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

Georgetown Storms Back From 10-6 Down, Prevails in Five Overtime Thriller

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Junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner (No. 21) watches her game-winning goal hit the back of the net at the end of the fifth overtime period of Georgetown’s 11-10 victory over Syracuse on Friday.

Sure, maybe the win could have come easier. But, in truth, there could not have been a more ideal outcome for Georgetown’s Friday night game against Syracuse (8-3, 2-1 Big East).

It was the first match to be played under the lights at the Multi-Sport Facility – and the epic showdown showcased them nicely. After over two hours of play and five overtime periods, junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner, who was named Big East Offensive Player of the Week, scored the sudden-death goal to give Georgetown (9-3, 4-0) the win in front of a stacked, standing and panting crowd. Head Coach Ricky Fried reflected on the setting at Multi-Sport Facility, especially the wildly enthusiastic crowd.

“It was such a great environment to play in,” Fried said. “It was so exciting being the first match under the lights and with all the fans.”

Interestingly, before Georgetown’s game-ending overtime goal, the Hoyas had not once led in the match. Roughly five minutes into play, Syracuse scored the opening goal. Just over three minutes later, junior attack Molly Ford put the Hoyas on the board. The teams then traded goals again by the 19:02 mark, with sophomore attack Jordy Kirr notching one for the Hoyas off a ground-ball pickup and pass from senior midfielder Jordan Trautman.

After a ground-ball pickup and quick clear of its own, Syracuse mounted an attack and capitalized to go up 3-2. This time, the Hoyas did not have the quick response. A minute later, Syracuse scored again to go up by two. With 13:31 left to play in the half, the Orange netted another to extend its lead to three at 5-2. Georgetown needed a goal to keep the game tight – and it got one two minutes later, when Kirr connected with Ford for her second goal. In the next minute, junior attack Sarah Seats tallied her first goal of the game off a pass from freshman midfielder Erin Lovett. The teams were scoreless for the next 10 minutes, until, with 13 seconds left to play, the Orange scored to give themselves a two-goal lead going into halftime.

During halftime, Fried spoke with his players about their lack of communication on defense and their need to control the tempo of play.

“Defensively we weren’t forcing the ball the right way and we were giving them second-chance opportunities,” Fried said.

Trautman, a senior who has seen it all on the lacrosse field over her four years on the Hilltop, agreed with her coach.

“We needed to put more pressure on the ball in the second half,” she said. “And we did.”

The Hoyas came out of halftime strong, notching two goals in the first five minutes to tie the game at six. It appeared that the Hoya adjustments would continue to lift them, but Syracuse stepped up its own level of play. The Orange went on a 4-0 run to go ahead 10-6 with 14:50 left to play. Still, Trautman and her teammates remained unfazed.

“We knew we needed to get possession and stay aggressive,” she said.

When asked what was going through her head as her team faced its biggest deficit of the game, Kaestner reflected the confidence that has characterized this team all season long.

“I think just that it was not a possibility to lose,” she said. “I knew we could come back.”

With 13:31 to go, sophomore midfielder Mary Beth Brophy gave the Hoyas the lift they desperately needed with a goal off of a free-position shot. Next, Syracuse came back with an offensive of its own, but junior goalkeeper Caitlin Formby made an important stop and clear to start up the Hoya counterattack, which resulted in a goal by sophomore attack Jaqueline Giles. Nine seconds earlier, Giles had taken a shot which went wide, but fought to stay in the play and capitalize on her second opportunity. With 11:08 remaining, Kirr tallied her third goal to make it a one-goal game.

Fried was impressed with Kirr’s offensive leadership and persistent play, especially after Ford was forced out of the game with two yellow cards. “Jordy really stepped up to organize our offense,” he said.

Kaestner, the junior All-American, could not have come alive at a better time for the Hoyas. Just 30 seconds after Kirr’s goal, she broke through the Orange defense and fired the ball into the net to give the Hoyas the equalizer. After Georgetown’s 4-0 retaliation run, which happened in just over four minutes, it seemed there would be much more scoring to come – but both teams clamped down defensively. After 10:35 of scoreless play, regulation ended in a 10-10 draw.

The first overtime period started off well for the Hoyas, with a draw-control win. They retained possession, and with 34 seconds to go, Kaestner laced a shot off the Syracuse goalpost. She got her own rebound, but could not get a second shot off.

Again, in the next three-minute overtime period, Georgetown won possession of the draw control. And once more, the Hoyas got the lone shot on goal.

Georgetown secured possession to open up the next overtime period and took its first shot 50 seconds in. The teams exchanged turnovers and possession until 31 seconds were left on the clock, when Syracuse junior midfielder Christina Dove launched a shot at Formby. Formby knocked away the shot and a Hoya defender scooped up the ball to end the period.

To start the next overtime period, Syracuse won the opening draw control for the first time. The Orange lost possession and Georgetown got a shot off, but it did not find the back of the cage.

Back came Dove. Georgetown supporters winced as she ran up field and fired a shot on Formby – but the sophomore was composed and came up with a huge stop.

The Hoyas started off the fifth overtime period controlling the draw once again. With 1:55 to play, Kaestner’s shot went wide, but the Hoyas stayed on the offensive. After two more Georgetown shots, Kaestner got the ball and fired it into goal with 12 seconds left to play. The players on the sidelines stormed the field, sprinting to celebrate with Kaestner and their teammates. In the bleachers, fans rejoiced as the Blue and Gray emerged victorious in five overtimes.

Kirr led the Georgetown offense with three goals and an assist, and Kaestner notched both the game-tying and game-winning goals. But, in large part, it was the Hoyas’ improved second-half defense that won the game for them.

“We forced the ball the right way and relied on team, instead of individual, defense in the second half, and held them scoreless from the fifteen mark,” Fried said.

Trautman noted the defensive play of freshman defender Carly Napora.

“Carly was key – she held off their best player [Dove] for the entire game,” Trautman said.

Formby’s performance in net was also instrumental in the Hoya win. She ended the match with 12 saves – including two tough ones in overtime.

“It’s such a big and important confidence-builder for the defense when Caitlin plays so well,” Trautman said.

Rested from Friday night’s marathon match, the Hoyas came out on Sunday ready to play. In fact, they came out roaring, opening the game with a 7-0 run. Georgetown easily sustained its lead from there, sailing to a 19-8 win over the University of Connecticut.

Georgetown will be on the road this weekend, facing off against Louisville (7-4, 2-3) on Saturday.

“We want to continue to focus on not having letdowns and staying ahead,” senior defender Bridget Noon said. “And we definitely appreciate all the support.”

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