On Thursday afternoon at Shaw Field, the No. 10 Georgetown Hoyas women’s soccer team (10-2-1, 4-0-0 Big East) defeated the Xavier Musketeers (9-3-2, 2-2-0, Big East) 2-1, despite not having their most convincing performance of the season. Georgetown’s senior midfielder Carson Nizialek had a first-half brace from two penalty kicks. In the 86th minute, senior forward Samantha Dewey put Xavier back into the game but it was too little, too late for the Musketeers.
Xavier lined up in the 3-5-2, marking the first time a team mirrored head coach Dave Nolan’s system this season. Uncharacteristically, the Hoyas had trouble finding space and were outshot in the first half.
Despite the problems Xavier created for them, the Hoyas stayed composed. In the 25th minute, sophomore wingback Boo Jackson glided past her defender who had no choice but to bring her down and give up a penalty. Nizialek punished the Musketeers with a well-taken penalty to give Georgetown the 1-0 lead.
With five minutes to play in the first half, some strong play from graduate forward Amanda Carolan earned the Hoyas their second penalty kick of the game. Nizialek stepped up again, putting the shot low into the ground straight at the keeper, but the keeper mishandled the save and it rolled into the net to make it 2-0.
After the two penalties, the Hoyas didn’t create many other significant chances for the remainder of the game. Xavier continued to throw numbers forward and send lobbed through balls to create mayhem.
In the 86th minute, the Georgetown defense, which had shutout their previous five opponents, fell asleep momentarily and was punished. A Musketeer defender lobbed a ball from the half, the ball bounced untouched over a Hoya defender and fell perfectly to Dewey, who touched it past freshman goalkeeper Anna Leat. This put the Musketeers within striking distance, but the Hoyas ran out the clock well and came out on top.
In a postgame interview, Nolan explained: “They matched us system for system, which was the first time we faced that this year. And then it became about individual battles and individual duels. And I think more of their kids won individual battles than ours did. . . We were outshot, out cornered, and that doesn’t happen here typically. We are always the team on the front foot.”
Georgetown will be glad to have come away with three points and can put this performance behind them. They now turn their attention towards their Sunday matchup against Creighton (7-5-1, 1-2-1 Big East), who are coming off an overtime loss against Butler.
“It will be interesting how Creighton approaches the game,” said Nolan ahead of Sunday’s game. “Today, give Xavier credit, they came into play, they didn’t sit back, they had a plan, they came at us, they took the game to us and they probably punched us in the head a few times, but we landed two bigger punches”
The game is set for 1:00 p.m. ET on Shaw Field. 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.