On a day when Big East leader DePaul (11-2-3, 5-0-1 Big East) was unable to capture a victory for the first time this season, the Georgetown women’s soccer team (9-5-1, 4-1-1 Big East) appeared poised to inch closer to the top spot in the Big East. The Hoyas were leading the Marquette Golden Eagles (6-6-4, 3-2-1 Big East) 2-0 late in the second half with a man advantage, ready for their victory.
That all changed in the 72nd minute when Marquette scored on an empty net, following some miscommunication between graduate student goalkeeper Emma Newins and senior defender Neela Mohan on a high ball that was chipped over the top. However, that was only the beginning of the damage. Just under two minutes later in the 73rd minute, the Golden Eagles scored on a rebound, following a dangerous ball played into the center of the box. Suddenly, the game was tied and the momentum had completely shifted.
“There was a little bit of an error between me and Neela communicating on a ball that played over the top that led to the first goal. I think we just got a little deflated and didn’t really know how to recover from that, and they were able to capitalize and get a second goal,” Newins said.
Up to that point, the Hoyas had controlled the majority of the game. There was plenty of offensive play from both teams, but Georgetown found itself with the better chances. The forwards exploited Marquette’s three-man backline by playing balls up the wings to junior forward Grace Damaska and senior forward Crystal Thomas, who both created many dangerous opportunities for Georgetown to score from the sides of the field.
“I think with their formation, they play with three in the back, that leaves space out wide, so it’s important to exploit that. I definitely think we were able to exploit that,” Thomas said.
Georgetown’s wing play led to several chances, including plenty of set pieces for sophomore midfielder Rachel Corboz to create opportunities for the Hoyas to score. Georgetown earned three corner kicks in the first half, including one in the 44th minute. The first half appeared to be headed for a scoreless tie when sophomore defender Taylor Pak sent a ball rolling into the net off a Corboz corner kick to give Georgetown the lead heading into halftime.
Entering the second half, the Hoyas grabbed ahold of the game, implementing their style of play. They continued to exploit the wings and Damaska made effective runs that resulted in many quality scoring opportunities, including one that led to a crucial red card.
Marquette’s junior defender Cali Pyzdrowski dragged down Damaska on a breakaway in the 57th minute, causing her to be ejected from the match and giving Georgetown a man advantage.
Although the Hoyas increased their lead to two thanks to a goal from Corboz in the 66th minute, the red card appeared to help Marquette more than it did Georgetown. Following the red card, the Golden Eagles disrupted the Hoyas with physical play, which may have ultimately helped them tie the game.
“When you start to play with 10, you work twice as hard if you’re the team with 10,” Head Coach Dave Nolan said. “I think we started thinking that’s it, the game was won, and we allowed them to get some momentum.”
After Marquette tied the game, play became frantic, and Georgetown had trouble mustering up effective chances because of Marquette’s physicality. Three yellow cards were given in the final 10 minutes of the game.
With the score still tied at the end of regulation, the match headed into a golden goal overtime period. Chances to score abounded during the extra time. In the first half of the overtime period, Damaska and Thomas had a perfect opportunity to score on a long pass, but they collided with each other, both looking to corral the ball.
The most controversial play of the game came in the second portion of the overtime period, when Thomas maneuvered into the box, demonstrating her prolific dribbling skills. As she moved toward the goal, she was taken down, but no penalty was given.
“We probably could’ve had a penalty kick at the end of the game there. The referee didn’t call it,” Nolan said.
The overtime period ended without a goal, and the game ended in Georgetown’s first tie this season, with a final score of 2-2.
Georgetown’s women’s soccer team will look to rebound Thursday when it takes on conference rival Seton Hall (2-11-2, 1-5-0 Big East) at Shaw Field at 3 p.m.