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

Return of Jordan, Wells Gives Hoyas Boost

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With stars such as sophomore forward Samantha Baker (14), who last year led the Hoyas with 10 assists, returning, this season could be a good one for Georgetown.

Expectations are high for women’s soccer on the Hilltop. The Blue and Gray are coming off the most successful two-year period in program history, highlighted by an NCAA tournament berth in 2007. Having just missed the big dance last season, the Hoyas will look to return to postseason play once again.

Georgetown passed its first test of the year with flying colors, handily defeating cross-town rival American 2-0 last Saturday. Overall, Head Coach Dave Nolan seemed to be pleased with the team’s performance.

“The most important thing was to win our first game,” Nolan said. “AU is difficult because those kids get fired up to play us.”

The Hoyas struck early, as junior defender Michaela Buonomo – named Big East defensive player of the week – headed in a corner kick from sophomore forward Camille Trujillo in the 19th minute. After GU failed to capitalize on multiple scoring chances early in the second half, Trujillo scored a goal of her own in the 80th minute, providing the Hoyas with some insurance.

As they move forward into the 2009 campaign, the Hoyas return seven of their top eight scorers from a year ago, the majority of the defensive core and junior goalkeeper and 2008 NSCAA regional All-American Jackie DesJardin.

In addition, Georgetown will regain the services of standout forward Sara Jordan, a graduate student, as well as redshirt sophomore and NSCAA National All-American Ingrid Wells.

Jordan only played in three games last season due to injury. The co-captain is an experienced and prolific goal scorer, and her return should bolster the Hoya attack tremendously. Also leading the Blue and Gray offense will be sophomore forward Samantha Baker, last year’s leading goal scorer. Baker has also demonstrated that she can perform under pressure, netting four game-winning goals last season. Trujillo has also emerged as an offensive threat, as shown by her performance in the season opener.

The return of Wells will greatly help the Blue and Gray on both sides of the ball. Wells is a former New Jersey Gatorade Player of the Year and was a highly touted recruit. She excelled on the field as a freshman and was awarded Big East rookie of the year. Wells spent this past season away from Georgetown as she played for the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team, helping them reach the 2008 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

“It helped me learn how far I can push myself and what I am capable of,” Wells said of her experience.

Joining Wells at midfield will be sophomore Kelly D’Ambrisi and junior co-captain Caitlin Durkee. D’Ambrisi finished third on the team in points last season and was awarded freshman All-American honors. Her ability to score as well as her ability to create chances with her passing should cause headaches for the opposition. Durkee, a solid defensive midfielder, has also shown a flair for passing, recording 10 assists last season

Also co-captaining Nolan’s squad this year will be senior defender Norah Swanson. Swanson’s veteran leadership will lead a staunch Hoya defense which only allowed 0.70 goals per match in 2008, a school record. In addition to excelling on the field, Swanson was recently named to the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to become more involved,” she said of her appointment. “It’s nice to give back and make an impact on the daily lives of students.”

Buonomo and sophomore Gabby Miller will also return to the starting lineup and help solidify the Hoya defensive front. Miller had a successful season as a freshman, gaining recognition with her tenacious style of play. For her efforts, she was awarded Freshman All-Region Honors.

Desjardin returns as the net-minder this season, already with a shutout under her belt. The goalkeeper has recorded 17 career shutouts and is considered one of the conference’s premier players at her position.

Although Georgetown has a wealth of talent up and down the roster, its road to the postseason will be far from easy. The Big East is loaded with NSCAA nationally ranked teams this year, highlighted by No. 3 Notre Dame, No. 14 West Virginia, and No. 20 Rutgers. In addition to facing all three of these teams as well as other dangerous conference foes, the Hoyas have a rigorous non-conference schedule which features rising power James Madison and No. 22 Santa Clara.

“The Big East is one of the best conferences in the country,” Nolan said. “Every game is a fight.”

Despite such a rigorous schedule, Nolan expressed confidence in his team.

“If we work harder than the teams we play we will always have a chance to be successful,” he said.

Though a postseason berth is well within the realm of possibility for his squad, the head coach wasn’t so apt to make any predictions.

“It’s hard to say we want [a certain number of] wins,” he said. “All I ever ask for is for them to always give me their best.”

Wells was a little bit more straightforward.

“I’ll be honest,” the All-American said. “I just really want to make it to the tournament.”

Anything less would be a disappointment for a team poised to take the next step in 2009.”

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