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

Hoyas Surge Past Flames in Comeback

For 70 minutes, it looked like the Georgetown women’s soccer team was going to lose another game on North Kehoe Field.

Trailing Liberty 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining, the Hoyas had dominated the match, yet were still on the verge of going winless in their sixth straight contest.

Then something changed for the Blue and Gray.

“The whole game I was trying to work really hard,” senior midfielder Nicole DePalma said. “But then I looked at the clock and I was like, `20 minutes left, I have to just push it as hard as I can and get everyone else going,’ so I just worked as hard as I could.”

DePalma’s effort, along with surges from forwards senior Casey McCann and junior Shara McNeill, finally jumpstarted the anemic Hoya offense.

And in the next 15 minutes Georgetown (6-8-1, 2-4-1 Big East) went on a scoring blitz, netting four goals to cruise past the Flames 4-1.

“We just had a couple people finally step up and finally say I’m not willing to accept this level of performance from my team right now,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “Nicole DePalma, Casey McCann – my two senior captains – they stepped it up and they’re probably what made the difference and then they pulled everyone along with them.”

It was DePalma who got the scoring started for the Hoyas in the 72nd minute. After a Liberty hand ball on a McNeill shot in the box, DePalma put the penalty kick away to tie the score at one.

The tally put Georgetown back in the match both on the scoreboard and mentally and gave the team the confidence they needed to go on a scoring run.

“In the first half we . came out on the field just flat and not ready to play,” Nolan said. “I don’t think they believed it was going to turn around and you could see it in their body language and their faces but I knew if we could get one we could get a couple.”

The Hoyas got more than a couple. Less than seven minutes later the Hoyas got on the board again when McCann collected a rebound from a McNeill shot and put it past Liberty senior goalkeeper Sonia Rodriguez for the go-ahead goal.

Not content to rest on their one-goal lead, the Hoyas continued to pound the Flame defense.

Two minutes later McNeill added another assist when her cross from deep in the right corner was headed home by sophomore midfielder Chrissy Skogen. The assist was a team-leading seventh for McNeill and the goal was Skogen’s third of the year.

DePalma book-ended Georgetown’s scoring with her second goal of the afternoon in the 86th minute. Settling a pass from freshman midfielder Sarah Fetters, DePalma controlled the ball at the top of the box and drilled her shot past Rodriguez for her team-leading sixth goal of the year.

Despite trailing for the majority of the match, the Hoyas controlled the ball for most of the game.

After getting in a hole in the 10th minute when Liberty senior midfielder Lauren Zealand put a free kick past Georgetown freshman goalkeeper Jade Higgins, the Hoyas went on to outshoot the Flames 8-5 in the first half and 25-7 overall.

Georgetown put 14 shots on goal to Liberty’s three and dominated time of possession, but continued to struggle finding the back of the net as they have all season.

“I was pretty frustrated,” McNeill said of Georgetown’s inability to finish. “I felt like everyone was playing really spastic, just kicking the ball around, not really playing together, but eventually we got into it, playing with each other as a team.”

Injuries were one low point on the afternoon for the Hoyas. cNeill rolled an ankle in the first half, but was able to continue playing after halftime. She said she expects to be fine to play this afternoon.

Senior defender Elizabeth Roberti was not as lucky. She had to be carted off the field after an injury late in Wednesday’s game. Her status for today’s match is questionable.

With or without Roberti, the Hoyas need to find a way to win this afternoon against conference rival Seton Hall (7-7-2, 2-6-0 Big East) if they want to make it to postseason play.

The Hoyas remain tied for eighth place in the Big East. The top eight teams in the conference go to the postseason tournament. With only three games left to go in the regular season the Hoyas have their backs against the wall.

“Seton Hall for us is a must-win,” Nolan said. “If we want our season to go on we have to win the game and the kids have to come to play. Again it’s a team that if we play well I have no doubt we’ll beat, but we have to play well.”

DePalma echoed the sentiment.

“We have to come out and play like we did the last twenty minutes and we should be fine.”

Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m. today on North Kehoe Field.

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