Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown Shuts Out ‘Cuse for Second Straight Win

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Junior forward Casey McCann chases down a losse ball. Syracuse outshot her team, 14-11, but Georgetown left with the victory.

The Georgetown women’s soccer team relied on a proven formula for success Friday, combining efficient offense with solid defense to win at Syracuse, 2-0.

The Hoyas’ first shutout of the season improved their record to 2-5-0, while Syracuse dropped to 4-2-0. Georgetown has won two consecutive games after opening the year with five straight losses.

Syracuse came sprinting out the gate, catching the Hoyas off guard. The Orangewomen had several scoring chances in the first 20 minutes of the match and managed 13 shots in the first period alone. The Hoyas’ defense remained resilient, however, and freshman goalkeeper Erin Mazursky stopped everything that came her way.

“We over-respected them a little too much early on. We played too timid,” head coach Diane Drake said. “But then things started to turn and we changed the tempo of the game.”

Georgetown’s strong defensive effort kept Syracuse off the scoreboard and eventually opened things up for the offense.

Freshman Chrissy Skogen took a corner kick for the Hoyas at 31:19. Her kick sailed into the box, where senior midfielder Courtney Shaub found the back of the net for her first goal of the year.

The goal marked the first time the Hoyas have scored off a corner this season. Georgetown has out-cornered its opponents by a combined mark of 39-25, but failed to capitalize on these chances until Friday.

“We made some changes in our corner kick setup,” Drake said. “We moved Courtney. She started at the back post then came up. It was just a perfectly placed ball.”

The Hoyas extended their lead a few minutes later. In the 43rd minute, junior midfielder Nicole DePalma passed across to sophomore forward Shara McNeill, who then deflected the ball back to junior defender Elizabeth Roberti. Roberti’s shot from 20 yards was her first goal of the year, making it 2-0 in favor of Georgetown.

“It was one of the prettiest goals we’ve had this season, if not the prettiest goal we’ve ever had,” Drake said.

The Hoyas nearly added another goal, but McNeill missed on a breakaway chance in the second period. Yet the two-goal cushion proved to be more than enough for Georgetown.

Unlike the previous game, when Georgetown gave up two late goals after leading 3-0 against Brown, the defense bore down and did not give Syracuse an opportunity to close the gap. Syracuse managed just one shot in the period, despite taking four corner kicks.

Drake made some defensive changes going into the second half. With Syracuse playing into the wind, the Hoyas went into a 4-5-1 formation and were able to dominate possession in the period and take over the game.

Mazursky finished with five saves and her first collegiate shutout. She has a perfect record since taking over as the starting goalkeeper, playing a major role in both of Georgetown’s wins this season.

“Soccer is a game of opportunity, and Erin has been our most opportunistic player,” Drake said. “She doesn’t do anything she’s not capable of, and she has played very well.”

Georgetown’s lineup has undergone several changes over the past few games. Drake has shuffled players within the starting lineup and brought in others off the bench. Last year’s leading scorers, senior forward Jessie Beers-Altman and junior forward Casey McCann, have come in off the bench in the last two games. Drake inserted freshman Cristina Araps into the defense against Brown, a move that has sparked the Hoyas’ play in the back.

“Cristina is one of the fastest women’s soccer players in college today, and she is just shutting people down,” Drake said.

The Hoyas’ improved play of late has been sparked by these personnel changes as well as improved play from the offense. Drake noted the strong performances of Shaub, Skogen and McNeill as signs that the team may be ready to shake its early season struggles.

“We now have seven, eight or nine players on the field that are playing in a zone, as opposed to earlier in the year when we’d have three or four,” Drake said. “The next three games are winnable and we need to [win those games] to get to a .500 record. The season is very much alive, and there is not a player that doesn’t believe that now. A couple weeks ago, that wasn’t the case.”

Georgetown’s next match will be at Howard University on Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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