Oct. 14, 2012
WASHINGTON - Georgetown Head Women's Soccer Coach Dave Nolan challenges his team every year to create their own legacy. Over the last five years, the Hoyas have done that. The 2012 Georgetown cemented their legacy early in the first overtime period, breaking a scoreless tie with a goal from sophomore Vanessa Skrumbis (Encino, Calif./Sierra Canyon) as the Hoyas beat DePaul, 1-0 on Sunday, to clinch their first-ever BIG EAST Conference National Division Championship.
The win keeps Georgetown unbeaten in the last nine games as the Hoyas improved to 14-1-2 overall and 8-0-1 in the BIG EAST. After reaching the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament in 2010 and setting a school record with 15 regular season wins last year, the Blue & Gray tied the school record for conference wins to clinch the National Division title.
"It's a great reward for the kids for all the work they put in," Nolan said. "Every year, I challenge our team to make their own history and leave their own legacy. The 2010 team did it and the 2011 team did it and those were special. I told this group not to make someone else's legacy, but create your own and do something no one else has done."
For a large portion of the day, it looked like the game would finish scoreless. After DePaul's Rebekka Roller took a shot - the first on goal from the Blue Demons all game - that was saved by redshirt freshman goalkeeper Emma Newins (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run), a foul was called on the near sideline in front of the Georgetown bench.
Sophomore defender Mary Kroening (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) took the kick from about 75 yards out and send it near the 22-yeard line, where freshman midfielder Marina Paul (Alisa Viejo, Calif./Laguna Beach) got a head on it. Paul's header went to about the 12-yard line, where Skrumbis touched it off the outside of her right foot. The shot from Skrumbis went over the arms of DePaul goalkeeper Megan Pyrz at 92:45, giving the Hoyas the thrilling win.
"We get free kicks and pump them in and Marina wins 99 out of 100, but our team is startled that she does," Nolan said. "We just tell them when it's at her head to just go. We hadn't been doing it during the game. We told them during the break when they see that to go. I wish I could say it was coaching brilliance, but we finally recognized what we could do."
After a first half with limited opportunities for both teams, Georgetown took control in the second half, but could not convert, with the Blue Demons playing seven or eight players in the back.
A foul at the top of the box in the 72nd minute gave the Hoyas a free kick from 19 yards out and a shot from sophomore midfielder Daphne Corboz (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills) was blocked at the 15 yard line. The deflection ended up in the corner where Claire Magliola (Mahwah, N.J./Mahwah) sent it in toward the box and it bounced off the DePaul goalkeeper before being cleared. On the ensuing corner kick, a header from Kroening went just high.
In the 61st minute, junior forward Kaitlin Brenn (Branchburg, N.J./Somerville) sent a pass across the top of the box to Corboz, who worked the ball past two defenders and had a shot in the box that went just high. In the 63rd minute, sophomore forward Jessica Clinton (Avon, Mass./Thayer Academy) picked up the ball on the near side of the box, dribbled past a defender and took a shot that went just wide. In the 47th minute, Brenn slotted a pass over to Corboz whose shot from 19 yards out went just wide.
"It was always going to be tough because they're a good team," Nolan said. "They needed to win today and their kids had as much invested in the game as we did and it showed. We were a bit nervous and I don't know if it was the emotion of Senior Day. We didn't have our best stuff, but we were pretty good in the back and once it gets into overtime, anything can happen. We knew it was going to be decided by a mistake or a moment of brilliance and thankfully, Vanessa made a great play to put the ball in the back of the net."
Georgetown out-shot DePaul, 11-1, and had a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Hoyas close out the regular season on Friday, Oct. 19, visiting Villanova. Kickoff is slated for 3 p.m.