The No. 19 Georgetown women’s soccer team (13-3-3, 6-1-2 Big East) passed its first test of the Big East Tournament with flying colors on Thursday, beating Marquette (13-7-1, 5-4 Big East) 4-0 in the semifinals at Shaw Field. Senior midfielder Rachel Corboz scored twice off of free kicks and assisted again from a corner after junior forward Caitlin Farrell opened the scoring for the Hoyas, while junior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman kept a clean sheet at the back for the Hoyas. All in all, it was a performance that head coach Dave Nolan was extremely pleased with, though his wallet may have gotten a bit lighter in the process.
“At one point this season we had one hundred corner kicks, and we scored only four goals. We were calling ourselves the ‘four-percenters.’ And, I made a bet with these guys that if we scored three set-piece goals in a game I’d spring for ice cream, and they’ve just reminded me,” the coach said with a laugh.
While Nolan took delight in his team’s dominant play, the Golden Eagles had fewer reasons for joviality as they were only able to muster two shots on Big East Goalkeeper of the Year Arielle Schechtman’s net.
“We make it so hard for teams to get anything going, and when there are a couple of occasions where they break us down, we have the Big East Defender of the Year, in [senior] Liz Wenger, back there, and then the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year behind her, but it takes parts of 11 players that defend with pride,” Nolan said.
The Hoyas opened their account in the ninth minute when Farrell finished first-time after good work from sophomore defender Meaghan Nally on the left flank to win the ball and play it into the box. Four minutes later, Corboz, fresh off being named Big East Midfielder of the Year and a unanimous First-Team All-Big East selection, curled a freekick into the top left corner of the Marquette net to add to the Hoyas’ lead. Possession and shots balanced out as the first half progressed, but the Hoyas were firmly in control as the halftime buzzer sounded.
Five minutes after the restart, the Hoyas were at it again, as Corboz’s corner from the right flag was not well dealt with by the Golden Eagles and freshman defender Kelly Ann Livingstone reacted first at the back post to head the ball home. In the 63rd minute, Amanda Carolan hit the crossbar as the Hoyas continued to threaten, before they added their fourth a minute later. It was Corboz again, as she made it 4-0 with a floated free kick from near the right touchline that was mishandled by Marquette junior goalkeeper Maddy Henry.
“I’ve been working on set pieces for a while, and to finally see that pay off in games is really important to me, and I’m very happy about it,” Corboz said.
From then on, the only question for the Hoyas would be whether they preserved their clean sheet, which Schechtman and Wenger made sure of with tidy defending at the back. The emphatic victory ensures that Georgetown moves on to the Big East Tournament final, which will be played at Shaw Field this Sunday. The Hoyas await the winner of Thursday’s other semifinal between No. 2-seed Butler (12-1-5, 5-0-4 Big East) and No. 3-seed Providence(10-7-2, 5-3-1 Big East), whom the Hoyas played both of on the road this season, only earning a result in a draw against Butler.
“They’re both very good teams, so I don’t really mind who we play, but I’m happy we have them here on Shaw,” Corboz said.