Junior defender Meaghan Nally in action versus Butler; Nally has six points this season, seventh on the team.
Sophia Nunn/The Hoya

On Oct. 25, the No. 4 Georgetown women’s soccer team battled Xavier to an overtime draw in its final match of the regular season before dominating Xavier 3-1 in the semifinal of the Big East tournament on Nov. 1.

After 90 minutes of scoreless play in the first matchup between Georgetown (16-0-3, 9-0-1 Big East) and Xavier (10-8-3, 4-4-2 Big East) on Oct. 25, the game headed into overtime.

Despite shots on goal from both sides in the overtime periods, neither offense took advantage of its scoring opportunities. The match ended 0-0 after 110 minutes, halting the Hoyas’ 14 game winning streak. Despite their offensive struggles, the Hoyas recorded their 12th shutout of the season against Xavier.

Head Coach Dave Nolan recognized the physical nature of the game and how the depth of the Xavier bench played a role in its ability to shut down Georgetown’s offense, which scored 38 goals in the regular season.

“[Xavier] basically played 22 players — they were just constantly throwing fresh bodies on the field trying to disrupt us, to stop us from getting into any kind of rhythm and it worked, to be fair,” Nolan said in an interview with The Hoya. “So a draw is probably a fair result … [Our key players] got rough handled a lot, and the referee didn’t do a good job of recognizing that it was a particular ploy to stop them.”

As a result of the draw with Xavier, Georgetown finished the regular season undefeated and headed into the Big East tournament as the No.1 seed.

With home-field advantage and a week’s rest as a result of a first-round bye in the Big East tournament, Nolan felt confident heading into the Hoyas’ rematch with the Musketeers in the Big East tournament semifinal.

“We definitely feel playing here at home on the grass, there’s a big difference … We know we can play better, we know the field will be bigger, we know we’re back on grass, and they won’t catch us napping again. So I feel confident that if we show up and play well, we’ll have enough to advance,” Nolan said.

On Nov. 1, Xavier again frustrated Georgetown’s attack for most of the first half. However, the Hoyas broke the deadlock with three minutes remaining in the period, when junior midfielder Carson Nizialek scored from the penalty spot after a handball in the box by Xavier.

Seven minutes after the start of the second half, senior forward Amanda Carolan sent a cross toward the head of senior forward Caitlin Farrell, who calmly scored the header for her 16th goal of the year.

Carolan and Farrell combined again to extend the Hoyas’ lead to 3-0. Carolan received a ball from Farrell in the box and fired a shot into the back of the net.

With six minutes remaining, senior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtmann made a save off a free kick, but freshman midfielder Rachel Butler turned in the rebound to score Xavier’s first goal in two games against Georgetown.

Last week, Schechtmann was recognized as the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year for the second consecutive year.

Nolan said that the Schechtmann and the Hoya defense have been strong all season.

“I think we’ve given up two goals in nine Big East games,” Nolan said. “That was Arielle’s 12th shutout in 16 games [against Xavier on Oct.25], which is a 0.25 goals against average…That’s pretty impressive. That was her 46th shutout in 3 years. That’s an incredible record, it’s probably top in the country. And it’s not just her. Kelly Ann [Livingstone] and Jenna Staudt do a good job. Meghan Nally and Leah [McCullough] and our 2 freshmen do a good job.”

The Musketeers could not mount a comeback after their goal. With the 3-1 win, the Hoyas earned a spot in the Big East Tournament final

Georgetown will face the winner of Butler’s matchup with Providence in the Big East Tournament final. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Shaw Field.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *