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

Furious Second-Half Run Not Enough for Hoyas in Big East Championship

It was do or die – and the Hoyas did not have enough to get it done.

But, after the No. 1 seed in the Big East tournament fell behind 12-4 with 19:20 left in the match, they soldiered on and almost pulled off a stunning comeback. In the end, Notre Dame, who had upset No. 2 Syracuse in the semifinal, snatched another big one, toppling the Hoyas to win its first ever Big East championship, 12-10.

It was a strange match. In opening play, it looked like Georgetown was in command – and its opponent was fighting nerves. The Hoyas got off three shots before Notre Dame finally captured possession. After a quick clear, the Fighting Irish roared back, running up the score to 4-0 in the next eight and a half minutes, prompting a Georgetown timeout.

Finally, the Hoyas got on the scoreboard when sophomore attack Allie Hubschmann broke through the center of the Irish defense and fired a shot into the net to make it 4-1. But that did not quiet the Irish offense, nor did it propel the Hoyas toward a quick comeback. The Fighting Irish were on fire as they popped in three more unanswered goals to gain a commanding 7-1 lead with 8:32 remaining in the first half.

After an eight-minute scoring drought for Georgetown, sophomore attack Jacqueline Giles scored the second Hoya goal with 3:28 to go in the half. But again, to the disappointment of Georgetown faithful, the Blue and Gray could not get on a run. Notre Dame retaliated with consecutive goals, ending the first half with a resounding 9-2 lead.

Georgetown started off exactly how it needed to in the second half. Just 1:14 into play, sophomore attack Jordy Kirr scored off a free-position shot to narrow the Notre Dame lead to six. But just over two minutes later, the Irish answered back – and it appeared that the second half would follow the same pattern as the first, with Georgetown unable to mount a run.

Not quite.

After an exchange of goals, and then another for Notre Dame, which resulted in the largest Hoya deficit of the match (12-4), the Hoyas started to rebound. With 18:30 of championship play to go, freshman midfielder Kelly Barnes connected with red-hot Kirr for the sophomore’s second goal of the match. That was followed by junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner, one of the two Hoya Tewaaraton Trophy nominees, who notched her first of the match to put Georgetown back within six.

Kirr was dynamic on offense, moving around and making it very tough for the Irish defenders to track her. At the 12:54 mark, she got open in front of the goal for freshman midfielder Erin Lovett, received the pass and fired it in, tightening up the match at 12-7.

Then, the other Tewaaraton nominee and Georgetown’s offensive leader, junior attack Molly Ford, came alive. She scored back-to-back goals in less than two minutes to put the Hoyas in striking distance – trailing by only three with 8:09 left to play. For the first time since Notre Dame’s early 4-0 run, Hoya fans could feel a comeback and a championship were within reach. And their players continued to deliver. At the seven-minute mark, sophomore midfielder Mary Beth Brophy notched her first goal of the match to bring the Hoyas within two goals of tying things up.

Suddenly, Georgetown had the momentum. Whereas Notre Dame appeared stronger and faster in the first half, Georgetown now dominated play. The Irish defense appeared on its heels as it was calling players back to help them hold onto their thin lead.

Yet the final seven minutes of play were both scoreless and frustrating for the Hoyas. Georgetown had its opportunities, winning possession and driving into Notre Dame territory, but the Hoyas could not get good shots off.

To make matters worse for the Blue and Gray, Notre Dame did a good job of wearing down the clock. After gaining possession off a turnover at the 5:59 mark, the Irish stubbornly kept the ball out of the Hoyas’ reach. Georgetown eventually reclaimed possession with 3:03 to go and found Ford for a shot in front. Notre Dame’s senior goalkeeper Erin Goodman made the save and drained the clock by holding onto the ball, provoking Kirr to foul her in a desperate attempt to cause a turnover. Notre Dame kept possession until the final horn, at which point its players flooded onto the field in celebration.

Kirr and Ford led the Hoya offense with three goals each. Both of them, as well as Kaestner and senior defender Bridget Noon, who fought doggedly the entire match and finished with three draw controls, were named to the All-Tournament Team.

Head Coach Ricky Fried was proud of his team’s valiant comeback, but also acknowledged the disappointing loss.

“I think this was a good lesson that we need to come out for a full 60 minutes every game. With that behind us, we are preparing for Yale on Saturday and hopefully an NCAA tournament bid. We can’t dwell on a tough loss. We have to learn from it and move on.”

On Saturday, Georgetown will face off against the Yale Bulldogs (5-9). Then, the Hoyas hope their NCAA tournament bid will be granted – and if they do make it in, there will be a lot more matches to go before they can lay down their sticks.

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