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

Hoyas Rally to Win in Double OT

The bright lights of the MultiSport Facility were witness to one of Georgetown’s greatest comebacks this year, as the women’s lacrosse team stormed back from a seven-goal second-half deficit in their last home game of the year to shock Loyola (Md.) 13-12 in three overtimes on Wednesday night.

Emotions were running high for the No. 12 Hoyas (10-5, 7-0 Big East) as they celebrated Senior Day and played host to the formidable No. 13 Greyhounds (11-6, 5-3 Big East). It was the visitors, however, who were better able to harness their emotions in the early stages of the game, as a controlled Loyola defense frustrated the Blue and Gray attackers, stopping the hosts on each of their first three possessions. The Greyhounds took advantage of their resulting possessions to take a 3-0 lead before the Hoyas finally scored on a free position shot by senior Jordy Kirr. That shot, which came on the third free position shot of the possession for the sputtering Georgetown offense, sparked a 3-1 mini-run that got them to within one goal of the Greyhounds. But Georgetown couldn’t sustain the momentum as frequent unforced turnovers negated any advantage the Hoyas gained by dominating the draw controls. The visitors went into halftime with a relatively comfortable 7-4 lead on the strength of Loyola junior attack Grace Gavin’s 60th and 61st goals of the season.

“When we started this game we were expecting to win and expecting to do our best,” senior midfielder Ashby Kaestner said after the game. “When we got down like [we did], we weren’t playing our game [and] we were making stupid mistakes.”

Those mistakes continued in the second half, as Loyola junior Abby Rehfuss completed her hat-trick less than two minutes after the restart, stretching the lead to four. The game was scoreless for over six minutes after Rehfuss’ goal, as the teams traded long, fruitless possessions. Disaster struck in the ninth minute of the half, though, as the Greyhounds tallied twice in one minute to suddenly stretch their lead to six. When Gavin completed her own hat-trick four minutes later to make the score 11-4 in favor of Loyola, the game seemed all but over as the lifeless Georgetown offense had shown no signs of making the sustained run necessary to get the Blue and Gray back in the game.

When Kirr notched her third goal and fourth goals of the game in a 30-second span just a minute after Gavin’s goal, the Georgetown offense came alive. But the team really started to believe when freshman Kelsi Bozel scored the seventh goal a minute later, and senior Molly Ford scored the eighth just nine seconds later.

“We scored a couple in a row, [but] the big goal for us honestly was the one [freshman] Sophia Thomas got off the draw control and fed to Molly Ford,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “From that point on – obviously they [had] believed they could do it – but then they knew … it was still anybody’s ballgame.”

After Kaestner scored with 12:09 left to get Georgetown to within two, the Hoyas didn’t score for eight minutes. Georgetown senior goalie Caitlin Formby came up with a few huge saves and the Blue and Gray attackers missed a few golden chances to cut the deficit in half.

“Once we had two back-to-back goals, it [felt like] `OK, we’re back,'” Kaestner said. “We haven’t had momentum all season, [and] this [was] the first game we’ve had clear momentum.”

It was Kaestner who finally broke the eight-minute scoreless streak with 4:20 left on a free position shot, and although Loyola got a key draw control after that goal, the Greyhounds committed a crucial turnover and gave the Hoyas a golden chance to tie the game. It was an opportunity the confident Hoya offense would not squander, as Thomas equalized the score with 1:19 left.

The five-minute break between the end of regulation and the first overtime did nothing to slow down the Hoyas’ momentum, as they won the first draw control and graduate student Bunny O’Reilly scored with 21 seconds left in the first half of the first overtime, which is not sudden-death. The Hoyas thought they had won after holding the Greyhounds scoreless for the first three minutes of the second half of overtime, but a mental error nearly cost them the game. With eight seconds left, Formby got the ball and placed it in her crease – where the ball is allowed to remain untouched for 10 minutes – touching off a celebration where all the Georgetown players on the field streamed toward the goal to celebrate. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, the attackers didn’t wait until time had expired to cross into the defensive third and got called for being offsides with six seconds left, and the Greyhounds capitalized to tie the game.

“[It was] a mental error on our part,” Fried said of his team’s costly celebration. “We addressed it at the end of the game, but we didn’t address it between overtimes because we [didn’t] want to dwell on [the call].”

Kaestner took matters into her own hands about two minutes into the sudden death second overtime, and after hitting a post on her first shot, she made sure she wouldn’t miss again.

“I’d been making mistakes the whole game, [I’d] started dwelling on them, and I just stopped,” Kaestner said of her mindset before her game-winner. “I knew that I had to shoot far out … She was weaker outside so I tried to shoot earlier and it worked.”

The goal set off an understandably cautious celebration on the sideline that flowed onto the field as soon as the Hoyas received confirmation of their victory. Afterward, Fried praised the way Kaestner and the rest of the seniors didn’t let the emotion of Senior Day affect how they played down the stretch.

“I think a lot of [the seniors] were tight coming into the game and played a little tentatively,” he said.

“[But] they came up huge when they needed to.”

The Hoyas finish up their regular season on the road against Syracuse in a game that is equally important to the Blue and Gray’s aspirations.

“The Big East title is on the line,” Fried said. “We have a share of it right now, but I don’t think we’re going to be satisfied with just a share of it for the regular season.”

If they play like they did during the last 20 minutes on Wednesday, the Hoyas won’t have to worry about sharing anything with their archrivals from New York.

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