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Women’s soccer team sticks with No. 13 Georgetown, but can’t close out game

Senior Alex Neal leaps up for a header between Georgetown seniors Emily Menges and Alexa St. Martin during Friday’s loss. Elise Apelian | Hatchet Staff Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Josh Solomon. 

Playing the No. 13 team in the nation was sure to be a challenge for the women’s soccer team. But a 1-0 halftime lead against rival Georgetown made the Colonials eventual 3-2 loss hurt that much more.

It was a test, that if completed, would affirm the team’s strong improvement under second-year coach Sarah Barnes after the team won only one conference game last year.

“It helps that it’s a crosstown rivalry and the team gets excited about it,” Barnes said. “But as I told them, it’s a fun game, it’s an exciting game but now it’s over and we have a year until we play them again.”

After the Colonials jumped ahead in the first half, GW made an early second-half mistake leading to an equalizer in the 48th minute. The Hoyas outshot GW 9-3 in the second half, and 12-5 overall.

Georgetown continued to attack, exhibiting why they are a nationally ranked team in the 67th minute. With constant pressure, they crowded the box and converted a goal as senior goalkeeper Nicole Ulrick scrambled to save the tie.

“Those are kind of the worst goals because they seem like they’re right there, but it’s just so hard when everyone is so close on the end line,” said Ulrick, who recorded five saves on the day.

In the 73rd minute, Georgetown subbed in its 5’ 11” freshman striker who, just second later, lofted a ball from outside perfectly into the top left corner for the Hoya’s third and decisive goal.

Barnes quickly tried to plug in an attack to get within one goal. Before her three subs came in, just two minutes after the Hoyas’ third goal, junior Nicole Belefonti headed in a cross from junior Elizabeth Casey, re-energizing the team with 15 minutes left to go.

“We practice [that play] always before every game. I’ve gotten a head on it during American, but I couldn’t finish but I just found the back of the net today,” Belefonti said.

The Colonials continued to press, never once appearing significantly outmatched by their crosstown rival. Despite a few threats, including a couple shot attempts, they could not tie it up.

But there was much to take away from the game, said Ulrick – who wanted the win especially after tearing her ACL to Georgetown in the first game of the season last year.

“I don’t even remember going up one-nothing over Georgetown. It was really exciting because it was at the end of the half, you would’ve thought we won the World Cup in one half of soccer,” Ulrick said on

In the 44th minute freshman MacKenzie Cowley’s found the right place, just as she had in the team’s 1-0 defeat of American last week. Junior Madison Davis got the assist for Cowley, and then found the far post, capitalizing on a misplayed ball by a Hoyas defender.

“I was in shock. I just couldn’t believe it actually went in. It’s what we wanted. It was a great,” Cowley said.

At halftime, she added, with two goals now under her belt, her teammates joked with her, saying, “Who are you, freshman?”

GW plays its second and final game of the D.C. Invitational on Sunday against Saint Francis.

This story was updated on Sept. 4 at 4:45 p.m. to reflect the following correction:

The Hatchet incorrectly reported the number of years Sarah Barnes had been head coach.

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