Go home, country roads: WSOC suppresses WVU at home
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon on the hill, the No. 17/11 Georgetown Hoyas (4-1-3) faced off against the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-3-3) as they finished their non-conference roster . The Hoyas must have felt the hype from the cheering group because early on, Georgetown applied immediate pressure on West Virginia. Junior midfielder Tatum Lenain pressed the field and missed the wide net on the left on a shot in the first minute. West Virginia responded in the fourth minute with a counterattack that saw junior forward AJ Rodriguez dribble the seam, but with no one to cross the ball for a shot, the game ended in a stoppage. Georgetown first-year goaltender Cara Martin.
The first 10-15 minutes of the game were back and forth, with neither team able to capitalize on their rushes. Each team had its fair share of good scoring chances, with the Hoyas having a breakaway whistled due to offside and the Mountaineers’ tally being stopped by athletic play from senior defender Anna Shaver. As the game progressed, Georgetown began to dominate possession of the ball and began to put a lot of pressure deep into West Virginia territory. By the time the first substitutes arrived around the 22nd minute, the Hoyas had started to generate several shots on goal, but senior Mountaineer keeper Kayza Massey was able to make some really nice saves, including a dive to stop a senior ball . striker Gia Vicari.
Along with winning the battle for possession, the Blue & Gray also played with a physique that got into the Mountaineers’ minds. The umpires let a few minor touches slip by, and Georgetown took full advantage, much to the chagrin of West Virginia, who made their grievances known to the umpires. With the Hoyas’ physical advantage, they began to see high-quality scoring opportunities. In the 29th minute, graduate midfielder Maya Fernandez-Powell sent a fine ball deep into the box, but the WVU keeper managed to deflect it before second-year forward Erika Harwood could finish. A few minutes later, the first corner kick of the game for either team was taken by Georgetown in the box, but the Hoyas were unable to finish the game and the Mountaineers again escaped trouble.
With a rush to the top from West Virginia, the Hoya defense was able to stay strong and clear the ball from the right side to second-year forward Maja Lardner. Lardner didn’t quite have a clear shot, so she paused, waited for Lenain to get into perfect position before crossing him to set up a wonderful left-footed finish by Lenain, who got her. deposited in the shelf at the top left. 1-0 Georgetown in the 33rd minute.
Almost as soon as the Hoyas scored, West Virginia kicked the dials up a notch. Within five minutes of the goal, WVU generated a corner kick, home run, free kick and another shot on goal. Georgetown were playing on their heels as the Mountaineers played with renewed desperation to level the score before halftime. The Hoyas, however, escaped unscathed, as some fine defensive plays and excellent goal work from Martin held WVU scoreless before halftime.
Les Bleu et Gris came out with much more composure in the second half with Lenain looking for her second goal of the day – she netted a shot on goal with her left foot 30 seconds into the half and followed it a minute later with another flare to his left leg, this one missing upper left. Although Lenain couldn’t quite break through with his second of the day, the Hoyas were able to find the back of the net as sophomore forward Cyanne Doyle dribbled past him along the goal line and centered it on Vicari who sent it down and just past two defenders and the keeper. 2-0 Georgetown in the 48th minute.
Vicari completely owned the second half. Not only did she have the goal, but she was involved in virtually every offensive play for the Hoyas. In the 56th minute, she faced two defenders, split the difference and scored another clean shot on goal which was saved by the goalkeeper. Two minutes later, Vicari made another fantastic play in the box, weaving between the defenders, but no one was open on the centering pass, and West Virginia was able to clear the dangerous chance for Georgetown. Less than five minutes had passed before she found herself on the left side again with a nice touch as she received the ball and waited to find first-year striker Natalie Means, whom she hit with a cross, but Means’ shot was stopped by Mountaineer goalkeeper Massey.
West Virginia turned up the heat on the Hoyas again, going into utter desperation mode with a 2-0 loss. They fouled in the 68th minute on the right side of the box and the header that followed the free-kick was just over the net. Then, in the 70th minute, a Mountaineer corner kick would have resulted in a goal had it not been for a fantastic save from Martin, who was at the top of his game all afternoon.
As the game entered its final 10 minutes, the Hoyas put down, allowing just one shot on net on a broken play that was easily stopped by Martin. As the match drew to a close, the cheer band started playing “The Final Countdown”. The whistle sounded as a final shot from West Virginia flew over the net, with Georgetown coming out on top 2-0, their third win in a row. The Hoyas’ goals came from Tatum Lenain, their second of the year (assisted by Maja Lardner), and Gia Vicari, their third of the year (assisted by Cyanne Doyle). Georgetown finished with 12 shots – six on goal – while West Virginia finished the game with 13 shots – four on goal. Hoya goaltender Cara Martin finished the game with four saves, her third shutout of the year.
Georgetown will begin conference play with its game against St. John’s on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Maryland Soccerplex. Follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter for more updates and ongoing coverage of all Georgetown sports.