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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Women's Golf vs Golfweek Conference Challenge 13th of 17
Tuesday, Sept 23
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Saturday, Sept 27
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Football at Colgate 12:00 PM Listen
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Sunday, Sept 28
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Monday, Sept 29
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Men's Golf at The Shoal Creek Invitational (UAB) All Day
Tuesday, Sept 30
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Thursday, Oct 2
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Women's Soccer Butler 3:00 PM GameTracker Watch
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Friday, Oct 3
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Women's Volleyball at Marquette 8:00 PM GameTracker
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Saturday, Oct 4
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Football Harvard 12:00 PM GameTracker Watch
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Sunday, Oct 5
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Monday, Oct 6
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Friday, Oct 10
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Saturday, Oct 11
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Football at Lafayette 3:30 PM Listen
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Sailing vs Navy Fall Women's Intersectional All Day
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Sunday, Oct 12
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Women's Soccer Marquette 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
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Men's Golf at The Big Five Invitational (Temple) All Day
Women's Tennis at Navy Blue/Gold Invitational All Day
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Sailing vs Navy Fall Women's Intersectional All Day
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Wednesday, Oct 15
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Men's Soccer Providence 3:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
Thursday, Oct 16
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Women's Soccer at St. John's 7:00 PM GameTracker
Women's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
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Friday, Oct 17
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Women's Volleyball Providence 12:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Swimming & Diving at Princeton 3:30 PM
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Men's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
Women's Rowing vs Head of the Charles All Day
Women's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
Saturday, Oct 18
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Men's Soccer at Seton Hall 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Women's Lacrosse James Madison 9:30 AM
Women's Lacrosse Lehigh 10:30 AM
Women's Lacrosse Denver 1:30 PM
Men's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
Sailing vs Yale Women's Intersectional All Day
Sailing vs Navy Fall Coed Intersectional All Day
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs Pre-NCAA Meet All Day
Men's Crew vs Head of the Charles (HW/LW) All Day
Women's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
Women's Rowing vs Head of the Charles All Day
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Sunday, Oct 19
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Women's Soccer at Creighton 2:00 PM
Women's Lacrosse vs Denver 12:00 PM
Field Hockey Colgate 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
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Women's Rowing vs Head of the Charles All Day
Men's Tennis vs ITA Regionals All Day
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Monday, Oct 20
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Swimming & Diving Gardner-Webb 3:30 PM
Men's Golf The Georgetown Intercollegiate All Day
Tuesday, Oct 21
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Men's Golf The Georgetown Intercollegiate All Day
Friday, Oct 24
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Field Hockey Temple 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
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Saturday, Oct 25
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Football Bucknell 2:00 PM GameTracker Watch
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Sunday, Oct 26
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Women's Soccer Villanova 1:00 PM BEDN GameTracker Watch
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Men's Crew at Princeton Chase (HW/LW) All Day
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Tuesday, Oct 28
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Field Hockey at Liberty 4:00 PM
Wednesday, Oct 29
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Men's Soccer Xavier 2:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Friday, Oct 31
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Women's Soccer at Seton Hall 7:00 PM Watch
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Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs BIG EAST Championships All Day
Women's Cross Country; Track & Field vs BIG EAST Championships All Day
Saturday, Nov 1
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Football Lehigh 12:00 PM GameTracker
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Women's Volleyball at Creighton 7:00 PM
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Sunday, Nov 2
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Field Hockey Towson 1:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Friday, Nov 7
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Men's Soccer at Villanova 2:00 PM Watch
Swimming & Diving at BIG EAST QUAD MEET (Rutgers, Villanova & Seton Hall) 4:00 PM
Women's Volleyball at Butler 7:00 PM
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Saturday, Nov 8
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Swimming & Diving at BIG EAST QUAD MEET (Rutgers, Villanova & Seton Hall) 11:00 AM
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Tuesday, Nov 11
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Friday, Nov 14
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Women's Basketball Maryland Eastern Shore 7:00 PM GameTracker
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Women's Volleyball at St. John's 7:00 PM
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Saturday, Nov 15
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Football at Fordham 1:00 PM Listen
Men's Basketball St. Francis (NY) 12:00 PM Fox Sports Network
Women's Volleyball at Providence 3:00 PM
Sunday, Nov 16
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Women's Basketball at Richmond TBA
Men's Soccer vs Championship TBA
Tuesday, Nov 18
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Men's Basketball Texas A&M-Corpus Christi 7:00 PM Fox Sports 2
Wednesday, Nov 19
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Women's Basketball Loyola Maryland 8:00 PM GameTracker
Friday, Nov 21
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Women's Basketball vs Temple 8:30 PM
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Swimming & Diving at Bucknell Invitational All Day
Saturday, Nov 22
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Football Holy Cross 12:00 PM GameTracker Watch
Men's Basketball Robert Morris 12:00 PM Fox Sports 2
Women's Basketball vs Alabama 6:30 PM
Men's Cross Country; Track & Field vs NCAA Championships All Day
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Swimming & Diving at Bucknell Invitational All Day
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