The Georgetown field hockey team (1-2) will travel north for two consecutive games this weekend as it looks to improve on its slow start. After Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Lock Haven, the road trip provides an opportunity for turnaround at Holy Cross on Saturday and Brown on Sunday.
“It’s a big weekend for us in terms of momentum and in terms of us making adjustments we need to make,” Head Coach Shannon Soares said.
Both Holy Cross (2-3) and Brown (2-0) represent challenging opponents for the Hoyas, who hope to make some early improvements for a program that has struggled in recent years. With a chance to pull the team to a winning record, success this weekend could inject some needed excitement in the program’s progress.
“We’ve been dialed in all week, focusing on doing things well, and really making those minor adjustments that we needed to make coming off [last week],” Soares said. “Our team has done a great job this week focusing in on those things and I think they’ll make the adjustment this weekend.”
Beyond the team’s extra preparations, the unfriendly environment of this weekend’s games could also provide a needed change for the Blue and Gray. Rather than playing on the Hilltop with home-field advantage, where the team has struggled, Soares believes that getting off campus will translate into more focused, better performances for her squad.
“Oftentimes when you get on the road you kind of get to leave all the distractions of campus life behind and really focus on your job ahead of you and what’s at stake,” Soares said. “For us that’s having a positive outcome against strong Holy Cross and Brown teams.”
While not quantifiable, the team hopes that going to Providence, R.I., and Worcester Mass., will result in greater team chemistry, which will in turn bring more goals.
“We all get to sleep in big beds and we’re all together 24/7. The bus ride’s awesome, we get to do homework, we’re watching movies and we’re hanging out. It really helps with the family dynamics because it’s just us,” junior midfielder and co-captain Emily Weinberg said.
In addition to developing team camaraderie, the road trip will be important for creating an attacking style of play that will hopefully carry on through the rest of the season. Georgetown has scored the same amount of goals as their opponents this year, but has created significantly fewer shots. For Soares, a simpler style of play will lead to a game that is to the Hoyas’ advantage.
“[Ours is a] simple style of hockey, that allows the ball to do the work, focusing on the controllables: our energy rate, our technical skill and our ability to fight and want to fight,” Soares said.
If the team is going to innovate and try out new tactics, then Saturday’s game against Holy Cross will likely be its best opportunity. The Crusaders had their best season since 2008 last year, but still finished with only a 5-12 record, and the team has already lost to struggling Longwood and Quinnipiac this year.
Brown, however, will provide a tougher challenge. The Bears are 2-0, having beaten Bryant and University of Massachusetts at Lowell. Senior forward and captain Meghan O’Donnell earned Ivy League player of the week honors last week after scoring the winning goal in each game.
Both Brown and Holy Cross are good enough that Georgetown feels that they will be underdogs entering the game. This is a position that the Hoyas feel most comfortable in.
“They’ll both be tough opponents … but what’s nice about us is that we’re really hungry and we’re kind of the underdog team in this situation. So they’ll be tough games but we’re definitely ready to win,” Weinberg said.
Georgetown will play Holy Cross on Saturday, Sept. 13 and Brown on Sunday, Sept. 14. Saturday’s game will start at 12 p.m.