Xavier defeated the No. 18 Georgetown women’s soccer team 2-0 in the Big East Championship in Omaha, NE on Sunday afternoon. The Musketeers (16-3-2, 7-2-0 Big East) scored twice in the first half, and held the Hoyas (13-4-3, 6-1-2 Big East) in check defensively to win the title and earn an automatic bid to their third ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Xavier was the far more clinical side throughout the match, notching two goals on nine shots while Georgetown registered 15 shots on a scoreless afternoon. This was apparent from the opening as the Hoyas failed to capitalize on a series of early chances, with senior midfielder Sarah Trissel and senior defender Meaghan Nally coming up just short in the first 10 minutes.
In the 11th minute, the Musketeers had their first significant opportunity, which they took advantage of. Senior midfielder Grace Bahr spotted sophomore forward Brooke Sroka from the opposite side of the field and lofted a soaring ball over the entire Georgetown team. Sroka sped past the defense, let the ball bounce once, and chipped it from outside the box, over the head of freshman keeper Anna Leat, and into the net. Leat was well out of her goal on the play, one of a series of uncharacteristic errors that plagued the Hoyas as they sought to defend their Big East Tournament crown.
The Musketeers were the more dominant side after the opening goal, generating several chances over the next 25 minutes, before eventually doubling their lead. Bahr again played the role of creator, sending in a cross from the left side. Her pass took a deflection off of a Georgetown defender and ricocheted perfectly for junior midfielder Gabrielle Lopresti, who had timed her run well and stretched out a leg to redirect the ball into the back of the net.
Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan kept the pressure on in the second half, aiming to break apart Xavier’s tough backline, and Georgetown had several close chances in the first 20 minutes after the break but could not convert. The Musketeers remained strong, holding Georgetown without a shot until the 79th minute, when senior forward Paula Germino-Watnick had her attempt blocked, and Georgetown could not score off the ensuing corner either. Senior forward Casey Richards had the last opportunity of the game, aiming a shot on goal in the 88th minute, but Xavier senior keeper Toni Bizzarro made the save.
Xavier celebrated their postseason championship after taking home the regular season title as well, the same feat Georgetown accomplished the prior two years.
The Hoyas will now await their seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they will hope to match last season’s success, when they reached the College Cup. For continued coverage of women’s soccer and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.
Image Credits: John Picker/The Georgetown Voice