The No. 15 Georgetown women’s soccer team (5-2-1, Big East) took care of business and thrashed the No. 23 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-3-1, Big 12) 3-0 on a scorching Sunday afternoon at Shaw Field. Sophomore defender Jenna Royson and freshman midfielder Julia Leas each tallied their second goal of the season, while graduate forward Amanda Carolan notched her fourth for GU.
The teams went back and forth in the first fifteen minutes, feeling each other out. In the 22nd minute, Leas found herself open and blasted a shot that nailed the post, hit the back of the leg of Virginia’s senior goalkeeper Rylee Foster and somehow stayed out of the net. Then, in the 42nd minute, a long throw-in from junior forward Jenna Menta was flicked on by senior defender Meaghan Nally and then headed on target by Royson. Foster blocked the header, but Royson was the first to react to her own shot and she smashed it top shelf to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead.
Following the goal, the Mountaineers created a pair of dangerous one-on-one chances but were denied twice by freshman goalkeeper Anna Leat.
In the 62nd minute, sophomore defender Boo Jackson whipped in an inswinging corner which Foster uncomfortably punched back into the air. Leas, who had continued her run at the back post, headed the ball back towards goal, and although the goal line was crammed with bodies, the header crossed untouched, giving Georgetown a two-goal lead.
With seven minutes left to play, the Blue and Gray stretched their lead to three on a quick counterattack. Leas played the ball to senior forward Paula Germino-Watnick, who turned and slotted Carolan with a perfect through ball. Carolan skillfully scooped the ball around the keeper and calmly passed it into the open net to secure the victory for the Hoyas.
After conceding four times in the 4-3-3 formation against Princeton, head coach Dave Nolan decided to revert back to a 3-5-2 for the West Virginia game.
“I felt just having three center-backs in there we’d always be able to deal with what is one of their strengths, which is physicality and getting on the first balls,” said Nolan. “And then I felt by having our two wingbacks a little bit higher up the field we could probably deny a lot more serves which I thought we struggled a little bit against Princeton the other day with that.”
The decision paid off, as the Hoya backline shutout a Virginia side that had just scored six goals in their game on Thursday night. In fact, they held Virginia to only three shots on target, all of which were excellently handled by Leat.
“When our centrebacks, when Charlie, and Meaghan and Kelly-Ann are all in the right frame of mind, and when they are disciplined and pulling the strings in front of them, we are difficult to score against,” Nolan offered. “And today was probably our first good performance on both sides of the ball.”
Georgetown now turns their attention to the Ohio University Bobcats (5-2-0, Mid-American). After winning their first five matches, the Bobcats have dropped their last two. The game is set for 4 P.M. ET on Friday at Shaw Field. The Hoyas will likely view this game as a confidence builder before Big East play begins on Sunday against Marquette. Live stats and a stream are available at guhoyas.com. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for updates and game recaps throughout the women’s soccer season, as well as coverage of the rest of the school sports throughout the year.
Image Credits: John Picker