After two consecutive wins against conference opponents, the No. 4 Hoyas (11-0-2, 3-0-1 Big East) are looking to extend their streak of dominance over the course of their five final games of the regular season. The Hoyas’ 3-0 victory against the Butler Bulldogs (8-4-2, 1-3-0 Big East) demonstrated the team’s stout defense and offensive chemistry, while the Hoyas’ 2-1 win over Providence (4-6-3, 1-3-0 Big East) showed the team’s ability to earn victories in difficult playing conditions. These triumphs are sure to inspire the Hoyas as the regular season comes to a close.
When speaking about the priorities of the defense, senior defender and captain Emily Menges said, “Our ultimate goal, if you ask any of the defenders, is to get shutouts. Last season we set the standard very high for ourselves with 12 shutouts. It is the defenders’ job to not give up goals. … The back four is solid and it is pretty much unchanged from last year, so we all know that we can rely on each other. That being said, we also know our true potential and we … are the ones who put the most pressure on ourselves to perform at our best.”
The game against Providence provided the Hoyas with another opportunity to test their strength as a team. With goals from senior defender Kailey Blain and junior midfielder Daphne Corboz during the 46th and 66th minutes respectively, the Hoyas closed the door on any opportunities for the Friars to come back for a late victory.
Corboz stressed the key role the Hoyas’ midfield plays: “We know how important the midfield is to the team’s success and hope to be able to win as many midfield battles as we can,” she said.
In addition, Corboz commented on the team’s offensive production and potential as the season progresses.
“The cohesiveness between the lines has been good, although it can always get better,” she said. “We always try to play out of the back, which is fantastic. Up front, I think we could be more effective with combinations in the attacking third, our final passes, and our finishing. All in all, we have tried to play some good soccer but I look forward to the team’s continued improvement.”
As the Hoyas prepare for the final games of the regular season, one area where they can improve is maintaining their focus.
“There is not one thing that constitutes as our biggest weakness, but I do think we are most vulnerable during games when we lose focus,” said Menges. “That is, when we make… unintelligent plays that put our back line under pressure. We all do it sometimes and it is not a matter of practicing, it’s a matter of staying focused and making smarter decisions,”
The Hoyas have performed well on the field so far this season, but they believe their best games have yet to be played. “The team has worked very well together so far, which has been shown by our record, however, this weekend against Marquette will be a great test,” Corboz said.
The Hoyas’ will look to stay undefeated when they take on No. 11 Marquette (11-3-0, 4-0-0 Big East) this Saturday at 2p.m.