This was my
first season working with the team and I knew there were some pretty big
expectations from the young women that arrived on campus in August. Some
of those expectations were not reached - like winning the BIG EAST Tournament,
for example - but some of them were, perhaps, surpassed. I mean, who
would have predicted in August that this team would be one step away from
competing in the College Cup, soccer's version of the Final Four?
There's always disappointment following a loss and tonight was tough for everyone, especially seniors like Michaela Buonomo, Jackie DesJardin, Caitlin Durkee, Amy Speck and Kelly Steele, but what this Hoya squad did was put together the best season in program history against the toughest schedule in the country.
The team started the season with a 7-0 record. The Hoyas played two of the top-10 teams in the country; coming away with a pair of losses to Stanford and Santa Clara, but knowing afterward they could compete with anyone in the country.
After losing three-straight games, the Hoyas responded with a pair of conference wins at home and then went on the road and won three of four games. In the final weekend of the regular season, they clinched a bye in the BIG EAST Tournament with a 1-0 over DePaul and played Notre Dame, one of the top-10 teams in the country to a tie.
Despite losing in the BIG EAST Tournament quarterfinals, they entered the NCAA Tournament with optimism and played like a team that knew they could go far. And they did, beating Siena in the first round, 5-1, and then making a statement with a 3-2 win in penalty kicks over No. 4 Maryland. That was followed by the thrilling 1-0 win over Minnesota in the third round that set up tonight's game against Ohio State.
The loss tonight doesn't tarnish any of that. Georgetown finished the season 15-7-2, setting a new school record for wins in a season. They scored more goals (49) than any team in school history.
Redshirt junior Ingrid Wells was named the BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year. Wells and Kelly D'Ambrisi were First Team All-BIG EAST selections and junior Camille Trujillo was a Second Team pick. Wells and Trujillo finished the season scoring 28 points apiece, setting individual records for points in a season.
After the team
left the bench, Head Coach Dave Nolan hugged his assistants, Mike Calabretta
and Naomi Meiburger, and thanked them for a great season. When it was over, in the tunnel underneath
the stadium, Nolan summed up the season pretty well.
"Here we were at Ohio State, playing Ohio State for a chance to go to the Final Four," Nolan said. "We've come a long way over the seven years I've been head coach. I'd like to think the seniors, when they take a step back from tonight, will really see where we are now and how they helped us to get here. And I hope it will inspire the younger players to get us back here and take us to the next step.
"Our seniors, when they were freshmen, they got us into the NCAAs and this group took us to the Final Eight. Maybe this freshman group will be the group that in three or four years will be the senior group that gets to a Final Four."