Georgetown Hoyas advance to quarterfinals of NCAA women’s soccer tournament – Washington Post

When Dave Nolan checked Facebook on Sunday morning, he was reminded through the memories feature that six years ago his Georgetown women’s soccer team had advanced to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals for the first time.

In the pregame meeting, he told his players, “This is a little bit of destiny. I have a feeling, girls, I have a feeling.”

The Hoyas created new memories Sunday at wind-whipped Shaw Field, defeating Virginia, 2-0, to earn a home quarterfinal at noon Saturday against Santa Clara (12-6-4).

Junior Rachel Corboz, an elite midfielder, played a role on the go-ahead own goal less than two minutes into the second half and scored on a sensational free kick in the 77th minute. The Hoyas (19-2-3) defeated the Cavaliers (15-5-2) for the second time this season and prevented the perennial powers from reaching the quarterfinals for a fourth consecutive autumn. Georgetown, which has never gone to the College Cup semifinals, recorded its fourth consecutive shutout and sixth in seven matches.

Amid wicked gusts at the hilltop venue, neither team could muster the types of forays and combinations that had thrust both of them into the top 10 in the nation in scoring.

But after an uneventful first half, the Hoyas went ahead in the 47th minute. With the wind wreaking havoc on aerial service, Corboz, the national leader in assists, played a short corner kick to Chloe Knott.

Virginia was slow to react. Knott seized on the space, taking a couple touches near the end line before whipping the ball to the edge of the six-yard box. Under pressure from Georgetown’s Marina Paul, Virginia defender Veronica Latsko inadvertently headed the ball into the net.

The Cavaliers’ best chance for an equalizer — and best opportunity of the match against the defensively tidy Hoyas — came in the 67th minute when Alissa Gorzak beat two defenders and broke into the clear before hitting the left post from 12 yards.

Corboz — the younger sister of a former Georgetown women’s star and a Maryland men’s standout — was on target 10 minutes later. With the wind at her back from 22 yards, she tagged a free kick that cleared the defensive wall and bent into the near side, beyond goalkeeper Morgan Stearns’s reach, for her 11th goal of the year.

“I saw the goalie cheat a little,” Corboz said.

The opportunity to regroup — and take advantage of the wind — worked in Georgetown’s favor after Virginia had set the terms in the first half. “At halftime, we got in at 0-0 and I felt like we could get something off a set piece or a moment of brilliance,” Nolan said. “We got a bit of luck on the corner kick and then a bit of brilliance by Rachel.”

The Cavaliers were out of ideas and the outcome all but settled. Georgetown, which is averaging 2.5 goals per game, recorded its 16th shutout overall and became only the third team to blank the Cavaliers. Ariell Schechtman made two routine saves.

“We were playing our best soccer,” Cavaliers Coach Steve Swanson said, “and it’s hard to play soccer on a day like today. … We played some good soccer in spite of the conditions in the second half, but we just didn’t do enough overall to generate enough.”

In the other quarterfinals, South Carolina will host North Carolina and Auburn will visit Southern California on Friday, and West Virginia will welcome Duke on Saturday. 

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