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

After Hot Start to Season, Hoyas Set for Big East Slate

As the Georgetown women’s soccer team prepares for its first conference game against the Villanova Wildcats on Friday, it is ready for the obstacles that only Big East play can present. Unlike last year at this time, the Hoyas are not undefeated, but they head into the Villanova game on a hot streak, having won two in a row and six of their first seven games.

Head Coach Dave Nolan, while confident in his team, is fully aware of the challenges that the slate of upcoming conference games will pose to his team.

“This year our conference schedule is more difficult than usual because we basically go against the three best teams in the conference, in Notre Dame, UConn, and West Virginia,” Nolan said.

If any team is prepared to deal with such a difficult schedule, though, it is this Hoya team, which overcame a great deal of adversity to go 8-3 in conference play last year. Nolan feels that a repeat performance in conference would get the Hoyas into the NCAA tournament, unlike last year.

“If we could get seven or eight wins in the conference that would be successful,” he said. “I would feel that would be a good chance for us getting NCAA selection.”

Although any given sports team rarely has an obstacle-free season, last year’s norovirus outbreak on campus made the schedule even more difficult for the Hoyas, who ended the season having to play eight games in 16 days, instead of the regularly scheduled six games.

“I knew once [the games were rescheduled that] there was going to come a game we would lose because of fatigue, not because of ability or because of us not playing well,” Nolan said. “And we got it at Pittsburgh. And that was probably the result that knocked us out of the NCAAs.”

This year’s team has already benefited from the return of sixth-year graduate student forward Sara Jordan, who injured her ACL early last season, and redshirt sophomore midfielder Ingrid Wells, who missed much of last season while she was on duty with the U.S. U-20 national team. Jordan and Wells have been extremely productive this year, as Wells leads the team with four goals and 15 points and Jordan is third on the team with seven points.

Nolan is thankful to have two of his stars back, both for the offensive punch they provide as well as for their leadership.

“Getting Sara and Ingrid back this year has been fantastic,” Nolan said. “Besides being great soccer players, they’re also people that inspire others through their play and they have the ability to lift people around them.”

On the other end of the field, junior goalkeeper Jackie DesJardin is quickly approaching the Georgetown record for clean sheets, and the stabilization she brings to the Georgetown back line is not lost on Nolan.

“Certainly through last year, [Jackie] was the best goalkeeper in the conference,” Nolan said.

But he was also quick to praise the defenders in front of DesJardin who have played an integral role in the Hoyas’ six shutouts and DesJardin’s miniscule 0.36 goals against average.

Despite his team’s early success, however, Nolan has not been entirely pleased with the Hoyas’ early form. He knows the Blue and Gray will have to step up as the schedule toughens up.

“We’ve been winning games,” he said. “But I haven’t been as happy with our play because I know the play has to get better when we start playing the better teams.”

Nolan takes heart in the Hoyas most recent performance, when four first-half goals essentially decided the contest against Robert Morris by halftime. He knows that effort like this will go a long way toward winning games against the teams like Villanova, which the Hoyas cannot afford to overlook despite the likes of UConn and Notre Dame looming later in the season.

“[It is a] huge game against Villanova, quite possibly our biggest rival in the conference,” Nolan said. “Last year we beat up on them on the scoreboard, but it was far closer than the 3-0 scoreline suggested. I’m sure those kids remember that.”

After the game against Villanova on Friday, which takes place at North Kehoe Field at 3 p.m., the Hoyas travel to the University of Pennsylvania for a nonconference game before returning to Big East play next weekend with two big games against Rutgers and Seton Hall.”

More to Discover