After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Georgetown women’s soccer team had a chance to advance past the first round of the 2017 NCAA tournament on the road against Wake Forest. Georgetown came into the match on the heels of its Big East Championship win, which marked the first time in program history that the team won both the Big East regular season and postseason titles. But, after double overtime, the Hoyas came up short against the Demon Deacons, losing 2-1 on penalty kicks in an agonizing defeat.

The team will look to bounce back this season, Head Coach Dave Nolan said.

“It was a tough way for this season to end,” Nolan said. “I felt bad for the kids, especially with the success we had the previous year, because I actually felt last year’s team was better than the team that went to the Final Four College Cup in 2016.”

Georgetown (2-0-2, 0-0 Big East) will have to make do without two of its top players from last season’s squad, as midfielder Rachel Corboz (COL ’18) and defender Elizabeth Wenger

(MSB ’18) both graduated and are now playing professionally. Corboz recently joined FC Fleury 91 in France, while Elizabeth Wenger was picked up by the Washington Spirit in the National Women’s Soccer League.

The Hoyas climbed to No. 15 in the national polls after their first two matches, a win against the University of Georgia Bulldogs in the Virginia Tech Tournament and a 1-1 draw against the Virginia Tech Hokies. The Blue and Gray then opened up their home schedule at Shaw field with a scoreless tie against the No. 11 ranked Duke University Blue Devils. In that contest, Georgetown outshot Duke 24-15.

Graduate Student Kyra Carusa scored and added an assist in Georgetown’s 3-1 win over Yale.

Georgetown will rely on a collection of players to replace the dynamic offensive skillset that Corboz brought to the team.

Graduate transfer forward Kyra Carusa, who joins the Hoyas from 2017 NCAA Champion Stanford University, will play a big part in Georgetown’s plans this season. Carusa scored 15 goals and added five assists last season.

“Kyra is a different type of player. She’s more of a maverick on the field,” Nolan said. “She’s very unpredictable, which is very good in that she’s difficult for teams to hone on what she is going to do.”

Among the returners, senior forwards Caitlin Farrell and Amanda Carolan will look to build on their successful 2017 seasons. Both forwards were named to the Preseason All-Big East team.

“We need both of those guys to help us start scoring some more goals,” Nolan said.

Farrell scored eight goals and provided three assists last season, earning her a spot on the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region first team. Farrell is also one of 45 players on the preseason MAC Hermann Trophy watch list.

“Caitlin has it in her to be one of the best attacking players in the country. She had a very good junior year and had an incredible spring,” Nolan said. “With her pace and with her size and strength, she’s difficult to match up with.”

Amanda Carolan scored nine goals and added two assists last season, which earned her a spot on the United Soccer Coaches All-Midwest Region second team.

“Amanda is our target player. We play into her and off of her a lot,” Nolan said. “When she’s on, she’s big, strong, fast, and she can finish.”

Manning the defense is junior Meaghan Nally, who was named the Big East Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Sophomore Kelly Ann Livingstone will join Nally on the backline.

“I think in Kelly Anne Livingstone we probably have the best defender in the conference now, certainly the best central defender,” Nolan said. “She’s had an outstanding start to the season for us.”

Behind the strong defense, graduate student and Big East Preseason Goalkeeper of the year Arielle Schechtman will serve as a familiar face in net. Last season, Schechtman was named Big East Goalkeeper of the Year, recording 17 shutouts, 37 saves and a 0.31 goals-against average.

Nolan feels confident in his defense even after losing Wenger.

“I never feel like we are going to give up many goals. That starts with defending from the front with our forwards and our midfielders,” Nolan said. “We’ve gotten comfortable and proud of what a good defensive team we are.”

In a battle of the bulldogs against Yale University on Sunday, Georgetown came out on top 3-1. Carusa netted a goal and added an assist, while Farrell and freshman Boo Jackson added a goal each. The squad outshot Yale 13-6 and held a 10-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Looking ahead, Nolan was cautious about creating high expectations for his team

“Most importantly, I want us not to have any regrets,” Nolan said. “I want us to be the best version of this team. What I don’t want us to do is leave anything on the table.”

Next up for the Blue and Gray is a crosstown matchup at The George Washington University against the Colonials (4-0-0, 0-0 Atlantic 10) on Thursday at 5 p.m.

Leave a Reply

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