The No. 15 Georgetown women’s soccer team (5-2, Big East) routed the St. Francis Red Flash (2-4, Northeast) by a 5-0 scoreline on Friday evening. Sophomore forward/midfielder Paula Germino-Watnick led the way with two goals and an assist for the Hoyas. Sophomore midfielder Carson Nizialek, senior midfielder Rachel Corboz, and junior forward Caitlin Farrell scored a goal each.
Georgetown came out of the gate firing with Nizialek opening the scoring in the fifth minute. Germino-Watnick turned her defender near the end line before cutting the ball back to the sophomore midfielder. Nizialek took the strike first time, finding the top corner at the near post.
Farrell was a constant danger, using her pace to get in behind the defense on the wings, playing in dangerous crosses for forwards to attack. In addition, the Hoyas took numerous shots from distance with Corboz striking the crossbar with the St. Francis goalkeeper, sophomore Julia Hernan, stranded and senior midfielder Taylor Pak missing narrowly high.
“When you play against a team, you want to try to get some shots to try to encourage them to come out and try to play it, and now that allows space behind so we can slip balls in behind for the attacking players we have,” said Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan.
Freshman forward Jenna Menta added an injection of pace for the last twenty minutes of the half, driving down the right wing to play more dangerous crosses into the box. Hernan tipped more shots from distance over the crossbar from Corboz and freshman midfielder Grace Nguyen near the end of the first half.
The Hoyas continued to create quality chances until the halftime whistle. The Hoyas amassed 13 shots in the period, forcing four saves from Hernan. Despite the close 1-0 score, Head Coach Dave Nolan didn’t feel the need to make adjustments.
“It wasn’t like we weren’t creating; in the first ten minutes alone I think we were unlucky not to have two or three,” said Nolan. “Sometimes that’s our game.”
The levy broke in the second half. From a St. Francis pass back, Germino-Watnick nicked the ball off of Hernan and was the first to pounce on the loose ball and pass the ball into the empty net for the first goal of her Georgetown career to double the lead.
Eight minutes later, Germino-Watnick added a second goal. Farrell found herself in space around 30 yards from goal and hit a screamer that Hernan saved on a dive. Unfortunately for the goalkeeper, her parry didn’t make it out of the six-yard box and the sophomore finished the rebound into the bottom corner.
Germino-Watnick’s two goals were the product of hustle and always being in the play, something Nolan was quick to point out.
“She was lively; that sums Paula [Germino-Watnick] up today,” said Nolan. “I was happy to see her get off the mark today because sometimes maybe that’s all it takes those good moments to give you some confidence.
The Hoyas didn’t take their foot off the gas with Corboz adding the fourth goal only four minutes later. She beat one defender with a stepover, then cut inside to beat a second before curling a shot with her left foot into the side netting. Hernan got a hand to the ball but couldn’t push it far enough wide to prevent the goal.
With an injury list including redshirt sophomore forward Amanda Carolan, sophomore forward Casey Richards, and senior defender Elizabeth Wenger along with senior defender Drew Topor leaving the field with an injury in this game, Nolan began to rest some of his key players for the final twenty minutes.
“I wanted to make sure whenever we get a chance we can get some kids on the field to give them some experience, and we were able to do that,” said Nolan.
However, the changes made no difference to the effectiveness of the team. A move beginning from senior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman at one end saw Farrell finding the bottom corner four passes later, the final through ball coming from Nguyen. This next-player-up mentality from the team is evidenced by the wrist tape that the players wear.
“We write ‘28’ which is the number of players because it takes all 28 of us to win a game, all 28 of us to do well in a season; it’s not just about the 11 that are going on,” said Germino-Watnick.
Georgetown continued to attack to the final whistle with Menta drawing a yellow card from a St. Francis defender in the 83rd minute. Despite allowing five goals, Hernan completed a solid outing with a double save in the 90th minute to finish the match with nine saves. In contrast, Schechtman recorded zero saves.
“Our team had more energy in the second half, so I think we were able to create more space and go around them a little better,” said Germino-Watnick.
Since losing 4-0 at then-No. 5 Stanford (5-1, PAC-12), Georgetown have scored eight goals and allowed none in the 3-0 win against San Jose State (2-4, Mountain West) and the 5-0 win today. The Hoyas will look to continue this momentum against No. 14 Rutgers (6-0, Big Ten).
Image Credits: Georgetown Sports Information