffered its second loss of the season on Sunday at Shaw Field, falling 4-1 to DePaul University on Senior Day, ending its 14- game unbeaten streak.
The loss drops the Hoyas (13-2-2, 5-1-2 Big East) to third in the conference table, and guarantees that either DePaul (10-5-2, 7-1-0 Big East) or Marquette University (10-6-2, 6-2-0 Big East) will wrap up the Big East regular season title when the two play on Friday evening at Marquette.
From the first minute, Georgetown found itself on the back foot. The Blue Demons pushed the ball up the left wing and scored just 37 seconds into the match; a second goal, the product of a textbook display of ball movement, followed only eleven minutes later.
After a stretch of nine matches during which the Hoyas conceded just one goal, the early two goal deficit surprised the team.
“This was definitely a hard one to take for us; DePaul [was] simply far better today,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “Scoring in the first minute knocked the stuffing out of us, and the second goal shortly after was the knockout punch. They have an outstanding front line and we never got to grips with them in the first half. Credit to their kids for rising to the occasion away from home knowing what was on the line.”
A Georgetown win would have seen the Hoyas rise to the top of the Big East conference. Instead the team will need to fight for second place, which would be enough for a first-round bye in the tournament.
Freshman defender Meaghan Nally, who subbed on in the first half in place of senior forward Grace Damaska, grabbed a goal back in the thirty-first minute after the Blue Demon goalkeeper pushed a shot from sophomore forward Caitlin Farrell into the middle of the box and onto Nally’s feet.
Seven minutes later, though, a defensive mistake led to a third Blue Demon goal. DePaul finished the scoring a minute before halftime, bringing the score to 4-1, when an attempted cross flew into the side netting over sophomore goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman.
“When we got back to 2-1, I thought if we could get to the half and regroup we may be able to salvage something,” Nolan said. “But they got a third soon after we scored and their fourth goal which was a shanked cross summed up our day.”
For much of the game, DePaul’s double teaming of Damaska and Farrell restricted Georgetown’s ability to use their pace to get crosses in from the outside and disrupted many Hoya attacks. Entering the weekend, Georgetown’s 43 goals on the year were tied for the most in the country.
DePaul, too, had one of the nation’s best scoring offenses, but the Hoya defense had not given up more than three goals all year, and Schechtman entered the match with a 0.50 goals-against average.
This loss leaves the Hoyas one game behind Marquette, placing second in the conference standings with only one to play.
The 4-1 loss was Senior Day for Damaska and senior midfielder Zoe Park, who earned a five-minute appearance. The result was also the last regular season home game tough for graduate student forward Crystal Thomas and defenders Marina Paul and Corey Delaney, all integral components to Georgetown’s success this season.
“While it was a disappointing Senior Day for the senior class, there is plenty more soccer to play this year, starting with a must win game at Creighton now on Friday night as we look to lock down a top-two spot for the Big East Tournament,” Nolan said. “We have to move on from today quickly and learn from it.”
Georgetown looks to move on as the team travels to Creighton (9-5-2, 4-4 Big East) on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT for its final regular season match.
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