Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Defense Carries Hoyas to 6th Straight Victory

The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team took a break from its conference schedule but did not take a break from its winning ways, pummeling Yale 15-4 on Saturday in New Haven, Conn. The Bulldogs (6-8, 3-3 Ivy League) were the last non-conference opponent on the streaking Hoyas’schedule. Georgetown (9-5, 6-0 Big East) is now riding a six-game winning streak into a huge matchup with Loyola (Md.) on Wednesday.

The Blue and Gray came out of the gates strong, sending a message to their upset-minded hosts. Senior attack Molly Ford scored the first goal of the game less than two minutes into the contest and then assisted on Georgetown’s next two tallies. Sophomore Erin Lovett made it 4-0 with her 13th goal of the year on a free-position shot just before the Bulldogs were able to finally find the back of the net for their first goal after more than 10 minutes of play.

“We got off to a good start,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “They had another big Ivy League game later that weekend, so their focus could be moved to that [by starting quickly].”

The Blue and Gray responded to Yale’s goal with another 4-1 run, making the score 8-2 in favor of the visitors at the intermission. As solid as his team’s offensive output was in the first frame, Fried was particularly impressed with the Hoyas’ stingy defense.

“The defense played consistently through the game, and hopefully that will give us some momentum on our defensive end,” Fried said. “[Yale has] some pretty good players, and we were able to contain them with our team defense as opposed to relying on individuals.”

Once the second half started, the Hoyas did not let up on either end of the field. Although it took Georgetown over five minutes to score their first goal of the half, the defense again held Yale scoreless for the first 10 minutes of the half. The Bulldogs did cut the lead to six after a second goal with 18 minutes left in the game, but they would not beat senior goalie Caitlin Formby again, and the Blue and Gray cruised to the 11-goal victory.

The four goals allowed was a season low for the Georgetown defense, a fact that was particularly heartening for Fried as he watches his young and relatively inexperienced defensive unit gel as the regular season approaches its end.

“I think we’re continually progressing on that end of the field,” Fried said of his defense. “We keep working on our on-ball and off-ball play, and hopefully we’re seeing the fruits of that labor.”

On the other end of the field, the Hoyas had their lowest offensive output since their streak-sparking win over Notre Dame at the beginning of the month. But that was more a function of how superbly the Blue and Gray attack had been playing in the intervening games than of any offensive downturn against Yale. Ford was superb, notching her team-leading 38th and 39th goals of the year while dishing out five assists. She has now established a career high of 23 assists with two games still left in the regular season.

“To [Ford’s] credit, she doesn’t force the issue and is just as satisfied hitting the open player as she is scoring goals,” Fried said of his star attacker. “A lot of credit goes to her teammates for getting open, but a lot of the credit has to go to her for being such an unselfish player and distributing the ball.”

With the softer part of the conference schedule now finished, Fried and his team can now turn their full attention to beating No. 13 Loyola at home on Wednesday, a tough match which will be followed by an even tougher road contest against archrival and No. 9 Syracuse. Since the beginning of the season, the Hoyas have known that these two games would likely decide the outcome of the Big East title race, and the standings have proven them to be right. Although Georgetown currently boasts the only unblemished record in the Big East, Loyola still has a shot at the title with just two losses, and Syracuse is breathing down the neck of the Blue and Gray with just one conference loss.

“The biggest thing is to remind the players that we control our own destiny,” Fried said. “We’ve been saying that for the past four or five weeks now after we got off to the slow start. [The players’] morale has maintained at a high level, and we’ve improved in all aspects of the game.”

The slow start that Fried mentioned saw the Hoyas drop games to the top four teams in the country, but these next two games provide the perfect chance for the team to make a statement that they belong among the nation’s elite.

“We continue to get better,” Fried said. “We always want to be playing our best ball in May, and it looks like we’re going in that direction.”

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