Following a seemingly endless regulation period, the Georgetown women’s field hockey team clinched a high-stress overtime victory in New Haven, Conn., against the Sacred Heart Pioneers on Sept. 3. The Hoyas entered their first away game of the season looking to keep their winning streak alive on the road.
Georgetown (2-0, 0-0 Big East) returned to action to defeat the Pioneers (0-3, 0-0 Northeast) coming off a win against Appalachian State and a postponed contest against Towson. Commencing their season with the confidence of a win under their belts gave the Hoyas the grit to hold on until their final penalty corner of the match. Georgetown eventually found the back of the cage with a much-needed finish near the back post from fifth-year forward Ali Cronin, who ended the evening on a high note.
Prior to heading into overtime play, the Hoyas and the Pioneers remained neck and neck. Despite relentless offensive efforts from Georgetown, who outshot Sacred Heart 9-5 throughout regulation, the match remained scoreless, keeping anxiety high and the Hoyas on their toes.
Georgetown entered the contest eager to find the cage early but struggled to finish on numerous opportunities. The Hoyas fired shot after shot, offensively outplaying their opponent with five shots to Sacred Heart’s one as early as the first quarter. The Pioneers’ defensive grit, however, kept Georgetown in check despite minimal chances to seek offensive control on their end.
With one minute to spare in the first period, fifth-year attacker Emma Street had one of the Hoyas’ closer encounters with the back of the cage near the baseline off of a strategic pass across the circle from senior back Georgina Eberle. Deflected by Pioneer goalkeeper Erin Burgess, Georgetown senior forward Halle Gill looked to rebound Street’s missed opportunity with a reverse hit, which Burgess blocked to keep the score tied at zero.
For both teams, the second and third periods were a scrappy battle primarily located in the middle of the field, with players tirelessly looking for creative ways to take control of the game’s momentum. Early into the third quarter, the Hoyas instigated three offensive penalty corners in their favor, hoping to shift the pace of the game after their halftime break. After the first two attempts deflected off the shin guard of a Sacred Heart defender, Georgetown was granted a third shot, only to have a Hoya reverse shot be sent just wide of the left goal post.
Georgetown remained dialed in, continuing to knock on the door of its opponent with numerous one-on-one encounters against the Pioneers’ goalkeeper. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Georgetown first-year midfielder Sophie Towne fired a powerful pass into the circle, finally putting the Hoyas on the board. An offsides violation called back the goal, keeping the remainder of the quarter scoreless and forcing the match into overtime play.
With overtime in full swing, both squads hit the turf once again with high energy. The match was still a back-and-forth battle until Towne strategically hit the foot of her opponent in Georgetown’s offensive circle, granting the Hoyas a critical penalty corner opportunity.
Cronin commenced the offensive penalty by firing a powerful insert to Towne. In a ball movement sequence between Towne and senior defender Sydney Stephenson, the ball eventually made its way back to Cronin at the back left post. With no time to waste, Cronin fired a quick shot to the back of the cage, propelling Georgetown to victory.
Amid a nail-biter under the lights, the Hoyas maintained composure and successfully emerged from Friday’s matchup with another victory added to their record. Georgetown will continue its 2021 season away from its home field, hitting the turf once again Sept. 10 against Rider University at 4 p.m. EDT.