In episode two of “Halftime on the Hilltop,” the show’s hosts talk about all things Hoya sports, from field hockey to more wins for the soccer team. This week, Hoya sports writer Caden Koontz (SFS ’23) joins the team after recovering from an injury.
New to the show is “Rose and Thorn,” a chance for the hosts to share the best and the worst sports moments of the week. Listen in to debate about the NBA’s decision to remove Kyrie Irving from the Brooklyn Nets after his refusal to get vaccinated as well as speculations about the upcoming Georgetown basketball team.
DP: Welcome to the second edition of Halftime on the Hilltop. I’m one of your hosts, Demi. Just to refresh you guys, we are four sports writers from The Hoya and we started this podcast to discuss Georgetown athletics and the bigger sports world. So as soon as the next episode, we plan on bringing on athletes and sportswriters from Washington, D.C., but today we just want to recap Georgetown sports because a lot has gone on. Also, we have a new writer. Caden, do you want to introduce yourself?
CK: Yeah. So I’m Caden Koontz (SFS ’23). I was not at the first episode because I had a bit of an accident in the Yates basketball courts. I tore my ACL and my meniscus. I was in surgery. Now I’m back. I can sort of walk. I’m a junior, I’m the only junior here. I’m in the SFS. My sports interests are pretty broad. I live in Canada on Vancouver Island, so there really aren’t any teams, like where I live specifically, but my dad’s from Kansas City, so I’m a Chiefs fan. And I grew up in California. So like, I don’t mind, you know, California teams. So yeah, that’s me. And I’m really excited to get started and just talk Georgetown sports. It’s gonna be fun.
DP: Awesome. We are happy to have you. So first we’re going to recap Georgetown sports. And then we’re going to introduce our first segment, “Rose and Thorn.”
SS: All right, just to refresh you guys again, I’m Saar, I’m a sophomore in the MSB. And we’re going to start by discussing field hockey, Georgetown’s field hockey team. I think my image of them got screwed up by the first game I went to, which was Georgetown-Liberty. We lost 1 to 5. It was, like, horrendous.
CK: Liberty sucks. I hate Liberty as a school.
SS: They don’t suck at field hockey; they’re the best team in the country.
CK: Okay, I didn’t know that.
SS: I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t know anything at all about the sport. So I pulled up and I was like, “Let’s go, field hockey, new sport, why not?” Then we just get trounced. I was like, okay, I went to the next one; we lost again, that was to Lock Haven. But ever since John covered his very first game as a Hoya sports writer against Brown, the Hoyas have won four of their last five. First-year Sophie Towne has been ridiculous. She just scored their lone goal in a win over VCW — VCU. That’s where I live.
CK: It’s crazy that VCW fielded a team to play the Georgetown team.
SS: Well, I was on the team. She got the goal on me. Like, I was playing goalie and she just — she just flipped one up and over. She has four goals on the year that leads the Hoyas. Not only that, fifth in the entire Big East among first-years for goals in the season. So up-and-comer already establishing herself. We’re looking good. We’re looking very good.
JN: Our next game is going to be on Friday at 1 p.m. on Cooper Field versus Quinnipiac. And then Sunday is our second game, which is also going to be on Cooper Field versus St. Francis at 12 noon.
CK: Go support!
DP: That was some great pronunciation.
CK: Yeah, he killed that.
DP: All right, let’s move on to men’s soccer. So, with the win over Butler 1-0 on Saturday, the ninth, we moved to 10-0 on the season and 4-0 in the Big East. I believe we’re still ranked No. 1 in the country. And so the game wasn’t gonna win. But you know, you look at the stats. It was just one of those games where we were dominating defensively and offensively. But the ball just didn’t want to go on the net.
CK: Honestly, they had a lot of great chances on goal. So early on in the game, they had this beautiful team setup to Zach Riviere where he was, like, through open net and he had a couple other ones so they looked really good all around. I’d say that it was kind of like they weren’t finishing, but they seemed pretty crisp to me and, like, definitely on form moving forward. Also shout out to Will Sands, Big East Defensive Player of the Week, I believe. I think it’s his first time getting a Defensive Player of the Week honor.
DP: Go Will.
CK: And one of the great things about the team is they have insane depth, so like there’s got to be like 16 to 17 guys who play every game, and like they can really just roll the bench wherever they want to. I mean Giannis, the goalie, came back as a first-team all-American, I believe, and he starts like half the games. They just started the other goalie sometimes because they can. Knock on wood, but I would be surprised if they weren’t playing in College Cup later this year. They’re such a good team. Book your tickets to Cary, N.C. Like, they’re unreal.
DP: That would be a really fun trip. It’s not that far away.
CK: Yeah, people went last time.
DP: I would go.
CK: You guys weren’t here, you guys were high school students last time they went.
SS: Yeah, a little bit.
CK: Sorry, that’s awkward for you guys.
SS: Dang, he came in all upset about being the only junior on the podcast and now he’s lording it over the rest of it.
CK: Well, I have to.
DP: Let’s move on to women’s soccer.
SS: Let’s do it.
