FILE PHOTO: ISABEL BINAMIRA FOR THE HOYA Sophomore defender Devin Holmes has started all 16 games this season. She has one goal and two assists, along with two defensive saves this year.
Sophomore defender Devin Holmes has started all 16 games this season. She has one goal and two assists, along with two defensive saves this year.

Coming off a 4–0 loss to No. 16 Temple (13-5, 3-1 Big East), the Georgetown field hockey team (5-11, 0-4 Big East) travelled to Lynchburg, Va., to take on Liberty (11-7, 4-0 NorPac) on Tuesday. Facing a significant amount of pressure from Liberty’s skilled attackers, the Hoyas fell to the Flames by the score of 7-0.

“We had talked about playing an aggressive, three-touch style of hockey all week, really focusing on valuing the ball. Their offense proved to be very difficult for us to handle and we had a tough time combating it,” Head Coach Shannon Soares said.

For the first 17 minutes of the game, however, the Hoyas were able to hold Liberty’s offense scoreless. Sophomore defender Devin Holmes explained why they were able to stop Liberty’s early attacks.

“One of the big things we try to focus on is tackling outside the circle. That means not even allowing them to get into our circle to get attacking penalty opportunities. We did a pretty good job with that early in the game,” Holmes said.

In addition to tackling outside its circle, Georgetown was also able to send multiple defenders to win possession of the ball.
“When they did start scoring, it was because the two to three people that went to the ball weren’t effective, they weren’t coming up with the ball,” Holmes said. “But the times that they were effective we were able to hold them scoreless.”

On the attacking side, Georgetown only drew two penalty corners, one of which led to Georgetown’s only shot of the game. Yet, neither of the corners resulted in a goal for the Hoyas.

During the game, Georgetown also had trouble sticking to its fundamental, simple style of hockey.

“The whole idea behind simple hockey is only taking two to three touches when you receive the ball, and then making a pass. A lot of times, we would get the ball and have a bad first touch, so we weren’t set up to make our next pass successfully,” Holmes said.

Soares also expanded on doing the simple tasks right.

“It’s about being able to control the controllable. We have to break it down into really simple things and take care of them well. In the past couple of games, we have not necessarily done that. We face talented opponents, but we should be able to control the things we can and then we can impact the outcome,” Soares said.

The Hoyas face another stern test in No. 17 Old Dominion (10-6, 3-1 Big East), the third ranked opponent Georgetown has faced this season. The Monarchs are currently second in the Big East.

In practice on Thursday, Georgetown simulated Old Dominion’s fall-away press tactic and practiced their set pieces. The team also reviewed scouting reports from the coaches.

“Going into every game we know what we’re getting ourselves into, it’s just a matter of sticking to the game plan and having faith in our coaching staff basically,” Holmes said.

Soares noted the importance of learning from the mistakes made in the Liberty game and moving forward.

“Old Dominion is obviously another very talented team ranked in the top 20 with a really good win streak. For us, it’s going to be about making the adjustments from the Liberty game and working to take steps forward instead of taking steps back,” Soares said.

Holmes echoed this idea and explained the team’s goals for the remainder of the season.

“As a team, we’re pretty good about turning the page and looking toward the next games,” Holmes said. “Looking ahead, we want to focus on simple hockey, our set pieces and playing well for our seniors because it’s their last two games of their field hockey careers. It definitely means a lot to us to win [the games] for them.”

The Hoyas will face off with the Monarchs at 1 p.m. at the Multi-Sport Facility. On Sunday, at the same time and location, Georgetown will play its last game of the regular season against the Towson Tigers (2–14, 0-5 CAA).

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