Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Women’s Soccer | Hoyas Held To Overtime Draw on Senior Day

JULIA HENNRIKUS/ THE HOYA  Freshman defender Drew Topor scored the first goal of her college career Sunday against Villanova.
Freshman defender Drew Topor scored the first goal of her college career Sunday against Villanova.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (10-3-4, 5-1-2 Big East) drew 1-1 on Senior Day after two overtime periods on Sunday afternoon against Villanova (5-8-4, 3-3-2 Big East), with a second half goal from freshman defender Drew Topor canceled out by a late penalty for the Wildcats.

While the day was focused on honoring the accomplishments of the eight seniors on the team, several freshmen showed that the future of Georgetown soccer is bright, too, as freshman midfielder Rachel Corboz and freshman defender Taylor Pak each assisted on Topor’s finish.

With DePaul (14-0-3, 6-0-2 Big East) and St. John’s (10-6-1, 6-1-1 Big East) both on the winning side of 1-0 scorelines Saturday, Georgetown dropped to third in the Big East with one game remaining. As those two teams play each other Friday night, Georgetown remains alive in the fight for the top two spots and a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan was understandably disappointed with the result, as the Blue and Gray controlled the match but were unable to come away with the win.

“We scored off a corner kick today, but the disappointing thing is that we had seventeen corner kicks,” Nolan said. “And we only scored once. But we had two or three cleared off the line, and we had enough great moments … It’s hard sometimes when a team has just got bodies in front of the goal… I don’t think we got that good fortune in front of goal today.”

The Hoyas certainly created chances, and Topor had a couple looks at goal in the first half but didn’t hit the target. Senior forward Audra Ayotte also found herself in good spaces to score early in the second half but was unable to direct her efforts on frame.

The Hoyas’ lone goal came in the 64th minute when Pak played a cross from freshman midfielder Rachel Corboz back across the box, and Topor found some space and rocketed the ball past the keeper.

“I feel a bit sorry for the girls,” Nolan said. “We’ve played a lot worse and won games. The unfortunate part was that we needed the second goal to get them out of it. They were only ever going to score on a mistake or a moment of good fortune, and they got a moment of good fortune. I mean, the kid hits a shot that’s really going nowhere, and it’s an inadvertent handball. But that’s the rules of the game.”

The penalty was fortunate for the Wildcats, whose only other major chance to score came halfway through the second overtime when Georgetown senior goalkeeper Emma Newins came off her line to cut out a vital through ball, and then dove to save the rebound.

Georgetown did not lack for shots, outshooting Villanova 20-3, or corners, as they won 17; but there was no moment of magic, no match winner coming from the Hoyas.

“We started to get a little bit tentative, maybe thinking that this wasn’t going to be our day,” Nolan said. “I felt we could have gone on and pushed home our advantage. I thought we played a little bit scared around that time.”

Despite the nervous play, the defense held strong in the face of Villanova’s repeated attempts to counterattack and steal a goal.

“I thought we played so well today, but we had a bit of bad luck,” Topor said. “In the beginning of the season, we were all pretty much new to the back line. So I think it took a little while to get used to each other, feel each other out, and know how we all play. But we’ve really got a rhythm down now, and we’re getting more shutouts and really improving.”

The defense has conceded just two goals in the past six games, contributing to a stretch that has seen the Hoyas lose only one game since September 7.

The team’s final match comes Friday night at Seton Hall (3-9-5, 0-5-3 Big East) at 7 p.m.

The seniors have excelled this season, especially Newins and midfielder Daphne Corboz. In the tear-filled post-match ceremony to honor the class, all eight were recognized: midfielder Jillian DeGennaro, midfielder Attie Schubauer, forward Ashley Shaffer, forward Audra Ayotte, forward Jessica Clinton, forward Vanessa Skrumbis, Daphne Corboz and Newins.

After the ceremony, Nolan took a moment to reflect on the transitory nature of the team.

“Part of college athletics is the seniors come in as freshmen, and they look and they learn,” Nolan said. “And then you hope as their senior year comes along, they become better players, better people, better teammates by the end of it. And it’s always sad to see seniors move on, but it’s part of the circle of life … You have to smell the roses along the way and enjoy the experience.”

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