Unbeaten no more: Hoyas fall to crafty UConn

October 28, 2021

Gia Vicari Photo by John Picker

The No. 20 Georgetown women’s soccer (11-1-6) team fell 1-0 to the UConn Huskies (9-7-1) on Thursday after a singular goal from sophomore midfielder Lucy Cappadona.  This was the team’s first loss of the season in their last regular season game. The Hoyas were not at their best today and will look to rebound next week as the Big East Tournament kicks off in Cincinnati, OH.

The game started off with Georgetown trying to make the most of their control of possession and capitalize on the Huskies’ defensive weaknesses. The first chance came in the fifth minute as a corner taken by senior midfielder Maya Fernandez-Powell found junior midfielder Julia Leas’ head, but her effort went over the bar. The rest of the first half was a give-and-take between both teams. Georgetown had more possession of the ball but was unable to create any real scoring chances and UConn found some success from several counterattacks, but graduate defenders Sydney Cummings and Kelly Ann Livingstone dealt with all of them swiftly. 

The next opportunity for the Hoyas would come in the 31st minute as sophomore midfielder Erin Martin took a shot from distance that skimmed the top of the crossbar. Three minutes later, senior midfielder Devon Lis enjoyed Georgetown’s first shot on target after senior defender Jenna Royson made a stellar run down the left side of the field and found Lis inside the box. However, her shot was straight to the hands of sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Mahoney. The half came to an end with the Hoyas trying to create new opportunities but the Huskies’ defense was able to hold on.

For the second half, Georgetown Head Coach Dave Nolan made a couple tactical changes to try to spread the pitch and create more chances from the wide areas. Five minutes into the half, Nolan’s changes paid off as a play down the right hand side found freshman forward Cyanne Doyle inside the box, where she was able to thread the needle and find Fernandez-Powell on the top of the six, who then laid it off to junior forward Gia Vicari, but her shot was wide right and the chance was foregone.

In the 57th minute and against the run of play, the Huskies capitalized on the one and only defensive mistake the Hoyas made during the game. Sophomore forward Jaydah Bedoya beat junior defender Paige Leonard to a ball into the box, took a few steps, and crossed it to Cappadona, who found the back of the net with a right-footed strike. From then on, Georgetown dominated the game as UConn tried to hold on to a lead that would see them qualify for the upcoming Big East Tournament.

 The Hoyas started creating more chances after the reappearance of graduate midfielder Daisy Cleverley, who had missed the last few games on international duty with New Zealand. Her creativity would soon be noticed as a shot by Leas was blocked by a Huskies’ defender in the 73rd minute and Cleverley herself had a shot go wide left eight minutes later. The Hoyas only enjoyed a couple of chances more, with shots from Martin, Lis and Fernandez-Powell that never really threatened Mahoney. Overall, a rare defensive mistake, a lack of shots on goal and an across-the-board subpar display by the Hoyas saw them score their first loss of the season against a solid UConn squad that will get the chance to fight for Big East glory. 

With this defeat, UCLA is the final Division 1 team without a loss on the year. The Hoyas will enjoy a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament next week as the tournament’s No. 2 seed. Their opponent will be the winner of the UConn vs Butler first round game and their semifinal game is scheduled for Thursday, November 4th. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and coverage of all fall sports at Georgetown.

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