Another shutout victory for the No. 17 Georgetown women’s soccer team against St. John’s at home this weekend solidified its tough and defensive-minded identity as it prepares to travel to Chicago to take on DePaul University.

Georgetown’s (7-2-1, 1-0 Big East) 1-0 victory last Sunday over St. John’s (4-5-1, 0-1 Big East) in the teams’ conference opener was Georgetown’s fifth straight game allowing zero goals and eighth such game overall, a figure that ranks fourth in the nation.

“As a coach, you try to find a group of kids who [take] pride in not giving up goals, and this past year the girls got addicted to the feeling of not giving up goals, and I think that’s carried on this year,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan said.

Georgetown’s starting backline is led by senior defender Elizabeth Wenger, with the other three spots held by players who were not regular starters prior to this season — defenders junior Jenna Staudt, sophomore Meaghan Nally and freshman Kelly Ann Livingstone.

“That’s unusual when you have that much inexperience back there for a group to work so well together. But, at this point, they’ve jelled quite well and they do take pride in not giving up goals,” Nolan said.

Sunday’s game was scoreless for the first 80 minutes, before junior forward Caitlin Farrell capitalized on a botched goal kick by the St. John’s goalkeeper and scored the game-winning goal.

Before the goal, the Red Storm had a pair of opportunities to steal the road game from the Hoyas, but Nally snuffed out the attack both times to stop a potential goal.

“[Nally] is always in here watching film. She’s always out on the field,” Nolan said. “Sometimes, I wish she would take it a little bit easier, but that’s what separates the great players from the good players, is their constant obsession with getting better.”

For her efforts, Nally was named the Big East Conference Defensive Player of the Week, while Farrell was selected to the Weekly Honor Roll.

It’s a quick turnaround for the Blue and Gray, who now head out to play in their first Big East away game on Thursday against the DePaul Blue Demons (4-5-1, 0-0-1 Big East). The grind of the regular season makes it harder to adjust in practice, according to Nolan.

“We’ve got kids that play a lot of minutes and we’ve got to try and rest their legs. We’re going to have a bunch resting out [in practice on Tuesday],” Nolan said. “The way the schedule is, it’s hard to try and prepare properly.”

Then-No. 7 Georgetown and DePaul faced off last year during the regular season, a game in which the Blue Demons pulled off a 4-1 upset victory at Shaw field.

The Hoyas had the last laugh, however, defeating the Blue Demons in penalty kicks in the Big East tournament semifinals.

While DePaul has not met expectations so far this season, Nolan knows this is not a game to take lightly.

“They’ve shown they’re capable of beating good teams, because they beat a very good Pepperdine team who tied UCLA, No. 1 in the country,” Nolan said. “I know we’ll get their best effort because of the rivalry we have with them. So, we’re going to have to be at our best.”

Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. in Chicago.

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