Georgetown women’s soccer (4-1-3, BIG EAST) ended a historic overtime-win streak against Princeton (4-1-1, Ivy League) on Friday as they succumbed to the Tigers in a devastating 3-2 loss. Despite a strong performance in last week’s home game against No. 2 Stanford, the Hoyas struggled in the first half against the Tigers’ formidable defense, only taking three shots to Princeton’s six while giving up two own goals, giving the Tigers an early 2-0 lead. Despite corrections early in the second half that tied the game 2-2, the Hoyas could not prevail after a late head-in from Princeton sophomore Pietra Tordin that left the Hoyas with little chance of finding an equalizer.
The Hoyas pressed offensively in the first 10 minutes of play, gaining consistent possession. However, a Princeton corner kick in the 9th minute gave way to the first shot of the game that shifted control for the remainder of the half, with Princeton trapping Georgetown in tight spaces and forcing drastic mistakes. The game’s first goal occurred in the 18th minute, when Princeton senior midfielder Aria Nagai sent a through ball to fellow senior midfielder Jen Estes, who took the ball from the edge of the penalty box to the near post toward Hoya sophomore goalkeeper Cara Martin. In an attempt to find her teammate, Estes found the feet of Georgetown junior defender Erika Harwood, who slid the ball into the Hoya net for an own-goal.
Six minutes later, Princeton senior defender Madison Curry sent a cross that found the shin of Georgetown grad student defender and captain Julia Leas, a BIG EAST honoree for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year award, who slotted in Curry’s pass for the second own goal of the game. These early errors set the tone for the Hoyas in the first half, as they failed to get a shot off in the first 30 minutes and gave up 52% of possession.
After making some corrections, the Hoyas entered the second half with confidence. In the 49th minute, Georgetown freshman defender Kaya Hanson sent an unassisted long shot, beating the goalie far post from the top of the box, making it her first collegiate goal and cutting the Tigers’ lead in half. Three minutes later, Georgetown sophomore forward Natalie Means found the ball in the midfield and passed through to Georgetown midfielder Tatum Lenain on the left side. Lenain played the through ball down the left flank towards the edge of the box, where Means drove baseline and beat her defender before curving the shot to the back post for her second goal of the season.
Throughout the second half, the Hoyas consistently sent second bodies to the ball, strengthening their defense and gaining possession. It wasn’t until the 75th minute that the Tigers took their first shot of the half, leading to a foul on Princeton sophomore forward Pietra Tordin. A minute later, Princeton sophomore forward Drew Coomans sent a chipped cross into the six that found a charging Tordin’s head, resulting in her 8th goal of the season.
Heading into the final ten minutes of play, Georgetown, now down 3-2, sought any chance for a comeback, including two shot attempts in the 82nd and 83rd minutes by grad student midfielder Emma Davis and grad student forward Allie Winstanley, as well as a long free kick from Leas in the 88th minute. Luck struck the Hoyas with under a minute to play when a late red card on Princeton senior defender Morgan Wiese saw the Tigers scrambling on defense. With 33 seconds left to play, Means fired a free kick toward the Tigers’ goal, but the ball was quickly batted away, ending the game in favor of Princeton.
“Obviously, we are disappointed with the result and outcome, but we are pleased with the second-half effort from the girls,” head coach David Nolan said after the game. “When you play teams of at this level of this caliber, much like we did Stanford on Sunday, you need to play two halves with the same intensity. Sadly for us, we learned the hard way that one half is not enough.”
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