WASHINGTON – Host school Georgetown reached its third Big East Women’s Soccer Championship final in five years on Friday with a penalty shootout win over DePaul at Shaw Field.
Hoyas defender Marina Paul cancelled out Franny Cerny’s early goal for the Blue Demons as the teams battled to a 1-1 tie in regulation. DePaul goalkeeper Lauren Frasca made a sprawling kick-save to prevent Amanda Carolan from notching a late winner before Georgetown’s leading scorer Grace Damaska missed the best chance to finish the contest in overtime.
The teams were still locked together through four rounds of penalty kicks. Crystal Thomas fired her shot into the top right corner to leave DePaul’s Elizabeth Endy needing to score to force sudden death. Her shot crashed off Arielle Schechtman’s crossbar.
No. 3 seeded Georgetown (15-2-3) meet No. 1 Marquette (12-6-2) in Sunday’s final at 1 p.m. The regular season winners from Wisconsin edged out St. John’s by 2-1 in overtime earlier on Friday afternoon.
DePaul (10-6-3) had ended Georgetown’s 14-game unbeaten run in emphatic style with a 4-1 win in Washington on Oct. 23. That result cost the Hoyas the Big East’s regular season crown and extended their winless streak against the Blue Demons to six games.
Further pain looked likely when Cerny fastened onto a long clearance from DePaul fullback Taylor Schissler on 18 minutes before driving her shot high beyond Schechtman’s reach.
Georgetown failed to work visiting goalkeeper Frasca during a scrappy first hour that saw Hoyas playmaker Rachel Corboz closely shackled and wide forwards Damaska and Caitlin Farrell struggling to win their individual duels against Schissler and Kelli Hubly.
Hoyas head coach Dave Nolan tinkered with his formation at the interval in an attempt to take hold of the midfield. Substitute Meghan Shaver brought a fumble from Frasca with a deep, hanging cross on 60 minutes that galvanized the home crowd.
Frasca’s problems with the wind and low-lying sun continued a few minutes later when she flapped at a Corboz corner kick to allow Paul to tie the game with a bundled finish from inside the 6-yard box.
Abby Reed rattled a shot off Georgetown’s goal frame on 72 minutes before the Hoyas began to exert control. Another Corboz inswinger brought uncertainty from Frasca before the goalkeeper halted Carolan after Damaska threaded a dangerous ball behind DePaul’s defense.
Sunday’s championship decider will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1. Georgetown is looking to clinch its first Big East Championship after losing out in the 2012 and 2014 finals to Marquette and DePaul respectively.
Georgetown (4-2-3-1): Arielle Schechtman – Corey Delaney, Marina Paul, Elizabeth Wenger, Drew Topor – Taylor Pak, Chloe Knott – Grace Damaska, Rachel Corboz, Caitlin Farrell – Amanda Carolan
DePaul (4-3-3): Lauren Frasca — Taylor Schissler, Elizabeth Endy, Avery Hay, Kelli Hubly — Lucy Edwards, Jessie Schmidt, Alexa Ben — Franny Cerny, Abby Reed, Ana Greik