The Experiment That Worked

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October 28, 2005

Last night, in Syracuse, NY, the "experiment" worked. It worked so well that it won a contest in the Big East tournament for the first time in four post-season attempts. Congratulations to the players and coaches on the women's soccer team for reaching this hard-earned milestone. Looking forward, such a victory may some day be commonplace, perhaps even expected. But fourteen years ago, for the experiment that was once women's soccer, it would have been just a pipedream.

Women's soccer was bound to happen on the Georgetown campus. In fact, a club team formed in the mid-1980's. I remember my sister, Moira, playing on those first intercollegiate clubs. And it might have remained a club sport indefinitely but for the advocacy and financial support of Ed (C'66) and Irene Shaw, two of the most ardent fans of Georgetown sports that you'll ever meet. They once had this notion and somehow convinced then AD Frank Rienzo that women's soccer should have a place on the varsity menu of Hoya athletic offerings.


Irene and Ed Shaw


There was no increased budget available at the time for a new sport, or for a new coach, or for uniforms, or for travel; no new locker rooms; and no new fields. How then do you even begin to think about a new varsity program with zero additional resources? In much the same fashion as most of our athletic programs were then able to operate: with blue smoke and mirrors. And, in this instance, there was one additional secret ingredient: Ed and Irene. The persistent and generous nudging of the Shaws was the clinching factor that opened the gates to women's futbol on the Hilltop.

So it was that in the spring of 1992, women's soccer was first sponsored by Georgetown as an "experimental sport," played in a non- traditional season, under the supervision of the men's soccer coach, using out-of-season men's soccer facilities such as the locker room and field, and with equipment, uniforms and travel underwritten by the Shaw's. And by the fall of 1993, this experiment became a full-fledged varsity, with its own head coach,                                                                                                                     budget and traditional fall season.


Sequel: next time you walk onto campus through the front gates, check out the plaque affixed to the left gate post. Back in the 20th century after the original gates were removed, the front portal to the University was gate-less for many years. The originals were supposedly buried at Georgetown in a location that no one can remember. Yet during the past decade, someone had a notion to recreate and restore those wrought iron gates.

Every time I now walk through this entry to Healy circle from O Street, I think with fondness of the couple whose persistence and generosity metaphorically and literally opened gates of opportunity for future generations of Hoyas.

Thanks again, Ed and Irene, and congrats on the milestone soccer victory.


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Tuesday, Aug 12
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Women's Soccer George Mason (exhibition) 5:00 PM
Saturday, Aug 16
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Women's Soccer Penn State (exhibition) 2:00 PM
Sunday, Aug 17
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Men's Soccer at Penn State 6:00 PM
Tuesday, Aug 19
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Friday, Aug 22
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Women's Soccer at San Diego 10:30 PM GameTracker
Saturday, Aug 23
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Men's Soccer at Virginia 7:00 PM GameTracker
Sunday, Aug 24
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Women's Soccer vs Long Beach State 2:30 PM
Field Hockey at La Salle 1:00 PM
Friday, Aug 29
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Men's Soccer at Indiana 8:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Soccer N.C. State 3:00 PM
Field Hockey at Appalachian State 3:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at American 7:00 PM
Saturday, Aug 30
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Football Wagner 12:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at George Mason 1:00 PM
Field Hockey at Davidson 2:00 PM
Women's Volleyball vs Howard 5:00 PM
Sunday, Aug 31
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Men's Soccer vs Notre Dame 11:30 AM
Women's Soccer at Towson 1:00 PM
Friday, Sept 5
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Men's Soccer Harvard 4:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Soccer at Virginia Tech 7:00 PM
Women's Volleyball vs Cleveland State 4:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 6
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Football at Dayton 1:00 PM
Women's Volleyball vs Colgate 10:30 AM
Women's Volleyball at Penn 7:30 PM
Men's Golf at The U.S. Naval Academy Invite All Day
Sunday, Sept 7
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Men's Soccer Wisconsin 1:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Soccer vs Wake Forest 11:30 AM
Field Hockey Lock Haven 12:00 PM
Men's Golf at The U.S. Naval Academy Invite All Day
Tuesday, Sept 9
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Women's Volleyball Liberty 7:00 PM
Thursday, Sept 11
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Men's Soccer VCU 4:00 PM GameTracker
Friday, Sept 12
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Women's Soccer at West Virginia 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 13
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Football at Marist 6:00 PM
Women's Volleyball vs Presbyterian 10:00 AM
Field Hockey at Holy Cross 12:00 PM
Sunday, Sept 14
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Men's Soccer UC Irvine 1:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Soccer George Washington 4:00 PM
Field Hockey at Brown 12:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Hampton University 6:00 PM
Tuesday, Sept 16
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Women's Volleyball at George Washington 7:00 PM
Wednesday, Sept 17
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Men's Soccer at Princeton 7:00 PM
Friday, Sept 19
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Women's Volleyball vs UCLA 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 20
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Football Brown 12:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Cal State Fullerton 3:30 PM
Field Hockey Longwood 6:00 PM
Women's Volleyball vs Yale 7:00 PM
Sunday, Sept 21
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Men's Soccer William & Mary 4:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Soccer Duquesne 1:00 PM
Field Hockey Lehigh 12:00 PM
Tuesday, Sept 23
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Women's Volleyball Creighton 7:00 PM
Thursday, Sept 25
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Women's Soccer at DePaul 3:00 PM
Friday, Sept 26
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Field Hockey at Siena 2:00 PM
Women's Volleyball Xavier 7:00 PM
Saturday, Sept 27
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Football at Colgate 1:00 PM
Men's Soccer at Butler 5:30 PM
Sunday, Sept 28
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Women's Soccer at Xavier 1:00 PM
Field Hockey at Columbia 1:00 PM
Women's Volleyball Butler 2:00 PM
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