The women’s soccer team went 1-1 for the second straight weekend. The Hoyas (9-4-0, 3-2-0 Big East) led off with a hard-earned, come-from-behind 3-1 victory against South Florida (6-3-2, 1-2-1 Big East) on Friday.
“It was something we hadn’t managed to do the three previous games we had lost,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said of his team’s comeback win. “It showed that we have resilience.”
The Hoyas came out strong against the Bulls, nearly scoring several times in the opening minutes. But it was South Florida that claimed the lead in the ninth minute of play, thanks to a goal that was largely the work of the Bulls’ speedy junior forward Chelsea Klotz.
“[Klotz’s] strength is her pace,” Nolan said. “We talked to our defenders before the game about always being aware and taking up the room she wants.”
Although they could have allowed the early goal to deflate them, the Hoyas fought back. They did not appear frantic but instead retained their composure and style of play. An equalizer materialized in the 29th minute off the foot of junior forward Camille Trujillo. Senior midfield Caitlin Durkee blasted a shot toward goal, but was blocked by South Florida’s junior goalkeeper Nicole McClure. Trujillo got to the rebound first, however, and hammered it into net.
The Hoyas came out aggressive in the second half and scored the go-ahead goal seven minutes into play. Freshman defender Kailey Blain tallied her fifth assist of the season, finding senior midfielder Amy Speck, who was hovering about 20 yards from goal. Speck settled the ball and launched it, curving it out of McClure’s reach and into goal.
Just over 20 minutes later, Georgetown extended its lead when junior midfielder Kelly D’Ambrisi found freshman forward Kaitlin Brenn moving toward the goal. Brenn picked up the ball and continued forward, smartly dribbling to the far post and forcing McClure off her line before neatly tucking the ball into the open net.
The stats – and the result – accurately depicted the story of the game. The Hoyas outshot their opponents 16-6 and had eight corner kicks compared with just one for the Bulls.
The Hoyas then took on division-leader Marquette (8-3-2; 5-0-0 Big East) on Sunday, falling 2-1.
“We’re a bit unlucky we didn’t get more out of the game . We put them under enormous pressure and just ran out of time,” Nolan said. “[Marquette does] deserve credit for their defense.”
The Golden Eagles took the lead in the 20th minute of play, when junior midfielder Rachael Sloan crossed the ball in for freshman forward Taylor Madigan, who secured possession and, in so doing, forced Hoya senior goalkeeper Jackie DesJardin to rush out of goal in an attempt to close down Madigan’s shooting angle. But Madigan got the shot off in time and fired the ball into the opposite corner of the goal.
The Golden Eagles got an insurance goal just five minutes later when Sloan received the ball at the top of the box and chipped it over DesJardin for the 2-0 lead.
“We need to be a little more organized when the ball comes over in transition,” Nolan said. “It was especially disappointing to be down because they scored on their first two chances.”
The Blue and Gray kept plugging away during the second half, threatening many times but not having anything to show for it until the last few minutes.
“We just tried to use our pace,” Nolan said. We succeeded in putting them under tremendous pressure.”
Finally, Brenn scored off a pass from redshirt junior midfielder Ingrid Wells in the 84th minute of play to put her team within one.
“[Brenn]’s a quiet kid. She comes and does her business and leaves,” Nolan said of the freshman goal-scorer. “With [Brenn] there’s always a chance she’ll score goals if you get the ball to her in the box.”
With five minutes to go, Georgetown was fired up and had settled into control. But despite a pair of close chances, time ran out on the Hoyas.
“They really fought when it would have been easy to roll over,” Nolan said of his team. “We’re a good team to watch and that’s important for me. I really enjoy watching my team play.”
The Hoyas will be back on the road this weekend for must-win matches against two Big East opponents. On Friday, Georgetown will face off against Cincinnati (7-5-1, 1-4-0 Big East) before heading down to Kentucky to take on Louisville (8-4-0; 2-3-0 Big East) on Sunday.
“We haven’t had a bad game this year,” Nolan said. “Even the games we have lost we played well. … That’s the most disappointing part. I just hope we get the results we deserve.”