WASHINGTON - The 2017-18 academic year marks the 25th Anniversary of women’s soccer at Georgetown University. As part of a planned celebration for the 25th Anniversary during the coming season, Head Coach Dave Nolan will share his top-10 moments in the history of the program leading up to a celebration for the program during the season.
No. 6 on Nolan’s Top 10 was a weekend road game in October 2011 to play long-time BIG EAST power Notre Dame, the defending national champions. The Hoyas, who had not won in 11 previous meetings against the Irish and had never won on the road against them, posted a 3-2 win, a decision that was one of the key victories under Nolan over the last decade.
“Since I started at Georgetown, Notre Dame was always the measuring stick in our conference,” Nolan said this week. “There had been some close games at Shaw Field over the years and we even managed in to beat them at home in 2002 (4-3), but typically our trip to South Bend was a long day.
“Over time, we had worked very hard to narrow the gap, but in the back of my mind had been some double-digit thrashings in South Bend. However, I knew we had a good team capable of an upset and one of our players had been talking to a friend who played at Notre Dame prior to the game and she informed her that we must have a good team that year. When asked why, she was told it was the first time they ever did a scouting report on us. I told the team and I could see how fired up they were to take the field. In the end we won 3-2 in South Bend for the first time ever. Well-deserved on the night and it was a great feeling for the players and our alums were thrilled also.”
It was a critical road game as the win improved GU to 12-5-0 overall and 6-3-0 in the league and stayed in second place.
The Hoyas jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second minute of the game when then-senior Samantha Baker headed a shot inside the right post after a corner kick by redshirt senior midfielder Ingrid Wells. Georgetown doubled its lead in the 10th minute when Baker took one of her signature long throw-ins from the near sideline into the penalty area and the ball deflected off a Fighting Irish player before going inside the left post (9:44).
As Nolan recalled, the Hoyas put the Irish “under some great pressure and were deservedly up two,” but Notre Dame came back and tied the game at 2-all before halftime.
"The second half was just about gutting it out and we found a way to score a third goal against the run of play," Nolan said. "Despite some nervous moments we defended well over the last few minutes and got the victory."
Georgetown's third goal, also credited as an own goal, came off another Baker throw-in. The Hoyas had missed on several chances early in the second half, but connected in the 77th minute. Baker's throw-in was settled at the near post by a GU attacker and played back to Baker on the left edge of the box. She sent a cross toward the top of the six-yard box and a defender attempted to clear but it re-directed back on goal and gave the Hoyas a 3-2 lead at 76:06.
“We had made a great run in the NCAA Tournament the year before, so weren’t lacking confidence as a team, but they (Notre Dame) were the defending national champions and it was a road game,” said Baker, who works for Ballston BID in Northern Virginia. “I just remember that we came out strong and then gave it back, but kept fighting and got the winner. That win, against them and on the road, was a huge boost for us as a program.”