Nov. 2, 2013
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's soccer team entered its final regular season game at home on Saturday knowing a win would win clinch a bye into the BIG EAST Tournament semifinals next week and they wasted no time in ensuring that by scoring 50 seconds into the game and twice in the first half en route to a 2-0 win over Seton Hall at Shaw Field.
The Hoyas conclude the 2013 regular season with a 15-1-2 overall record and a 7-1-1 mark in BIG EAST play, while Seton Hall falls to 5-11-2 overall and 3-6-0 in the league.
"It was great to get off to a good start early," Head Coach Dave Nolan said. "This is a veteran team. It's led with six great seniors and I think they know the importance. The younger kids haven't learned that yet. Our seniors went through a run to the Elite Eight as freshmen, so they know how much every single play means, how much every goal means and how every single performance means. They've set an example for our younger kids."
The win over Seton Hall also gave the Hoyas 15 wins this season, tying the school record for wins in the regular season, last set by the 2011 squad. The two goals scored extended the team's season goals scored record to 56.
The Hoyas wasted little time in getting on the board, taking control of the opening kick and capitalizing 50 seconds into the game on a goal from junior forward Audra Ayotte (Marlborough, Conn./RHAM). The goal was set up from a pass in the back by senior Mary Kroening (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) and a cross from sophomore midfielder Marina Paul (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Laguna Beach).
Less than 10 minutes later, the Hoyas pushed the lead to 2-0. Ayotte took control of the ball on the near sideline, dribbling up-field, and sent a ball into the box where junior midfielder Daphne Corboz (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills) put it past SHU goalkeeper Jennifer Pettigrew at 9:19.
The Georgetown defense posted the team's ninth shutout of the season, limiting the Pirates to three first half shots and to only one in the second half, a blast from the left wing by Frankie Maier that was saved by junior goalkeeper Emma Newins (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) in the 85th minute.
The Hoyas continued to press, but a shot from Corboz was saved early in the second half and then shots from forward Kaitlin Brenn (Branchburg, N.J./Somerville) and junior forward Ashley Shaffer (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) were saved in the 75th and 79th minutes, respectively.
"Give them credit," Nolan said, "At halftime when it was 2-0, we talked about getting another to put them away. They kept at it and changed what we were doing. We just couldn't land that killer punch to get it to three, despite the chances we had."
The game also marked the final regular season home game for six Georgetown seniors - Kailey Blain (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack), Brenn, Colleen Dinn (Kensington, Md./Holy Cross), Mary Kroening (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury), Emily Menges (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) and Alexa St. Martin (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy). That group has posted a 62-17-7 record during the last four years, including a BIG EAST record of 30-8-3 and a home record of 35-5-3.
"I don't know how I'm going to replace them," Nolan said. "Each and every one of them has been fantastic for us on the field. And off the field, you couldn't ask for a better group of young women. I'm proud to have coached them and I'm hopeful we'll have more chance to coach them this season."
The Hoyas play next on Friday in the BIG EAST Tournament Semifinals in Milwaukee, Wis.