The Georgetown women’s soccer team (11-5-2, 6-1-2 Big East) faced off against its final opponent of the regular season Friday before moving on to the Big East tournament. The Hoyas downed the Creighton Bluejays (10-10-0, 2-7-0 Big East) in a 3-1 finish, with two of Georgetown’s goals coming in the first half.
The first goal of the game was a clean finish from graduate student forward Melissa Downey in the 21st minute on an assist from senior forward Crystal Thomas. Soon after, the two reversed roles; in the 23rd minute, an assist from Downey allowed Thomas to drill a shot into the back netting.
The Hoyas went into halftime holding a 2-0 lead. In the 85th minute, sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz increased the lead with a shot from 10 yards out, assisted by Thomas and freshman forward Caitlin Farrell.
Thomas felt that the third goal helped the team maintain the level of play it needed to finish the game with a win.
“It was really important just to keep going and get that third goal, because if you sit back too much, then it gives them a lot of momentum, so I think it was really good that we were able to get the third goal,” Thomas said.
In the 88th minute, after several substitutions for the Hoyas, the Bluejays finished an opportunity. A shot that missed and ricocheted off the post gave freshman forward Kaira Houser an opportunity to put the ball in the back of the net from close range.
This win means that the Hoyas have secured a bye in the Big East tournament and will head straight into the semifinals.
“It gets us out of having a play-in game to advance into the conference tournament next week at Creighton, and more importantly, it gives us four or five days to rest,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “If we’d lost this we probably would’ve had a game on Tuesday, which makes it very hard to prepare, so it’s great in that regard — it gives us a chance to get some rest behind us.”
The team is excited about the win for this reason, but also because it was the last home game for graduating seniors.
“It’s tough, it’s an emotional day for the kids,” Nolan said. “This will probably be their last day playing on Shaw Field so you know it means a lot for them. We’re just happy to get the win and move on.”
A few rituals enriched the day and made the win all the more meaningful for the Hoyas.
“Our seniors put in a really solid performance today, I’m just really happy for us that we were able to get the win on Senior Day and play for each other,” Thomas said. “We had a bunch of pregame stuff where we just talked about playing for each other as seniors and graduating, so that was really special.”
Moving forward, Georgetown is confident that if it maintains its highest level of play, it can find success in the tournament.
“I’m really confident in my teammates and our ability to make a good run for the Big East Championship. We just need to make a couple of good appearances against really strong teams,” Thomas said. “I think we’re capable of doing that, so if we just play to our potential I think it could be a really good postseason run.”
Nolan also believes that the team has the recipe for success; still, the Hoyas are focused on maintaining a steady level of play.
“Consistency, we just need certain players to step up. … It’s rare you get a game where all 11 players show up, but then you need nine players to show up, and good teams will always have nine players that show up,” Nolan said. “It’s just a consistency of performance that I’ve been preaching all season.”
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