Outfought: Women’s soccer falls to Trojans in College Cup semifinals

December 2, 2016

Photo: Georgetown Sports Information

The dream season ended in San Jose for the No. 2 seed Georgetown women’s soccer team (20-3-3, 6-1-2 Big East) after a 1-0 loss to the No. 2 seed USC Trojans (18-4-2, 8-2-1 Pac-12). USC redshirt senior forward Katie Johnson scored the only goal of the game in the 60th minute.

The Hoyas began brightly with junior midfielder Rachel Corboz playing balls through the USC defense to senior forward Grace Damaska, forcing USC redshirt senior goalkeeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme off her line on multiple occasions to prevent Damaska from creating a shot. Sophomore forward Caitlin Farrell looked to create chances for the Hoyas down the right hand side but was unable to get crosses into the box.

The first real chance in the game came from a Georgetown free kick in the 17th minute. Corboz lofted the ball towards the back post for graduate student defender Marina Paul who got around her marker but couldn’t direct her header on target, hitting the outside of the net at the near post.

On one of USC’s rare forays into the offensive half, the Trojans nearly broke the deadlock. Junior midfielder Nicole Molen got on the end of a USC corner and sent a looping header to the back post. Georgetown freshman defender Meaghan Nally, who was making her first start of the season, headed the ball clear under pressure from two USC attackers, and the danger passed.

Corboz frequently looked for Paul on set pieces in the first half, finding her twice more from set pieces. Prudhomme palmed away Paul’s first header after a corner kick while the second header looped over the bar.

Graduate student forward Crystal Thomas looked to add a spark off the bench and made a few of her trademark runs down the left wing for the Hoyas, but she was never able to find a teammate in the box.

Georgetown’s five first half shots to USC’s one reflected the flow of the game. Georgetown’s midfield three of Corboz and fellow juniors Taylor Pak and Chloe Knott controlled the game. All the Hoyas needed was more incisiveness in the final third, a quality that the team had been able to produce in pressure situations throughout the season.

Instead, the Trojans came out of the half firing on all cylinders and were no longer pinned into their own half. Each team had a corner kick that threatened a goal early in the second period.

USC’s initial corner was cleared away from the six by Georgetown, but the second ball looped back into the box was fumbled by sophomore goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman. The rebound fell to a USC forward, and Georgetown was able to scramble the ball clear. On the other end, Corboz found Pak from a corner for Georgetown. Prudhomme reacted quickly, diving to her right and holding the header from Pak.

Then, in the 60th minute, the Trojans broke the deadlock. USC sophomore forward Leah Pruitt crossed into the box from the right hand side. Johnson controlled with her back to goal under pressure from Nally, took a touch to her right, and slotted the ball into the bottom corner with her left foot. The goal perfectly reflected USC’s improved start to the second half.

Georgetown failed to create much else for the rest of the game. Their best chances came from Corboz free kicks, but she was unable to convert on either of the two shooting opportunities from set pieces.

USC kept the pressure on, limiting the space the Hoyas had to work in and creating turnovers from their defensive work rate. Were it not for the referees whistle, USC would have likely scored another goal.

Paul attempted a pass back to her goalkeeper Schechtman but was off balance and under hit the pass. USC’s redshirt junior forward Alex Anthony gave chase, and both Anthony and Schechtman went into the challenge sliding. Schechtman was first to the ball and was able to poke it past Anthony, and Anthony came clattering into Schechtman, leaving the goalkeeper down. The ball fell to another USC attacker who could have shot into the empty net had the foul not been called.

Georgetown’s players were emotional after their dream season came to an end, but they shattered records along the way. The team finished with 17 shutouts on the season and won the Big East Tournament for the first time in its history. The team’s appearance in San Jose marked its first appearance in the College Cup in program history.

USC advances to play No. 1 West Virginia (23-1-2, 8-0 Big 12) in the championship game on Sunday.

Jorge DeNeve
Los Angeles native. Still wondering where the Galaxy went wrong and decided buying Jermaine Jones was a good idea.

More: ,

Read More

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments