Hot Gates

September 26, 2007

My good friend Greg Carroll `71 used to love a tough challenge and good story. One legend that no doubt inspired him was the ancient account of the Spartan army who, hopelessly outnumbered by the invading Persians, held them off for three days at the narrow pass at Thermopylae. It's a stirring story of courage against enormous odds. You may be familiar with this narrative from the recent film 300.

Last August, 21 undergraduate women arrived on campus and found a daunting challenge awaiting them. There were seven freshmen, six sophomores, five juniors, and three seniors, all members of the field hockey team -- one of the original intercollegiate sports first played by women at Georgetown.




Over the past 28 years, the field hockey team has prevailed in 50% of its contests. Most of those victories came against very different kind of competition, viz., non-scholarship and Division III opponents. This 2007 season is the second year that the Hoyas are now competing in Big East conference play, against rivals who all recruit with scholarship dollars not yet available on the Hilltop. Our historical record of success against opponents on our current schedule is .361.

Daunting indeed. But there is more.

The very young team that returned this year found an aging astro-turf field (Kehoe Field) that dictated that the five home games (out of 17 total contests) would have to be played across town in College Park. The players also had just learned two weeks prior to their first practice that their head coach of seven years had retired and that a new staff awaited them.



Still, they returned.
Led by interim head coach Tiffany Marsh and assistant Emily Beach, the Hoyas are playing this season with a sense of purpose. They know the deck is stacked against them. Their spirits are strong. Like the Spartans of old, they will not surrender.

At just past the halfway point of the season, these hardy Hoyas are sporting a record of 2-7. Four of those losses were by a single goal - three in overtime. Who knows? A record to-date of 6-3 just might have been possible. Against the teams remaining on our schedule, our past record of success is .245. But from this experience, these courageous young women will learn, grow, and become ever stronger.

Greg Carroll would have loved watching this team battle with all its might. He would have applauded the coaches and players for taking on the challenge of this season. And he especially would have loved to tell everyone about our new head coach. You see, she hails from a small town in central New York state. It's called Marathon.

But that's another story.

New Hoya head coach Tiffany Marsh



Today is the 18th anniversary of Greg's death. Click here for my memorial posting about Greg from 2006.


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Schedules

August 9
4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
August 12
7:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
August 15
7:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
August 18
4:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
1:00 PM
Virginia
Shaw Field
August 19
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
Shaw Field
August 24
7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
Cooper Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.
September 3
1:00 PM
Lock Haven
Cooper Field
September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
Saint Francis PA
Shaw Field
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 16
TBA
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field