The No. 5 Georgetown women’s soccer team (12-0-2, 5-0 Big East) defeated Villanova (9-5, 3-2 Big East) 1-0 in an overtime thriller at Shaw Field on Sunday. Senior forward Caitlin Farrell scored the game winner in the 98th minute to keep the Hoyas’ undefeated on the season.
The Wildcats took control of the game from the opening whistle, forcing the Georgetown defense to make some tough plays in the first minutes. Villanova was awarded two quick corner kicks, but the Hoyas stood strong, not allowing the Wildcats to get a shot off of either.
Yet as the half progressed, the Hoyas began to find their rhythm, being awarded six corner kicks, taking seven shots, and forcing five saves from Villanova freshman goalkeeper Hensley Hancuff.
“They do a different system and they do it very well where they try to keep everything compact and that made it difficult for us,” Farrell said of the Villanova defense. “It took us a while to break it down but once we did we were getting more opportunities.”
In the second half, the Wildcats came out of the gates fast, forcing tough saves from senior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman. But once again, the Hoyas settled in late, and in the final fifteen minutes were able to create a few very close chances. Farrell had a one-on-one with the keeper, junior midfielder Sarah Trissel shot one just high, and junior forward/midfielder Paula Germino-Watnick also had the chance to put one away but just missed.
At the end of regulation, the Hoyas had looked like the stronger team, but had been unable to put the game away with a goal.
“They made it very difficult for us. They did all the things they needed to do to give themselves a chance to win the game. They tried to counter attack, they tried to slow down the pace of the game,” Georgetown head coach Dave Nolan said of Villanova. “I felt we were just a little bit too panicked when we had the ball, and we were a little bit too panicked when they had the ball. I think we needed to show a little bit more confidence.”
As the first overtime period began, Villanova came out as they had to start both halves. The Wildcats put quick pressure on the Hoya defense and earned two quick corner kicks, putting Georgetown on the defensive. It wasn’t until the final few minutes of the first overtime period when the Hoyas began to put offensive pressure on Villanova. In the 97th minute, sophomore midfielder Grace Nguyen got a shot on goal, but it was saved by Hancuff.
Hancuff wouldn’t get the chance to save the next one a minute later though, when Nyugen found graduate student Kyra Carusa in the box. Carusa then sent the ball out to Farrell on the right side of the box, and Farrell slotted it home for her team-high 13th goal of the season and the win.
“I saw Kyra let it go through,” Farrell said. “So I just saw the goalie was on the other side so I just took a touch and tried to get it on frame.”
The win is the Hoyas’ 11th straight, not having tied since August 23rd against then-No. 11 Duke (10-2-2, 4-1-1 ACC).
“We’re fourteen games unbeaten. It’s an incredible feat with four games still to go,” Nolan said. “There was always going to be a game when we weren’t at our best. Today was it, but we still managed to get a result.”
The Hoyas next to return to action when they host Providence (8-4-2, 2-2-2 Big East), the only Big East team to beat them last year, at home on Sunday, Oct. 14.
“I think we’re all really looking forward to that game,” Farrell said. “That’s the one that we’ve been circling on our calendar, getting ready for that one, because we really want that one back from last year.”
Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Shaw Field. Follow @GUVoiceSports for game day updates and breaking news.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice