Oct. 30, 2007
Greetings Cards Fans!
This past weekend was the final regular season weekend of the year, and we had two difficult road contests. On Friday we took on a strong Villanova team who was battling for a spot in the Big East Tournament. Following that we had to travel to take on Georgetown, who was sitting just behind us in the Big East National rankings and could jump ahead of us and take the #2 seed and home field for the quarterfinals if we were not able to get a victory on the weekend.
We came out against Villanova on Friday looking for the victory that would take the pressure off of us come Sunday's match vs. Georgetown. Entering the match we knew that goals would be difficult to come by in a game that boasted two teams amongst the nations' leaders in goals against average. Despite the defensive prowess of both teams and the heavy downpour throughout the game, the match was an open attacking contest with both teams having quality scoring opportunities. However, both goalkeepers were able to come up with key saves to hold the opposition's attack at bay throughout the 90 minutes.
As the game went into overtime we liked our chances, as we have proved throughout the year that we are a team that holds strong late into matches. The first overtime proved much the same as the first 90 minutes, but the second overtime was a different story. Villanova needed a victory to solidify a Big East Tournament birth, and they threw more and more numbers into the attack. With just under 3 minutes to go they found their way through our defense and scored the game winner.
We were disappointed that we did not get the 3 points needed to secure our post season seeding, but we were even more disappointed that we were not able to at least come away with the tie. We now had to go to Georgetown on their Senior Day needing a tie or a victory, a situation which we had hoped to avoid. But, we told our team that to become the program we are trying to become we must face obstacles head on and find a way to overcome them. And that is exactly what we did.
The match vs. Georgetown was much the same as Villanova in that both teams played good possession soccer and each had their chances. They came out strong in the opening minutes with the emotion of Senior Day running through them. We managed to weather the storm through that period and settle into the game as the first half wore on. We made a minor adjustment at the halftime break, and in the second half we were the aggressor. Unfortunately we were still missing that key final touch that would provide the opening we needed to get our goal, and we once again found ourselves heading to overtime.
We told the team going into overtime that even though we only needed a tie to secure the #2 seed it would be a long 20 minutes if we did not come out and attack. They took our words to heart, and our chance came less than three minutes in to the overtime period. Monique Gjini gained possession 40 yards out from our goal and sent a perfectly weighted pass in behind the Georgetown defense to Caitlin Rehder. Two Georgetown defenders managed to recover and get ball side, but Rehder deftly cut the first defender, eluded the second defender and fired a rocket to the top right hand corner of the net. It was a remarkable goal that capped off a fantastic regular season in fitting fashion, with our defense holding strong throughout and the attack finding a way to give us the victory.
The win over Georgetown gave us the #2 seed in the Big East Tournament, which means we will host a rematch vs. Marquette this coming Sunday at 1pm in the Big East Quarterfinals. The winner will head to Morgantown, WV for the final four of the Big East next weekend.
All the best!