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

GU Heats Up for Stretch Run

Georgetown wrapped up its final homestand of the year this weekend with two conference matchups against Pittsburgh and West Virginia. On Friday, the Hoyas (12-3-2, 6-2-1 Big East) tallied an important shutout over the Pittsburgh Panthers (7-4-5, 2-2-5 Big East), but the weekend was highlighted by Sunday’s senior day victory against the West Virginia Mountaineers (7-5-2, 4-3-2 Big East), the defending Big East champions.

The Blue and Gray knew that they would be in for a test on Friday, as they hosted a Pittsburgh team that had already notched eight shutouts on the season. Just four minutes into the game, sophomore midfielder Kelly D’Ambrisi wove her way through several Pittsburgh defenders before feeding the ball to graduate student forward [Sara Jordan](, who just missed connecting with sophomore forward Camille Trujillo in front of the net.

Unfortunately for both teams, this set the tone for a scoreless half that was full of chances for Georgetown. Although the pressure resulted in no goals, it had the benefit of keeping the Pittsburgh attackers from getting in synch and seriously threatening the Hoyas’ backline.

“When [Pitt] counterattacked, they never had the numbers they needed,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “They never really had the numbers they needed to be dangerous.”

Seven minutes after halftime, the Blue and Gray finally capitalized. Junior midfielder Amy Speck stole the ball from a Pittsburgh defender and fed it to Jordan, who calmly fired the ball through the helpless goalkeeper’s legs and into the back of the net. Later, Nolan credited Jordan’s goal with loosening his team up.

“In these games, there’s a little bit of tension, and there’s a little bit of nerves,” Nolan said. “Sometimes it’s hard to play free, and you only actually play free once you score that first goal.”

That goal seemed to wake the Panthers up from their stupor, as they mounted their first concerted attack over the next 15 minutes, forcing junior keeper Jackie DesJardin to make some big saves. Jordan quashed the building Pittsburgh momentum when she netted her second goal of the game in the 67th minute, off a perfect pass from redshirt sophomore Ingrid Wells. The goal made Jordan, who was already the career leader in assists and points, the top goal scorer in program history.

“[Sara] is just a tremendous player,” Nolan said. “I was so happy for her today scoring those two goals because that gives her the all-time goal-scoring record, and she deserves it.”

Sophomore forward Samantha Baker wrapped up the scoring with a goal in the 88th minute off passes from D’Ambrisi and Trujillo, giving the Hoyas the 3-0 win.

“I felt overall it was our first 90-minute performance in a while,” Nolan said. “Today was the first time we put it together pretty well, and I thought we were worthy winners.”

Sunday was senior day for the Hoyas, which was made more significant by their opponent. As the defending Big East champions, the Mountaineers get every team’s best shot, and Nolan knew that his team would be eager to seize their opportunity to beat them after falling just short the past two years.

“West Virginia is where we want to be – they’re the Big East champions,” Nolan said. “That’s the program that we want to try and emulate. The road to the Big East every year for us goes through West Virginia. They’re a great program.”

After threatening to score on a few set-pieces, the Blue and Gray got on the board in the 20th minute when junior midfielder Caitlin Durkee tapped in a Jordan cross.

“Jordan made a great run to drag the defender away and the ball ran through [the box],” Nolan said. “Caitlin got into the box and finished. . That’s the plan; you get the ball in the box and hope that one of your players can make a play on it.”

Although a relentless Georgetown attack kept West Virginia on its heels for the remainder of the first half and the beginning of the second half, the visitors were able to equalize in the 53rd minute when freshman midfielder Bri Rodriguez slipped the ball past DesJardin and just over the goal line before junior defender Michaela Buonomo could clear the ball.

“To be honest, I was disappointed that [WVU] scored because it was a pretty harmless play that led to their goal,” Nolan said. “Up to that point they weren’t threatening . and they scored a goal against the run of play.”

The tie did not last long, however, as Baker curled a low shot around the helpless Mountaineer goalie in the 57th minute after one of her own long throw-ins was batted around the box. Baker’s goal wound up being difference in the game, as the Hoyas gained an important three points with a 2-1 victory.

After the game, Nolan had special praise for a few of his players.

“Kelly D’Ambrisi was just exceptional today,” Nolan said. “She kept their No. 31, who’s one of the best players in the conference . out of the game and still managed to give us what she normally gives us. And I thought Camille Trujillo up front just terrorized their defenders.”

Although it was the underclassmen who shone brightly on Sunday, the significance of senior day was not lost upon Nolan, whose team will be without the services of Jordan, defenders Norah Swanson and Erika Roberts, as well as forward Toni Marie Hudson next year.

“All of those [seniors] came in at a point where we were kind of an average program, and they’ve seen a great rise, and they’ve seen how we’ve pushed the program along,” Nolan reflected. “It’s always nice to win on senior day.”

Georgetown wraps up its regular season on the road next weekend with games against DePaul and Notre Dame.”

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