WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's soccer team tied the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, 0-0, in double overtime in the first round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament Friday evening at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Hoyas failed to advance in penalty kicks, 2-1, to end the season with a mark of 14-3-4.
"Tonight’s loss in penalty kicks was heartbreaking for this team. After a scoreless draw the tournament needed somebody to advance and the shootout is the only real way to do it. When you win it’s fantastic and when you lose it’s gut wrenching," said Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan.
The first half was quiet for both squads as neither had many chances on goal. Georgetown held a majority of the possession, but wasn't truly dangerous for much of the half.
The best look of the stanza came in the 18th minute as freshman forward Paula Germino-Watnick (Chevy Chase, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) had a shot knocked over the crossbar by Deacon keeper Lindsay Preston resulting in a corner kick.
The defense held strong for the remainder of the first and the teams went into the break in a scoreless tie.
The Hoyas were dominant in the second half as the squad had a number of opportunities off of set pieces and controlled the pace of the game. Despite the offensive advantage few shots were on goal, much like the first half.
Wake had the first opportunity of the second half as Peyton Perea broke free of her defender for a 1v1 with Georgetown keeper Arielle Schechtman (Del Mar, Calif./La Jolla Country Day/UCLA). The senior came up with the stop coming off of her line to keep it tied at zero.
One of the best opportunities came in the 66th minute when a Wake Forest foul gave GU a free kick in a dangerous position. Senior midfielder Rachel Corboz (Green Brook, N.J./Pingry) sent the ball in, and senior midfielder Chloe Knott (Auckland, New Zealand/Rangitoto College) had an open header that went just left of the post.
With under 10 minutes to play in regulation, Corboz took a long shot in the run of play that almost caught Preston off guard. On the counter, the Demon Deacons had a serve almost go over Schechtman's head before she caught it as the pace quickened and both teams were searching for a goal.
Neither squad could find the back of the net in regulation forcing extra time.
Wake Forest had two golden opportunities midway through the first overtime period. It was Schechtman who was a wall coming up with a diving save and then extending to get a hand on the next shot to keep the game going.
The best chance of the second overtime belonged to junior forward Caitlin Farrell (Wallingford, Conn./Choate Rosemary Hall) who had an open look at the right side that clanged off of the post as she was inches from ending the game. She had another shot sail just high of the crossbar as the seconds ticked away and the game ended in a scoreless tie.
Both teams lined up for the shootout and, despite Schechtman making stops, the Hoyas fell 2-1 to fail to advance to the second round.
"Unfortunately we came up short tonight and I feel for the girls," said Nolan. "It wasn’t easy to go on the road against an excellent team and I am very proud of our effort tonight. We could have won it in OT but could have lost it also. It was a very tight affair."
Georgetown completes the season with 14 wins and both the BIG EAST Regular Season and Championship titles for the first time in program history. The Hoyas were just the fourth team in league history to win back-to-back titles. GU's NCAA Tournament berth was the eighth for the Blue & Gray.
"When I think tonight was our 17th shutout of the season, it’s hard to accept we are not moving forward but I am so proud of the girls who stepped up to take PK’s and the whole team for their dedication this year," Nolan reflected. "What great soccer players, but even more importantly what great kids they are. I really can’t ask for any more from them. In a few days they will be able to look back at all they achieved this year and the pain will go away."
GU will graduate a talented senior class, but returns a core of starters next season.