CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Senior forward Vanessa Skrumbis and Georgetown failed to muster enough offense to beat either Virginia or Wake Forest.
CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA
Senior forward Vanessa Skrumbis and Georgetown failed to muster enough offense to beat either Virginia or Wake Forest.

The No. 20 Georgetown women’s soccer team (3-2-1) dropped two games in Blacksburg, Va., over the weekend, losing 6-1 to No. 5 Virginia Tech and 2-0 to Wake Forest.

Late goals in both games magnified the mental impact of the losses, leaving the team disappointed to not have won at least one of the weekend’s matches.

Head Coach Dave Nolan attributed the losses, at least in part, to a young team that saw five freshmen on the field at the same time at one point against Wake Forest. This year’s team also consistently operates with a back-four defense patched together from players who played in more attacking positions last year.

“If you were to look at us from the outside, you would see [senior midfielder] Daphne Corboz and Georgetown soccer. And last year, you would see Daphne Corboz and Georgetown soccer. But this year’s team is Daphne Corboz and eight new faces,” Nolan said. “It’s a completely different group that’s playing with her. And I don’t think people quite understand that. We’ve essentially had [just] two people start this past weekend in the positions they started at last year.”

The Virginia Tech game started poorly for the Hoyas when a 40-yard strike hit by Hokies senior defender Danielle King dipped and swerved past Newins for the opening goal, and a diving header a few minutes later gave the Hokies a halftime lead of 2-0.

Nolan partially faulted the officiating for the poor first half.

“Now, to be fair, we had a great opportunity when we got Daphne in one-on-one before they scored, and that [chance] was pulled back for offside. But I had a look at the tape; it was a bad call,” Nolan said. “We also had another chance where she was going through and a kid blatantly body-checked her off the ball as she was running. So the game [is turned]on moments like that and for them. They got their moments, and for us, it didn’t work out.”

Even though the Hoyas got an important and impressive 30-yard goal from sophomore forward Grace Damaska early in the second half, a third Virginia Tech goal 40 seconds later effectively ended the comeback in Blacksburg.

Nolan credited the Hokies for playing such an effective game.

“Virginia Tech are a legitimate national championship contender. They were a Final Four team last year,” Nolan said. “It was always going to be a challenge for us to go down there and play them on their home field.  It was one of those where we needed to get through the first 15, 20 minutes and weather the early storm. And unfortunately, we couldn’t.”

After the third Hokie goal, Nolan decided to rest several starters for Sunday’s more winnable game against unranked Wake Forest. Virginia Tech piled on three more second-half goals to round out a drubbing of the visiting Hoyas.

FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Sophomore forward Grace Damaska notched her first goal of the season against Virginia Tech in a 6-1 loss Friday night. The loss came on the heels of a  four-game unbeaten streak.
FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA
Sophomore forward Grace Damaska notched her first goal of the season against Virginia Tech in a 6-1 loss Friday night. The loss came on the heels of a four-game unbeaten streak.

The Blue and Gray hoped to recover against an unranked Wake Forest team, which was coming off an overtime loss against UNC Wilmington.

Despite the favorable matchup on paper, the Hoyas came out flat, and the Demon Deacons took a 1-0 lead into halftime because of a defensive lapse on a through ball.

Junior defender Marina Paul cited fatigue and inexperience as factors in the defensive miscue.

“I don’t know if it was exhaustion from the Friday game, or just being mentally broken down by being beaten that badly, but we just didn’t come out like we wanted to,” Paul said. “That being said, we also had a lot of young players on the field at the time, and I think the lack of experience may have gotten the best of us.”

Georgetown improved in the second half after a formation change and created three crucial chances with the help of senior forward Vanessa Skrumbis. However, the Hoyas were unable to equalize.

Unfortunately, a gamble to push players forward into attack in the hopes of scoring an equalizing goal hurt the Hoyas late, as they conceded a game-clinching header off an 86th-minute free kick.

The team’s next game comes away at West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va., on Friday night. The game will conclude a stretch of six away games out of the season’s opening seven games. Constantly facing raucous opposing crowds has taken a toll on the Hoyas, but it will also serve as valuable experience during the postseason.

“The crowd at that Friday night game was unbelievable. We haven’t experienced that yet … so that part is difficult. I also think that to be a top team we need to be able to channel those adversities and play through them,” Paul said. “But my favorite field is our field, so it’s hard being away and not being in front of your own fans.”

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*