Georgetown Sports: A Primer

Georgetown University sports are a prominent part of life on the Hilltop. During the 2018-19 academic year, Georgetown’s strongest sports were lacrosse and soccer; the men’s and women’s teams of both sports won the Big East championships and advanced into their respective national tournaments. The women’s soccer team was especially successful, coming within a goal of reaching the NCAA tournament finals.

The heart and soul of Georgetown sports is the basketball program, with the women playing on campus in McDonough Arena, which is attached to the Thompson Athletic Center, and the men playing across the city at Capital One Arena. The women are coming off of a strong 19-16 season which culminated in them making it to the Elite Eight of the National Invitational Tournament after going 9-9 in Big East play and defeating Villanova in the first round of the Big East tournament in Chicago, Illinois. The Hoyas are graduating multiple leaders in Brianna Jones, Dionna White, Mikayla Venson and Dorothy Adomako, but the team is in good hands as returners Morgan Smith and Anita Kelava appear poised for breakout seasons.

For the men’s team, last season was an improvement upon year one of the Patrick Ewing era, as senior Jessie Govan and a strong freshman trio of Mac McClung, Josh LeBlanc and James Akinjo carried the team to a 19-14 record, going 9-9 in conference play. The Hoyas yet again faltered in tournament play, losing their first games of the Big East and NIT tournaments. While losing Govan will hurt, the triumvirate of newcomers who started nearly every game last year is ready to lead the team to new heights and possibly back into the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015. The strong sophomores and veteran leaders Jagan Mosely, Jamorko Pickett and Jahvon Blair will be joined by a freshman class led by Qudus Wahab as well as multiple strong transfers, especially Omer Yurtseven from North Carolina State, Galen Alexander from LSU and Terrell Allen from UCF.

Almost all Georgetown home games are held on campus, and all games hosted by the university are free for current students to attend. The lone exception is men’s basketball, where student full-season passes are available for $99, a bargain by the time the season is complete.

On Shaw Field, the women’s and men’s soccer teams will look to build upon the success of 2018. The women’s team has been a force to be reckoned with in recent years, having won three consecutive Big East tournaments, as well as two straight regular season conference titles. Although they graduated six seniors, including reigning Big East Offensive Player of the Year Caitlin Farrell and Goalkeeper of the Year Arielle Schechtman, the team’s prospects are still bright. Among those returning this season are senior Meaghan Nally, the 2018 Big East Defensive Player of the Year, as well as a coaching staff that was named as the nation’s best by the United Soccer Coaches. The women’s team’s first home match will be Aug. 25, when they’ll face NC State.

The men’s soccer team will have its home opener later that week, as they’ll take on Syracuse on Aug. 30. The men’s team has also been highly successful in the past couple years, with three Big East tournament championships in the past four years. With three returning all-conference starters, including the reigning Big East Defensive Player of the Year in senior Dylan Nealis, the men’s team looks to be in a good position to continue its strong play and make another deep run into the postseason.

Cooper Field, the bright green artificial turf expanse at the heart of campus, hosts games for the football team as well as the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams. Lacrosse on campus is a can’t-miss event — the women’s team will look to repeat as Big East tournament champions in the spring, while the men will be chasing their third consecutive conference tournament championship.

The football team will open its 2019 home schedule on Cooper Field on Saturday, Sept. 7, against Marist University. During homecoming weekend, the Hoyas will host Patriot League rival Fordham on Oct. 12, and the team will face off at home against another conference foe when Lafayette comes to campus for family weekend Oct. 19.

If you’ve been to all those games and still can’t get enough, Georgetown has many other varsity and club sports teams, meaning there’s never a shortage of events for avid fans. The men’s and women’s track and field, swimming and diving, tennis, and rowing teams all found success last year. The baseball and softball teams also competed in exciting contests throughout the spring. For those who aren’t satisfied with just watching from the bleachers, Georgetown also offers a number of club and intramural sport opportunities throughout the year. Whether you attend a club Ultimate Frisbee game on Cooper Field or a volleyball match in McDonough Arena, you’ll find that Georgetown sports give Hoya fans a unique and electrifying experience, giving you a passion and sense of community that will stay with you long after you’ve left the Hilltop.

File Photo: Margaret Fouberg/The Hoya

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