Oct. 30, 2011
WASHINGTON - After losing BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinal games in overtime the last two years, the Georgetown University women's soccer team set reaching the league's semifinals as one of its preseason goals. They accomplished that mission on a sunny and cool Sunday afternoon in the Nation's Capital, scoring twice in the first half en route to a 3-1 win over Syracuse at North Kehoe Field.
It was the fourth-straight win, and the sixth in the last seven games, for Georgetown, as the team improved to 15-5-0 overall, while Syracuse closes out its season at 7-8-3. The 15 wins tie a school record for most in a season, set last year when the Hoyas won 15 games and advance to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
The Hoyas scored twice in the first 20 minutes of the game and added one more off a penalty kick early in the second half to take a 3-0 lead. Georgetown advances to the semifinals of the BIG EAST Tournament for the second time in program history and the first time since 2007. The Hoyas, the No. 2 seed in the National Division, will play West Virginia, the No. 1 seed in the American Division and a 5-0 winner over Seton Hall on Sunday, in one semifinal on Friday, Nov. 4. Kickoff at Dick Dlesk Stadium is slated for 5:30 p.m. and the game will be shown live on CBS College Sports.
"We set our goals as we go and as we started to get down to the run of it, we felt this was the year we wanted to get back to the BIG EAST Tournament and solidify ourselves as one of the top four teams in one of the best conferences in the country," Head Coach Dave Nolan said. "Hand on heart, I think getting that 15th win today should be enough to get us into the NCAA Tournament. I think we have a strong body of work, but right now we're two wins away from winning the BIG EAST Championship. Last year, I felt we had a good run at it, but we lost one here, so we're excited to get a chance."
Georgetown wasted little time in getting on the board, attacking Syracuse in the opening minute. Senior forward Samantha Baker (Long Beach, Calif./Wilson) sent a ball from the far sideline toward the box to senior forward Camille Trujillo (Albuquerque, N.M./St. Pius X), whose initial shot from about eight yards out was saved by Syracuse goalkeeper Brittany Anghel. The ball deflected off Anghel and to the right. Freshman midfielder Daphne Corboz (Green brook, N.J./Watching Hills) corralled the ball and was able to get a shot past a Syracuse defender just 52 seconds into the game, giving the Hoyas a 1-0 lead.
The Hoyas controlled play during the opening portion of the first half and had a shot from Corboz go wide and one form Baker saved, but could not extend the lead. They did in the 19th minute, as senior forward Kelly D'Ambrisi (Trumbull, Conn./Lauralton Hall Academy) played a ball from midfield to the middle of the field. She found Trujillo, who was able to dribble past the last Syracuse defender and into the box, where she drew Anghel off her line and sent a shot from the far side about 10 yards out and gave the Hoyas a 2-0 lead at 18:20.
"We asked them to come out flying and set a high tempo," Nolan said. "It's something we've asked them to do a lot this year. We've had it happen to us twice, but we've done it a lot ourselves. It was probably the worst thing that could have happened for us because I think then we got into the mindset that it was going to be a 6-0 game. I just don't think we played well. We had a great week of practice where I thought we'd be in great shape and ultimately we won 3-1 and they scored off a set piece, but we made it harder work than it needed to be."
The lead grew to 3-0 in the 51st minute when Wells scored off a rebound following a save on a penalty kick. A corner kick from Baker set up the scoring chance. Baker's corner kick found Wells in the box and her shot was blocked, but a penalty kick was called for after a hand ball on a Syracuse defender. Wells' penalty shot was saved by Anghel, but the midfielder picked up the loose ball, dribbled once to her left and slotted one inside the far post, pushing the Hoya lead to 3-0 at 50:18.
Syracuse got on board in the 76th minute when Rachel Blum headed in a shot off a corner kick from Rosina Callisto at 75:03.
The Hoyas out-shot Syracuse 11-9 and had a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks, while senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Hanna (Waxhaw, N.C./Weddington) made two saves.