Women’s soccer faces a top of the table matchup with No. 22 Butler

October 22, 2017

The Georgetown women’s soccer team (11-3-2, 5-1-1 Big East) travels to Indianapolis to face No. 22 Butler (11-1-4, 4-0-3 Big East) at 1 p.m. ET this afternoon. Butler’s only draw at home this year came against Xavier (8-5-4, 4-1-2 Big East), while the Hoyas have only fallen to No. 1 Stanford (14-1, 7-0 PAC-12) and Providence (9-6-1, 4-2-1 Big East) on the road this season. Both teams come into this game following big 3-0 wins and boast the top two offenses and defenses in the conference.

“In some ways, it’s a Big East final,” said Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan.

Butler struggled against Georgetown last year, losing two games by a combined score of 9-0. This year, however, goals will be hard to come by. The Bulldogs represent an unorthodox test for the Hoyas in that they play a different system than any other team in the league. Instead of a typical four player back line, Butler plays a 3-4-2-1, which essentially becomes a five person defense when the Bulldogs are under pressure. It’s a system that has worked for Butler as they’ve conceded only three goals over the course of the season.

“They’ve really sat back against the teams who will be more favored,” said Nolan. “They’ll defend to start to see how the game is going, and then they may adjust on the fly. That’s that I’m expecting.”

Even with a defensive strategy, Butler junior forward Paige Monaghan has been the catalyst for the Bulldog’s offense with seven goals and five assists on the season.

“She’s probably their version of [junior forward] Caitlin Farrell for us in that she’s super fast, super dynamic, can score some big goals, so we’ll have to be wary of her,” Nolan said.

With two games to play until the Big East tournament, the top four teams are within three points of each other. As the tournament approaches, and the women’s tournament adopting the format of the men’s instead of having every game hosted at a single site, these games are vital for home field advantage.

“The whole idea is the number one team would host the semifinal and the final. That’s why it’s crucial for us to try and finish up number one in the regular season,” Nolan said.

The match could be the decider for who takes the number one seed in the tournament. After Thursday’s RPI boosting win over Marquette (10-6-1, 3-4 Big East), the Hoyas are on the hunt for another.

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

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