Shannon SoaresAfter traveling about 850 miles by bus this weekend, we are back safely on the Hilltop after a 1-1 weekend in the Northeast.

We hopped on the bus early Friday morning and headed north to Holy Cross. We stopped a few times (including a deli in junior Callie Hiner’s hometown of Westport, Connecticut) en route and made it to the hotel with enough time to watch some film, go over our scouting report on the Crusaders and head over to Holy Cross for our pre-game walkthrough practice. We had a later practice slot (6:30-7:30 p.m.) than we’re accustomed to, but the early fall weather and setting sun made for a beautiful setting and a productive walkthrough. We hopped back on the bus, picked up dinner and headed back to the hotel to eat as a team and get in bed.

We were early to rise Saturday morning as we went through a dynamic warm-up in the hotel parking lot, had breakfast and prepped for our match against Holy Cross at noon. We jumped on Holy Cross early in the match, earning a corner in the first minute, but failed to finish in the circle. About twenty minutes into the first half, junior Sarah Butterfield found the back of the net with the help of fellow junior Weezie Chakejian. We saw our best hockey in the first half of the match and spent much of the second half playing to a pace that didn’t serve our style of play. We allowed a Holy Cross goal in the 56th minute and our defense battled to keep the game at 1-1 in regulation. We were tested on several occasions in overtime, but flyer Weezie Chakejian made the most out of a defensive penalty corner and turned them over at the top of the circle. Aliyah Graves-Brown beat two Holy Cross defenders and eliminated the goalkeeper before finding the back of net and earning us the win. It was a great moment for a group that kept fighting and as a staff, we were super proud of them.

Post-game we headed to current freshman Grace Hanrahan’s home in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. We thoroughly enjoyed our many Hoya Hockey parents and very much appreciated the Hanrahan’s opening up their beautiful home to our team.

We arrived in Rhode Island early Saturday morning, had dinner and got some rest.Sunday morning, we went through a dynamic warm-up in the parking lot of the hotel, had breakfast and went through some film and the scouting report on Brown. We headed to Providence mid-morning for our noon match up. This match was truly a tale of two halves as we played some brilliant hockey early in the first half, but fell into a reactive and defensive minded style of play in the second. We ultimately fell to Brown 4-1 with all five goals scored in the second half.

As we go through this season, it’s important to remember that this is a process. Rome wasn’t built in a day and the same goes for Georgetown Field Hockey. However, it’s critical that our players understand just how talented they are and actually believe it.  There’s a culture that goes along with winning, an identity that takes ownership of and creates its own momentum. As a staff, we will continue to expect more of ourselves and want more for our student-athletes.

We will get back to work today, focusing on ourselves and controlling the controllables in preparation for a tough weekend slate against Longwood and Lehigh at home.

After the Brown game, I was able to meet two very special alums of the program, Jane Burke (’79) and Maggie Farrand (’09), both of whom reside in Boston and made the trip to see our team play. It was fantastic to meet such supportive former Hoyas and chat a bit with them about their experiences on the Hilltop. We are fortunate to have great friends of the program and we look forward to welcoming our alumni back to campus for our Alumni Game on Friday, October 24 as we take on Temple at 1:00 p.m. on Multi-Sport Field. Please be on the lookout for details on the Georgetown Field Hockey Facebook page. We look forward to meeting many of you and honoring your time spent on the Hilltop.

I look forward to connecting again next week.

Shannon Soares

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