On a windy Saturday afternoon at Shaw Field, No. 3 seed Georgetown women’s soccer (12-1-6, 7-1-2 Big East) dismantled Central Connecticut St. (11-5-0, 8-2-0 NEC) 6-0 to move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. A barrage of goals in the second half stunned the Blue Devils as a tight first half affair quickly turned into a blowout.
Every Hoya goal came in a 25 minute stretch beginning in the 56th minute. Junior midfielder Julia Leas led the Hoyas with two goals and an assist on the day. Graduate midfielder Daisy Cleverley chipped in a goal and an assist, and six other Hoyas scored points on the day.
A rainy first half was characterized by Central Connecticut St.’s backline bending, but not breaking. In the first 45 minutes, Georgetown was clearly the better team, but could not solve sophomore goalkeeper Amanda McQuillan. The NEC All-Tournament goalie made several big stops, including one on a rocket from junior forward Gia Vicari in the 30th minute. McQuillan’s defenders also chipped in, including a key block on a Cleverley shot near the end of the period.
As halftime came and went, there was no indication of the flurry of goals that was to come. However, the Hoyas began the second half strong, earning six corners in a matter of minutes. Senior midfielder Maya Fernandez-Powell would serve several quality balls into the box but none found their way to the net.
Graduate defender Kelly Ann Livingstone broke things open in the 56th minute. After a Blue Devil foul in an opportune location, Fernandez-Powell took the free kick and sent it into the box. Livingstone got on the end of it and chested the ball in to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead and begin a flood of goals.
In the 62nd minute, Cleverley got her own goal off of a tremendous strike from outside the box on a feed from Fernandez-Powell that McQuillan was powerless to stop. After a relatively quiet regular season by her standards, Cleverley looked like one of the two best players on the pitch today, a welcome sign for a Hoya team that needs her to help drive play.
The other dominant force in this game was Leas, the Big East Defender of the Year, who proved that she can do a lot more than anchor a defense. In the 69th minute, Vicari maneuvered around a defender and into the box before playing the ball across the goal. Leas was ready for it, calmly slotting it past McQuillan to give the Hoyas a 3-0 lead, and further demoralized the Central Connecticut St. side.
Leas would add to her total in the 77th minute with another rocket that McQuillan could not touch. While the final stat line was regrettable for the Blue Devil keeper, there was not much she could do when the backline in front of her was consistently getting beat and leaving too much room for the Hoya midfielders to do damage.
One minute later, Leas struck again, taking the ball right up the middle of the defense and laying it off for junior forward Sofie Fox who buried her second goal of the season. Scoring wrapped up in the 81st minute when a terrific run from senior defender Jenna Royson found freshman Erika Harwood alone with only the keeper to beat. Her confident kick found the back of the net for Harwood’s first collegiate goal.
The final 19 minutes were a quiet affair, as the Hoyas brought on the reserves as the game concluded. Junior goalkeeper Allie Augur was not asked to do much in this one, making two saves to complete another shutout. With her 11th on the season, Augur has moved into 5th place for most shutouts in a season, as well as 5th most career shutouts for the Hoyas.
Georgetown will return to Shaw Field on Friday, Nov. 19 to face defending national champion Santa Clara. The Broncos won a taut match against Stanford in their first round matchup, which included a clutch penalty save from sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Foutch, a Second Team WCC selection. Santa Clara is ranked 12th in the coaches poll, 32nd in RPI, and is unranked in the TopDrawerSoccer poll. Kickoff is still TBA. For live stats and updates, see guhoyas.com, and follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for continued Georgetown sports coverage.