Behind a pair of goals from senior forward Grace Damaska, the Georgetown women’s soccer team (3-1-0) cruised to a 4-1 victory over Colorado College (2-2-0) Sunday to wrap up a four-game homestand.
Damaska, coming off a hat trick in a 4-0 win over Delaware on Thursday, continued her torrid start to the season by attacking the Tigers’ fullbacks with pace and scoring Georgetown’s two goals in the second half of the match.
Supporting Georgetown’s offensive effort was junior midfielder Rachel Corboz, who was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week last week thanks to her hat trick and assist in Georgetown’s 6-0 season-opening win against Towson (0-3-1). Throughout the match, Corboz continuously thread balls into the paths of Damaska and sophomore forwards Amanda Carolan and Caitlin Farrell.
“In our scouting report we knew that their defense, their outside backs in particular, were going to be not as athletic as Caitlin [Farrell] and I, and then [freshman forward] Casey [Richards] and [freshman midfielder] Paula [Germino-Watnick] when they came on,” Damaska said. “So we knew from the start that our strength was going to be to go one-on-one against them, and we clearly had a lot of success with it.”
Head Coach Dave Nolan seemed pleased with the team’s ability to deal with Colorado College’s 4-4-2 formation, an abnormality in the women’s soccer game.
“They’re a very well-coached team,” Nolan said. “And they played a certain way, which we hadn’t faced to this point in the season. So we knew we were going to have some things we needed to do a little bit differently to break them down, or try and rough up their shape a little bit and get them to adjust to us instead of us adjusting to what they do.”
Less than three minutes into the match, Damaska used her pace out wide to turn her defender and earn an early penalty, which Corboz dispatched for her fourth goal on the year.
Graduate student forward Crystal Thomas calmly steered home Georgetown’s second goal just before the break, but immediately after halftime Colorado College’s sophomore attacking midfielder Lauren Milliet provided an assist for senior forward Dana Gornick to cut the deficit to one.
“It was a good goal on their part, and I need to look at the video to see where it broke down for us,” Nolan said. “I don’t think it was anything in regards to lack of focus or lack of attention, I just think kids make good plays and they scored a really good goal.”
However, only 10 minutes later, the Tigers were again behind two goals again as Damaska rounded the keeper and finished after latching onto a Corboz through ball, her fifth assist of the season.
Damaska notched her second of the day just 10 minutes after her first; junior defender Liz Wenger sent a long ball from near the midfield line that Damaska won in the air.
“I’m feeling hot right now, and want to keep scoring as much as I can and do what I can for the team,” Damaska said. “It’s good to come out of this home stretch 3-1. Obviously we would have prefered 4-0, but going into Rutgers and our first away game, it’s a good place to be.”
The Hoyas’ defense has been humming along quietly, conceding just four goals over four games, despite allowing three to No. 5 Stanford (3-0-0). Despite rarely using substitutions in the back, Nolan seems confident in the quality of his defenders.
“We have depth at the back,” Nolan said. “I just, as a coach, I’m conservative. I always feel it’s very difficult to throw defenders on in the middle of a game. It’s like changing the goalkeeper. … It’s harder for the defenders to get up to speed because by the time they do, sometimes mistakes have been made, and mistakes at the back lead to goals.”
The back four of graduate student Corey Delaney, juniors Wenger and Drew Topor and freshman Sarah Trissel have played the majority of the minutes, with Wenger again in for the full 90 minutes Sunday; graduate student Marina Paul came off the bench to play in defensive midfield, and freshmen Vashti Williams and Meaghan Nally provided depth as outside backs late on.
Georgetown next travels to No. 22 Rutgers (3-0-1), fresh off a 2-0 victory over No. 10 UConn (3-1-0), for a match on Friday, Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.