Women’s soccer tiptoes through Big East

By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~

Newswire photo by Adam Spegele | Freshman forward Samantha Dewey fires a shot against Ohio on Sept. 18.

Six games into the Big East season, the women’s soccer team has compiled a 7-7-1 record and is 2-4-0 in its conference. It currently sits in eighth place in a tough Big East Conference led by DePaul and Georgetown. Most recently, the team took to the road for tough conference matchups versus the Georgetown Hoyas and Villanova Wildcats. Georgetown, currently one of the top-scoring teams in the conference, clearly felt comfortable at home and defeated the Musketeers 3-0, scoring two in the second half. The Musketeers held off the potent offense for most of the game before a 70th minute penalty kick ultimately put the game away for Georgetown.

“This may actually be the best we’ve played against them in our three years in the Big East,” coach Woody Sherwood said after the game. This is a testament to the Hoyas but also to his team, rounding into solid form for the rest of the season. Throughout the game, the Musketeers managed to attempt five shots, and Musketeers goalie Rachel Piccus was credited with the same number of saves. The end of the season for the team appeared tough when the schedule originally came out at the beginning of the year, with the Musketeers facing road contests in four of their final five games of the regular season.

The second one of those games saw the Musketeers face the Villanova Wildcats in Philadelphia, and the team pulled off a solid 2-0 victory in tough road conditions. The first goal of the game was scored in the 12th minute by junior midfielder Maggie Hare, her first of the year since missing most of the past two seasons with a leg injury. Playing with a 1-0 lead for most of the game, the team added an insurance goal in the 79th minute courtesy of forward Samantha Dewey, her sixth goal in her freshman season as a Musketeer. Goalie Piccus was credited with nine saves behind a back line with three players playing the full 90 minutes.

“Obviously we are going to have to do really well these next three games, but this is the closest we’ve been in the Big East, and I feel like this team is more talented and deeper than it’s ever been in my four years here, which is awesome,” senior defender Maria Libertin said. The Musketeers now have three games left to play in the regular season before heading to Creighton University for the Big East Championship.

The team heads to Queens to play the St. John’s Red Storm on Oct. 22, then returns to the Xavier Soccer Complex against Creighton on Oct. 25 and ends the season in Indianapolis against the Butler Bulldogs on Oct. 30.