With less than two minutes remaining in the final of the Big East tournament on Sunday at Shaw Field, the No. 2 seeded Butler Bulldogs had a chance to even the score with the No. 1 seeded Georgetown women’s soccer team and send the match into overtime. Butler’s goalkeeper sent a free kick from just in front of the halfway line, which soared into the hands of Georgetown’s senior goalkeeper Arielle Schechtman. The undefeated Hoyas (17-0-3, 8-0-1 Big East) ran out the remaining clock to capture their third-straight Big East Championship by a score of 1-0. Georgetown is the first Big East team to three-peat since Notre Dame. Head Coach Dave Nolan said that the Hoyas’ strong culture and dedication allowed them to continue their Big East dominance. “It’s never an easy thing to do. It’s just testament to these kids and how hard they work,” Nolan said in an interview with The Hoya. “They’ve done a great job of creating a culture where success is expected, but also it doesn’t come cheaply.” Sunday’s matchup between Georgetown and Butler (13-6-1, 6-2-1 Big East) was a rematch of last year’s Big East championship, which the Hoyas won 3-0. Georgetown experienced success against Butler earlier this season, defeating the Bulldogs on Oct. 21 by a score of 2-0 and clinching the Big East regular season championship for the second year in a row. Nolan said that Butler has competed well against Georgetown this season. “[The Bulldogs] are a great team. You feel bad for them, because they’ve been coming up a little bit short against us,” Nolan said. “They make us better. They motivate us to stay one step ahead.” Senior forward Caitlin Farrell started the scoring early, rifling a shot past the Butler goalkeeper from the right side of the 18-yard box in the third minute. Junior midfielder Grace Nguyen and graduate student forward Kyra Carusa earned assists on the goal. On Oct. 27, Farrell was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Year. She led the Hoyas and the Big East with 37 points and 17 goals this season, while also contributing three assists. Additionally, she scored eight game-winning goals this season, which ranks second in the nation. Farrell was also named the Big East Championship Most Outstanding Offensive Player. As they did all season, the Hoyas leaned on their strong defense to hold the lead. Georgetown allowed four shots and three corner kicks in the contest. Sophomore defender Kelly Ann Livingstone, who was named the Big East Championship Most Outstanding Defensive Player, and junior defender Meaghan Nally, who was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year, led the backline. Livingstone said that the Hoyas followed their game plan for the match. “We knew what we had to do defensively, stay tight, stay focused, and we did that today,” Livingstone said in an interview with The Hoya. Nolan praised the stoutness and character of Georgetown’s defense . “Whatever comes our way, they always seem to have an answer for it. This group, they don’t give up goals,” Nolan said. “I think there is an intangible of character that’s hard to quantify.” Schechtman was named the Big East Goalkeeper of the Year for the second straight year and recorded two saves against Butler. The shutout win marked her ninth in the last 12 games and 13th on the season, which leads the nation. In nine home games, Schechtman has allowed two total goals. Four Hoyas were named to the Big East All-Tournament Team: Livingstone, Farrell, Carusa and junior midfielder Carson Nizialek. Nolan and his assistants, who were named the Big East Coaching Staff of the Year, round out the Hoyas’ Big East accolades. The win over Butler on Sunday also marked Nolan’s 200th win in his 15 years of coaching at Georgetown. Following the win, the Hoyas jumped from fourth to second in the United Soccer Coaches’ weekly poll. Georgetown is one of two undefeated teams in the nation, alongside No. 1 Stanford University, the defending national champions. The Hoyas earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, which guarantees home games in the 64-team tournament through the quarterfinals. Georgetown will appear in its seventh straight NCAA tournament. Georgetown will face the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils (16-1-2, 8-0-0 Northeast), who clinched an automatic bid into the tournament after winning the Northeast Conference Championship by a score of 2-1, Nov. 10 on Shaw Field at 12 p.m.
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