Nov. 22, 2013
WASHINGTON - Like anyone who competes, Georgetown University Head Women's Soccer Coach Dave Nolan was disappointed after his squad lost to Virginia, 1-0, in the NCAA Tournament on Friday night. Nolan and his team wanted to win and faced the No. 1 team in the country with the expectation that they could, and would, win.
And while the loss was disappointing, Nolan also knew the Hoyas were traveling to play at Klockner Stadium against UVa, a team that improved to 22-1-0 and had scored more goals this season (74) than its opponents had even taken shots (58).
The Hoyas hung tough with the Cavaliers for most of the first half, with UVa peppering the Hoya backline and junior goalkeeper Emma Newins (Glen Allen, Va./Deep Run) with seven shots, three of which Newins saved. Late in the first half, however, Virginia's Morgan Brian took a feed from Alexis Shaffer and took a shot that went into the lower right corner at 32:51, giving the hosts a 1-0 lead they would not relinquish.
"If you come out and out and try to be aggressive, they can embarrass you," Nolan said. "The plan was to try and keep the game as tight as we could and when the time was right, try to release and be braver. We just couldn't. They're very good. They just made it very difficult. As we would win the ball, they would win the back. It wasn't poor execution, they're just that good. We limited what they do well and we kept their two best players kind of in check, but they have other weapons."
Virginia took eight shots in the second half and finished the game out-shooting Georgetown, 15-1. Georgetown's lone shot, in the second half, came off the foot of junior BIG EAST Midfielder of the Year Daphne Corboz (Green Brook, N.J./Watchung Hills). UVa had a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks.
The biggest disappointment for Nolan on this night was the fact that he would not get a chance to coach this 2013 senior class again, a group of players who have elevated
"I couldn't be any prouder," Nolan said. "We're walking away from playing the No. 1 team in the country, on their field and in front of 2,000 fans and we're disappointed we didn't win the game. That's quite the legacy this group leaves."
The Hoyas close out the 2013 season with a 16-3-2 record, tying the school single season record for wins in a season, set last year when the Hoyas went 16-4-3.
The senior class will leave its legacy on the Hilltop. The seniors - defender Emily Menges (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), midfielder Kailey Blain (Merrimack, N.H./Merrimack), forward Kaitlin Brenn (Branchburg, N.J./Somerville), midfielder Colleen Dinn (Kensington, Md./Holy Cross), defender Mary Kroening (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) and defender Alexa St. Martin (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) - will graduate in May with the most wins of a senior class in program history, posting a 62-20-7 record, including a 30-8-3 record in BIG EAST play.
"This group has been fantastic on the field and off," Nolan said. "To have the six of them play in such prominent roles this season and for our only three losses to be to the No. 1 team in the RPI (Virginia), the No. 2 team in the RIP (Marquette) and a very tricky DePaul team, it's very impressive. They walked out of her not in tears, but proud of a job well done."
The team went to the NCAA Tournament three times in four years, making a run to the Elite Eight in 2010 when they were freshmen and reaching the second round of the dance in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
This season, the seniors combining for 14 goals and 19 assists for 47 points and four of them - Brenn, Dinn, Kroening and Menges - started all 22 games. The team set a single season record this year with 58 goals scored, breaking the mark of 53 set in 2011.
Menges, the team's captain, was the BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year this season. Blain, who battled injuries during her sophomore and junior years after being an All-Rookie selection as a freshman, was named First Team All-BIG EAST this season. Brenn, who was second on the team in scoring with eight goals and six assists for 22 points, will leave ranked among the top-10 all-time in goals scored (21, 10th) and points (64, 7th). She was a Second Team All-BIG EAST selection this year.
Dinn played virtually everywhere on the field during her career and was quietly one of the leaders on the team, alongside Kroening, a College Sports Information Directors Academic All-District selection who started 85 of 87 career games, and St. Martin, a hard-nosed player who earned Second Team All-BIG EAST honors this year. Combined, the team's back line - Menges, Kroening, St. Martin and Dinn - appeared in 340 games and started 250 of those during their career.