DP: We have an 8-0 record and we’re 4-0-2 in the Big East. And in our last game, we beat St. John’s 1-0. Vicari scored Georgetown’s only goal of the match, which puts her at 69th for goals per game in the country, and there are only 21 other juniors in the top 69. And then Allie Augur is tied for eight in the country in shutouts and she was named the Big East goalkeeper of the week. Is that Goal Keeper for Big East, or?
SS: Yeah, Big East Goalkeeper of the Week.
DP: Okay, Big East Goalkeeper of the Week.
SS: Yeah, just another really dominant week. This is their first weekend where they strung together two wins. Cause obviously they are 8-0-6. So it’s been marked with a lot of ties and just a lot of very low scoring, just like brutal grind-it-out kind of games that just end up with no team able to take the dub. But two wins in a row.
DP: We’ve remained undefeated in regular-season play.
CK: Neither soccer team has lost a game, which, you know, is pretty impressive 20-odd games into the season.
SS: That’s facts. I still feel like they’re underrated in the rankings at this point, to have still not lost and be 23rd or something in the country.
DP: We’re 23rd?
SS: Yeah, if that. We might even be lower.
CK: Xavier was 21st I believe when we beat them.
SS: We play Villanova this Thursday on Shaw Field. Both teams play Villanova for parents’ weekend, I suppose. Because the men’s team plays them on Sunday, I think.
DP: And then our next game after that is not till the 21st next Thursday at Marquette in Milwaukee. So that’s it for Georgetown sports for the week. But all in all, just like a very crazy and exciting and positive week for the Hoyas as well, as like a crazy sports weekend in general, which gave us the idea for our first-ever segment that we’re now introducing, called “Rose and Thorn.”
CK: So the way “Rose and Thorn” works is we go around the table and you each give a rose, so like a good thing that’s happened or maybe the best thing that’s happened, and then a thorn, so the most challenging thing or most negative thing. And I guess in this context, it would be the best sports moment and the worst sports moment. So my rose is the fact that the NBA officially suspended Kyrie Irving for not getting vaccinated. So I think that the NBA had been beating around the bush for too long and not drawing a line because it’s just so irresponsible to let these, you know, mega-famous NBA stars come out and just speak out against the vaccine. I hope that’s not super contentious, but at some point it becomes incumbent on the NBA to shut that down. I think making it really clear that they’re gonna, you know, keep Kyrie Irving honest on this is really important. And again, he was willing to, he’s giving up like $30 million to not get a single shot, which is shocking to me, but yeah, I think the NBA did the right thing, so that’s my rose. And my thorn, hmmm.
SS: Just to be clear, I think it wasn’t the NBA. This was just the Nets, the Nets organization. General Manager Sean Marks was the one who released the statement that essentially just said, Kyrie, if you’re only going to play 41 games on the road, then don’t play at all. Which I think is fair, not even like, I don’t think it’s contentious — but not even from the vaccine perspective, but just like, you have guys who want to play 82 games, guys who want to win a championship, and if you have a star who’s sitting there and saying, “I only want to play half and I’m only gonna commit to half.”
JN: The reason why, if people weren’t following the situation, the reason why he would have played half is that in New York, the laws require that he is vaccinated for the building and, like, going into games and stuff like that. So that is why this is a big issue.
CK: But to be fair, he probably played like 41 games last season also, just because he decided he didn’t want to play some of the time. So this isn’t really a thorn. This is just something I think is going to be really awkward. The fact that Ben Simmons now has to play a whole year with Joel Embiid.
JN: That’s gonna be terrible. Like, he was already out the door.
DP: Maybe we should just have a segment on Bill — Ben Simmons.
SS: We can’t keep doing this.
CK: The funny thing is to us he said, “Oh, I can’t win with Joel Embiid,” and then Joel Embiid had to like, comment on that, and now they’re gonna play together. Saar, how are you feeling? Saar’s down bad right now. He’s punching the air.
SS: I think we know what my thorn of the week is. I think we know what my thorn of the week is. I’d also like to point out she just said Bill Simmons instead of Ben Simmons and it’s all good, but I say VCW one time and everybody goes crazy. No, I mean, for the team, it’s better that he’s back. It’s better that Ben Simmons is back.
CK: He’s become underrated, in my opinion.
SS: He has not become underrated.
CK: I stand by that.
SS: He is horrible at basketball.
CK: He is one of the best defenders in the NBA.
SS: He is one of the best defenders in the NBA. He is one of the best passers in the NBA. Literally every single thing you could want. He probably is and somehow he finds a way to be horrible at basketball.
DP: Okay, so that’s your thorn.
SS: That’s my thorn. Rose, if I do the Eagles, I’m just never going to stop doing the Eagles, I will find a positive every week, so I will do the Baltimore Ravens 25-9. For those of you who don’t know, which is everybody, I’m a huge Lamar Jackson guy. That was my first article for The Hoya, was that Lamar Jackson is a problem for the NFL and then he threw for 97 yards against the Chiefs on Monday Night Football the very next day, so that was great. Yeah. But now he’s throwing for 400-plus yards leading a 16-point comeback. It was just absolutely phenomenal. I mean, he looked amazing. Like, he looked like the MVP.
