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NCAA Apr 19, 2021

Georgetown captures Big East Women’s Soccer Championship

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Jenna Menta scored the golden goal in the 94th minute, clinching No. 1 seed Georgetown’s fourth BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship as the Hoyas knocked off fellow top seed Butler, 2-1, in overtime Sunday afternoon in Providence, R.I.

Georgetown secures its ninth straight NCAA Championship berth and will make its 11th all-time national postseason appearance, winning the BIG EAST’s automatic bid into the NCAAs. The 48-team field will be announced on Monday’s Selection Show set for 1 p.m. ET, streaming on NCAA.com.

Menta was named the BIG EAST Championship’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player at the conclusion of the match, while teammate Julia Leas was named Most Outstanding Defensive Player. Both earned spots on the All-Tournament Team, along with fellow Hoyas Maya Fernandez-Powell and Grace Nguyen. Butler’s Morgan Kloosterman, Alana Wood and Gretchen Skoglund were recognized on the All-Tournament Team, as were Creighton’s Ansley Atkinson and Aida Kardovic, and UConn’s Melina Couzis and Jade Konte.

Butler possessed the ball for the majority of the opening five minutes before the Hoyas took over, sprinting downfield and striking on their first attempt. Menta was tackled on her way into the box, losing possession of the ball, but the Bulldogs’ clear attempt ricocheted off a Georgetown player and right to Nguyen at the top of the box who ripped it home in the sixth minute, beating a diving Stephanie Rodriguez. The Hoyas controlled the ball for much of the remainder of the first half, outshooting Butler 14-4 including 6-1 on target, to take a 1-0 advantage into intermission.

Georgetown continued to possess the ball for the first 10 minutes of the second half and it looked like Menta was going to give the Hoyas a 2-0 lead but her shot went just wide. The Bulldogs capitalized on the next possession as Katie Soderstrom scored the equalizer just 30 seconds later in the 56th minute. Possessions and opportunities were more even in the second half, with shots on goal narrowly in favor of the Hoyas, 3-2 over the final 45 minutes of regulation. Rodriguez had eight saves over the first 90 minutes, including three in the second half, to help keep Georgetown from regaining the lead.

Early in overtime, Menta made the play of the game, stealing the ball from Aliya Diagne at midfield and driving right to the top right corner of the box where she placed a beautiful ball above Rodriguez’s head and into the back of the net. It marked the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year’s fourth goal of the season and second of the game-winning variety.

Georgetown finished with a 22-6 advantage in shots, including 11-3 on target, while also collecting 14 corner kicks to Butler’s three. Rodriguez finished with eight saves, while Lauren Gallagher, who came in at halftime for the Hoyas, made one save. Alyssa Navarette started the game in goal for Georgetown. GU’s Jenna Royson had a game-high four shots, while Anja Savich led Butler with two strikes.

The overtime title game was just the fourth in BIG EAST Championship history and first since 2008. It marked the third time in league postseason history in which a team played multiple overtime contests en route to winning the title (West Virginia, 2007; Villanova, 2003). With a 2-1 score, it was the first BIG EAST title game that wasn’t a shutout since 2009, when Notre Dame defeated Marquette 2-1. The previous 10 champions were crowned following shutout victories.

Butler will wait to see if they receive an at-large invite into the NCAA Championship. The Bulldogs entered the BIG EAST Championship with the best RPI in the conference at No. 10, and are one of two league teams with double-digit wins, showing a 10-2-0 overall record. Georgetown enters the NCAA Championship unbeaten, showing an 11-0-1 mark. Butler finished atop the BIG EAST’s Midwest Division, while Georgetown was No. 1 in the East Division.

For more on the BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship, visit Championship Central HERE.

Most Outstanding Offensive Player
Jenna Menta, Georgetown

Most Outstanding Defensive Player
Julia Leas, Georgetown

BIG EAST All-Tournament Team
Melina Couzis, UConn
Jada Konte, UConn
Ansley Atkinson, Creighton
Aida Kardovic, Creighton
Morgan Kloosterman, Butler
Alana Wood, Butler
Gretchen Skoglund, Butler
Jenna Menta, Georgetown
Maya Fernandez-Powell, Georgetown
Grace Nguyen, Georgetown
Julia Leas, Georgetown

BIG EAST Women’s Soccer Championship 
Chapey Field at Anderson Stadium – Providence, R.I.
Semifinals – April 16  –  BEDN
No. 1 Georgetown (East) 2, No. 2 Creighton (Midwest) 1 (OT)
No. 1 Butler (Midwest) 2, No. 2 UConn (East) 1
Final – April 18 –  FS1
No. 1 Georgetown 2, No. 1 Butler (Midwest) 1 (OT)