WASHINGTON – Georgetown lifted its first Big East Women’s Soccer Championship on Sunday with an assured 2-0 victory over regular season winner Marquette at Shaw Field.
Goals from top scorer Grace Damaska and assist leader Rachel Corboz either side of the interval settled a one-sided contest that saw the Hoyas’ midfield taking an early grip on proceedings that it never looked like relinquishing.
The win matched No. 3 seeded Georgetown’s 2-0 triumph at Marquette during the regular season and avenged the Hoyas’ 2012 Big East Tournament final loss to the Golden Eagles.
“This was too good a team not to win a Big East championship,” said Georgetown’s head coach Dave Nolan after the game.
A stiff, northwesterly breeze aided the hosts during an opening period in which junior midfielders Chloe Knott and Taylor Pak quickly dominated. Pak directed the first effort on Maddy Henry’s goal with a good header from a Corboz corner kick.
Most of the hosts’ early attacks came down the right with Caitlin Farrell engaged in an entertaining tussle against Marquette left-back Emily Hess. Damaska got involved on the other flank when Corboz sprung her through on Henry’s goal with a first-time pass on the counter attack after 20 minutes.
Henry sprinted from her line to block Damaska’s shot at the edge of her penalty area.
The Golden Eagles goalkeeper could not prevent Damaska from finding the net two minutes later. Georgetown’s senior forward initially benefited from a loose touch that opened space on the edge of the 18-yard box. Damaska’s final touch carried far greater deliberation. Her rasping right-footed drive rattled the under side of the crossbar on its way over Henry’s goal line.
Knott’s boundless energy saw her routinely winning possession with tenacious tackling and smart interceptions. She almost doubled Georgetown’s lead shortly afterward with a 25-yard shot that dipped narrowly over the target.
The Auckland, New Zealand native was instrumental in Georgetown’s second goal on 52 minutes. Knott won the ball on the halfway line before exchanging passes with Amanda Carolan to arrive at a shooting position inside Marquette’s penalty box. Knott’s effort hit the left post and goalkeeper Henry before falling invitingly for Corboz to trundle into an empty net.
Georgetown’s momentum was interrupted by an unusual stoppage on 57 minutes – the landing of a helicopter at the university’s adjoining hospital. Marquette almost found a way back into the game when play resumed. Liz Bartels slid a dangerous ball behind the Hoyas’ back line for Eli Beard to chase. Knott characteristically tracked back to snuff out the danger and any concerns of a Marquette revival.
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
Marquette (4-3-3): Maddy Henry – Emily Hess, Madison Dunker, Erin Holland, Cali Pyzdrowski – Morgan Proffitt, Darian Powell, Ryley Bugay – Carrie Madden, Molly Pfeiffer, Liz Bartels
GEO – Grace Damaska 22’
GEO – Rachel Corboz 52’