JN: So my thorn for the week, I’ll start off with my thorn, was the Patriots’ first-half performance against the Texans. We were losing 22-9 at one point. We did come back and win, but it’s the Texans. Mac Jones once again, one of the highlights of the game along with Matthew Judon. Rose for this week has been — playoff baseball with fans is back. Watching the MLB playoffs this year, especially for the home games in Fenway, has been electric. The fans just add so much more, whether it was the wild card game versus the Yankees. Just like Garrett Cole getting booed out of, like, the first three innings, like it’s amazing, or now we just beat the Rays, the Red Socks, my time, and now we’re going to beat the Astros.
DP: Now, I would like to piggyback off of John’s rose. My rose is the Astros literally, like less than an hour ago, just won the ALDS. They beat the White Sox 10-1. I’m so excited. I’m wearing my Altuve jersey.
CK: She’s going to cut that out.
DP: When he hit a homer it just brought me so much joy.
JN: You hear the bags in the trash can right before that and then he knew exactly where the pitch was?
DP: Oh my god, says the Brady fan. But yeah, you and I are about to have beef.
JN: No, but actually.
SS: Tension on the podcast.
JN: This is going to get ugly this week.
DP: Anyway, that was my rose. Thorn was, it’s kind of like a double-edged thorn. Okay, no one thinks that’s funny.
CK: I thought that was pretty good.
DP: So I was home for the weekend. And it was fun because I was around a lot of Aggies, a lot of Longhorns, and just like a lot of people, like, watching college football. Normally I root against like A&M and Texas football, but like, that was just so fun to watch them beat Alabama.
CK: First time they lost since 2019. Sorry, continue.
DP: No, it looked insane. Like it just looked like madness, but it’s a thorn because I mean it’s really sad because I was like, “This is so fun.” Like a — like a crazy college game day.
SS: Oh now it’s great, now it’s something we like.
DP: I texted y’all, I talked to y’all about this.
CK: You guys also haven’t been to basketball games yet, to be fair. Basketball games, there’s an environment there. It’s not on the level of, like, maybe an SEC football game, obviously. And it also doesn’t compare to the camera crazies at Duke. But you know, you’re in an NBA arena. You know, there are tons of kids in the student section. You’re borderline on the court. And, like, it — yeah, it gets rocking in there. So it’s fun.
DP: To finish off, Saar has a little scoop, potential scoop, about the basketball team.
SS: I don’t know if it’s a scoop just because it’s very little, very minimal.
CK: It’s also on Twitter.
SS: Yeah, it’s not really a scoop because everybody knows. But to be clear, like I think everyone is aware that they’ve been, Georgetown basketball has been a little bit unclear with regards to Tre King’s eligibility. Tre King is a transfer from Eastern Kentucky. He’s probably going to play the four or the five this year with a lot of minutes. Hopefully gonna be a great contributor. But he has not been in any of their promotional content for the last couple months, like their hype videos and stuff. They deliberately make sure, whether he’s practicing or not, that he’s not in those videos. Like him lifting or him putting up shots. It’s just not there.
CK: We don’t know if it was deliberate, to be fair.
SS: I mean, they’ve released several in a row. Four or five like 40-second videos and he’s not in any of them. It’s like every other guy in the team has been featured and then Assistant Coach Clinton Crouch. Just like, and also like —
DP: Is that a name out of Harry Potter?
SS: What did you make fun of our assistant coach’s name for? It’s Clinton.
DP: Barty Crouch.
SS: It’s just the same last name, there wasn’t even any puns or anything.
DP: How many Crouches do you know?
SS: Well three now. Barty, Barty, and Clinton.
CK: We’re really going down off the rails. Harry Potter references, throwback to “Prisoner of Azkaban.”
SS: Why did you say it like that?
CK: You guys are narcs for pronouncing it Az-ka-ban.
DP: Did you say it off on purpose?
SS: You just forgot how to pronounce A’s?
CK: Sorry, now I feel so embarrassed about my pronunciations.
SS: It’s fine, Cad-den, just try not to let it happen again.
CK: It’s a fake thing, I’m so embarrassed. I can never show my face again.
DP: No hold up, let me get this out. He posted something, he tagged every single player on the team except Tre King. And obviously it’s like, I’m reaching for something, but it’s also, like, you didn’t need to make that post then if you were going to just leave out one dude randomly, obviously we’re going to notice. A lot of that was noticed by people like Hilltop Hoops, which is also a fire account. And then I emailed our communications director and asked, like, what’s going on last Friday — this is Tuesday, by the way, Tuesday evening. I still haven’t gotten anything back. I just asked about, like, I just want insight. I didn’t ask anything nosy. I haven’t heard back, so I’m optimistic but it’s not trending well right now.
DP: Thank you so much for listening. We hope you have a great parents’ weekend and great Georgetown sports viewing weekend.
CK: Love you guys.
JN: Hashtag YOLO, hashtag Hoya.