Field Hockey Stays Hot Against Sacred Heart and St. Francis

September 2, 2018

The Georgetown field hockey team (4-0, Big East) remained undefeated on the season with wins over Sacred Heart University (3-1, MAAC) and St. Francis University (1-2, A-10) on Friday and Sunday. Sophomore forward Cami Osborne scored three goals over the two-game span to become the Hoyas’ leading goal scorer.

On Friday, the Hoyas scored early, as freshman forward Sydney Stephenson converted on a penalty corner, with assists from sophomore defender Ali Cronin and sophomore midfielder Jax Van der Veen. The Hoyas held strong for the remainder of the first half, only forcing one save from freshman goalkeeper Ciara Weets, and only allowing seven shots from the Sacred Heart offense.

The Pioneers began the second half with an offensive advantage, being awarded seven penalty corners in the first ten minutes of the half. However, the Hoyas defense held strong once again. Following the influx of corners, the Hoyas were able to generate some offense, which quickly led to the first goal of the season for Osborne, the Hoyas leading goal scorer a season ago. The Hoyas would hold that 2-0 lead throughout the game to remain undefeated headed into their Sunday matchup with St. Francis University

The Hoyas started the match against St. Francis fairly evenly. While the Red Flash began with a spark, being awarded several penalty corners early and holding much of the possession, it was the Hoyas who scored first when Osborne came in off the bench and converted on a cross from junior forward Lindsay Getz. It was Osborne’s second goal in as many games played off the bench after she sat out the first two games with injury struggles.

“She’s a spark coming off the bench,” assistant coach Kelsey Smither said. “We’re trying to keep her healthy for when it matters. She knows that when she’s in for that short amount of time that she needs to give her 100 percent for her teammates.”

Seven minutes later, St. Francis tied the game on a shot from junior froward Taylor Nesmith. The goal was the first Weets has allowed in her college career, and the first the Hoyas have conceded this season. As the end of the half drew near, Georgetown was once again awarded a penalty corner, and this time converted. Osborne tallied her third goal of the season with the assist from Cronin.

Despite entering the half up a goal, the Hoyas had only managed three shots on goal, and were being outpaced in the midfield. Weets was forced to make four saves, several of which showed her impressive athletic ability and adjustment to the college level.

“It’s a lot faster,” she said. “In the first few days I was sort of out of my element, but the more practice you get, the reps, watching video after practice, and just working with my teammates — they’re pushing me every single time — … helping me fix the little things that I need to work on, and it’s really helped.”

Coming into the second half, the Hoyas turned on the pressure, forcing six saves from St. Francis senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Dyer, and forcing seven penalty corners in the Red Flash circle.

“We kind of just lit a fire under ourselves,” Weets said. “We were like, ‘We have the ability to be better than this team. We really just need to step up and work as a unit.’ We were really disjointed in the first half, but in the second half we were able to step up, work very dynamically, and just get shots on goal.”

Those shots turned to goals when sophomore midfielder Kylee Cunningham, who transferred from Head Coach Christy Longacre’s former home Ball State, scored her first goal in a Hoyas uniform in the 53rd minute. Just minutes later, freshman midfielder Halle Gill tallied her first goal as a Hoya when she hit a rocket from the top of the circle on a pass from senior midfielder Katie Maransky.

The game looked to be put away, but in the final seven minutes, St. Francis once again began to pressure the Hoya defense. In the 64th minute, freshman midfielder/forward Anita Pagani scored for the Red Storm, tightening the score. The Red Storm continued to put pressure on the Hoyas, forcing a penalty corner, but the Georgetown defense stood strong and finished the day without conceding another goal.

“They’re doing a phenomenal job following the game plan. We have a set structure that we’ve been playing and obviously we’re focusing a lot on possession and learning how to move the ball and work well together.”  Smither said. “This is really good momentum going forward for us.”

With these two wins, the Hoyas improve to 4-0 heading into their game against LIU Brooklyn (0-4, MAAC) at 2 p.m. on Friday at Cooper Field. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day coverage and breaking news.

Beth Cunniff
Beth graduated from the College in 2019. She was Voice's alumni outreach manager, and the former sports editor. She accepts her role as a privileged Boston sports fan, but there’s really nothing she can do about it.

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