In what will be the first of a three-game road trip, the No. 10 Georgetown women’s soccer team (9-0-2, 1-0-1 Big East) will face Butler (7-3-2, 0-2 Big East) in Indianapolis, Ind.
Although the scoreboard after Sunday’s 7-1 win over Xavier boasted an impressive win, Head Coach Dave Nolan was disappointed in the overall effort of his team, which he believed fell short of Georgetown’s capabilities. Score aside, he was hoping to see more of the consistency and intensity that the Hoyas brought to the field in their 1-1 tie against DePaul last Thursday.
“I felt we had been training well. Even in the game against DePaul the other day, we were great. We were hungry, and everyone was sharp. This kind of caught me unaware a little bit,” Nolan said of Sunday’s game.
Nolan knows that this week’s practice schedule will call for general fine-tuning to restore last Thursday’s focus in preparation for Butler.
“We’re just trying to get a little bit sharper,” he said.
Butler started with an overall record of 7-1-2 against non-conference opponents, its best start since their 2002 season. However, Butler is playing in the Big East this season for the first time in school history and has had a shaky debut, dropping the first two games of the conference in a 0-2 shutout against Villanova and a 3-1 loss to Seton Hall. Despite this past winless week, the Bulldogs will not be defined by their losses. They currently possess a significant lead in the Big East in both shots and corner kicks and are second in the conference in shots on goal. Their characteristically prolific offense, led by a well-balanced attack, will prove to be a challenge for the Hoyas, but Nolan is confident in Georgetown’s ability to keep pace with Butler.
“If we have the ball in their half [of the field], we’ll let them worry about us. That’s the plan,” he said.
If the Hoyas manage to maintain possession according to plan, they will face a defensive force that is arguably as sound as Butler’s attack is explosive. The Bulldog defense has been successful in limiting opposing scoring opportunities. In fact, Butler is toe-to-toe with Georgetown in shutout victories, each team posting five so far this season.
As the Hoyas begin their three-game series on the road, the Bulldogs return to Indianapolis for a three-game homestand after four consecutive away games and will be hungry for their first conference victory back on their own turf.
“It’s going to be a night game. I’m sure they’re going to get the student body out there for their first game [back],” Nolan said. “I think they’ll be fired up to play.”
As they face off against more conference opponents, the Hoyas will continue to take advantage of the momentum that has propelled them this far in their undefeated streak. Coach Nolan looks forward to the opportunities that the Hoyas will have in their upcoming travels.
“We’ve got these three games now between Butler, Providence and Marquette,” Nolan said. “All three games offer a lot of challenges. Right now, Butler’s the next one up, so we focus on that.”