The Georgetown women’s soccer team’s run to the NCAA College Cup ended on a cold and windy Friday afternoon at Shaw Field. The No. 22 Hoyas (14-2-6, 7-1-2 Big East) met the No. 12 Santa Clara Broncos (13-5-2, 8-1 West Coast Conference) for the second round of the tournament and lost 2-1 in overtime.
While the Hoyas brought themselves back from a one-goal deficit, they could not stop Bronco junior forward Izzy D’Aquila from finding a golden goal with one minute remaining in the first overtime period. After 98 minutes of intense play, Georgetown fell to the defending NCAA champions and embark on an offseason filled with questions.
The game started with several chances for both teams. Georgetown graduate midfielder Daisy Cleverley got the first shot off in the 7th minute but was blocked. Junior forward and member of the All-Big East First Team Gia Vicari’s first shot arrived just a minute later, but was again blocked.
Santa Clara’s first chance was created by a corner kick in the 11th minute. Hoya goalkeeper Allie Augur punched the ball, but D’Aquila took a shot on the rebound. It looked like the ball had a chance to break through but Georgetown’s swarming defense was able to deflect the ball off the line.
Throughout the first half, the teams found success using differing strategies. While Georgetown relied on short, quick passes to move the ball up the sides, Santa Clara favored quick breaks to string out the defense.
The Broncos were the first to score in the 17th minute after getting a free kick. Georgetown’s usually steadfast defense made a weak clearance which D’Aquila pounced on and dished to star senior forward Kelsey Turnbow whose shot snuck past Augur to the right side of the net.
Georgetown did not let up, and equalized just 6 minutes later. Senior midfielder Maya Fernandez-Powell sent an arcing ball to the goal box, where graduate defender Sydney Cummings was able to pick her way through the chaos for the score—her fifth of the season. This was Fernandez-Powell’s 12th assist on the season, placing her into a tie with Ingrid Wells for eighth most goals in a single season in Georgetown history.
In the 30th minute, the Hoyas had an promising trick play that could easily have notched them the lead. After junior midfielder Julia Leas was fouled in front of the goal box, senior defender Jenna Royson and Cleverley came out to take the kick. Royson ran over the ball with a fake, which Cleverley then passed to a waiting Hoya.
They passed the ball around the Santa Clara defense to the outside of the box, where it was then sent perfectly in front of the goal. The ensuing shot rolled just wide of the box and Bronco sophomore keeper Kylie Foutch, but showed the discipline and tactics Georgetown needed to stay competitive against their opponents.
For the rest of the half, Georgetown’s defensive line of graduate defender Kelly Ann Livingstone, Royson, and Cummings were able to keep Augur out of any more major trouble. Santa Clara was forced to take shots from longer distances that sailed over the crossbar. After 45 minutes of play, Santa Clara took six shots and four corner kicks, compared to Georgetown’s four and three, respectively.
In the second 45 minutes of the match, Georgetown kept up the intensity but could not get much out of their end of the field. Santa Clara took all five shots during the half, each coming from a different player (Turnbow, D’Aquila, sophomore forward Sally Menti, and midfielders Karen Goor and Alex Loera).
Georgetown had significantly less possession than in the first half, working upwind and unable to find key connections upfield. They had much fewer chances to attack, and were also working without their most prolific scorer, Vicari, who was subbed out in the 67th minute and did not return.
The Hoyas appeared to shift an extra player into the midfield once Vicari was subbed off, which seemed to leave the line more open for oncoming Broncos.
Loera’s shot in the 89th minute of the game was the most dangerous chance for Santa Clara. While Augur chose the correct side to dive to, the screaming free kick hit the left post and nearly deflected into the goal but rolled wide. Still tied, the game went to overtime with Santa Clara carrying the momentum.
As she did for most of the season, Augur kept Georgetown in the game by sliding for a crucial save to stop Turnbow’s low shot in the 94th minute. Even with every player fighting for the ball, the Hoyas could not sustain possession or get the ball any significant time in the attacking third. While evenly matched for most of the game, the Broncos were dominant in the final minutes of the first overtime period.
The game finally came to an end when the Broncos made a swarm to the box in the 99th minute. Turnbow and sophomore forward Lucy Mitchell assisted D’Aquila whose shot snuck past the keeper’s left side. Santa Clara will go on to play the University of Wisconsin on Sunday, Nov. 21st in the third round of the tournament.
Friday marks the end of collegiate careers for key players like Livingstone, Cummings, Cleverley, and graduate defender Kaitlyn Parcell. It is unclear if seniors like Fernandez-Powell or Royson will return for a fifth season. The future, however, looks promising for the Hoyas as this year’s freshman class has taken on considerable minutes and starting positions such as midfielder Eliza Turner and forward Cyanne Doyle. Leas, who always makes major impacts on the field, is sure to continue her dominance in her senior season and Vicari will look to command the league offensively once more.
Although Georgetown’s season ended in heartbreak, they leave with much to be proud of as their quest for a national championship continues. While the women’s soccer season is over, sports on campus remains. Check out @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for continued Georgetown sports coverage.