FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Senior forward Audra Ayotte scored one of three first-half goals for the Hoyas in their 8-0 win at Seton Hall on Friday.
Senior forward Audra Ayotte scored one of three first-half goals for the Hoyas in their 8-0 win at Seton Hall on Friday.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (11-3-4, 6-1-2 Big East) rounded out its Big East regular season Friday night, beating Seton Hall (3-10-5, 0-6-3 Big East) in an 8-0 blowout.

The victory, combined with a 3-0 St. John’s (10-7-1, 6-2-1 Big East) loss at No. 13 DePaul (15-0-3, 7-0-2 Big East), gave the Hoyas a second-place finish in the Big East regular season and a first-round bye in the tournament. Seton Hall finished ninth in the conference.

Georgetown’s offense experienced a resurgence from its recent poor form, with senior attacking midfielder Daphne Corboz tallying three goals and both sophomore forward Grace Damaska and freshman midfielder Rachel Corboz racking up three assists.

Senior forward Vanessa Skrumbis scored twice, putting her in a tie for third in the Big East with 10 goals, level with Daphne Corboz.

Head Coach Dave Nolan gave credit to Seton Hall for not remaining in the defensive shell Georgetown has seen all this season from outmatched opponents.

“To be fair, we probably played at the same level we played in so many of the games this year, like the Providence game, the Xavier game, the Duquesne game, the Villanova game,” Nolan said. “It’s just that, in this particular instance, they all went in. … They came out to play. It was Senior Night, and they didn’t sit back in. It was their last game, so they rolled the dice and said, ‘Let’s go for it.’”

Within four minutes of the opening kickoff, Georgetown had the lead thanks to a Daphne Corboz rebound goal, and made the score 3-0 by halftime with a goal from senior forward Audra Ayotte and Corboz’s second.

“We probably could have scored another five or six [goals]. We played really well, created a lot of good chances,” Nolan said. “With the exception of one goal, the other seven were very good goals. … Everything we talked about in practice all week, we scored from.”

Daphne Corboz’s hat trick brought her up to a Big East-leading 37 points, nine clear of second place; her 17 assists are good for third in all of Division I women’s soccer.

Senior goalkeeper Emma Newins finished the regular season with the third-best goals against average in the conference, allowing just 1.08 goals per game.
Georgetown also took the top spot in team goals allowed per game with 0.90; the Hoyas’ eight goals scored dropped Seton Hall, which had been tied for first in the Big East in that statistic, all the way down to eighth.

“We scored from combination play, the second and maybe the fifth,” Nolan said. “We scored from quality crosses, when we got around the outside and we got great balls across the face of goal because we had worked on committing people to get into the box when we got the ball wide.”

Nolan was especially pleased with how the week’s practices led directly to positive game results, and illustrated the importance of paying attention during video sessions with a Corboz set-piece goal.

“And then we scored off a setpiece, off a corner kick, which we had watched on video how they left a part of the field exposed,” Nolan said. “And Daphne finished before they could react. I was real happy with that, because it shows they listened.”

Freshman defensive midfielder Taylor Pak, Damaska and Daphne Corboz all added second-half goals before Skrumbis notched two more in a five-goal second-half rout of the Pirates.

Nolan thought that even though the team scored eight goals, perhaps the most impressive player on the pitch Friday night filled a defensive role.

“Our attacking ideas were very good. I thought our movement off the ball was very good, and I thought our speed of play was very good,” Nolan said. “But the player who really impressed me in the game was [sophomore] Emily Morgan, who, as a defensive center mid[fielder], the stats don’t show up on the board. But she won us the ball so many times and got the ball to people quickly. She broke up so many of their attacks. I felt her energy really drove the team forward in many ways.”

Seton Hall managed to create several two-on-two chances, but the Hoya defense stayed strong.

Nolan said the team’s goal had been to win the Big East regular season, but conceded the importance of a bye to the semifinals.

“The first-round bye is huge,” Nolan said. “We’ve got a couple of injuries; nothing serious, but we’ve got some kids that need to rest. And it gives us the chance to give them three or four days off to try to get them healthier and fresher for Friday’s game.”

The Hoyas will take on the winner of Tuesday’s match between St. John’s and Villanova match on Friday evening in Queens, N.Y., in the Big East tournament semifinal.

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