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

No. 2 Hoyas Take on No. 1 Princeton

TOP DOGS No. 2 Hoyas Take on No. 1 Princeton By Derek Richmond Hoya Staff Writer

Charles Nailen/The Hoya

An early season matchup between the two best teams in the nation can be an exciting, if daunting, proposition for both teams. But the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team is taking today’s contest against Princeton in stride, as if it were just another game.

“We’re really not looking to counter Princeton as much as we’re trying to make sure we’re prepared to play the best game we can possibly play,” Head Coach Kim Simons said. “We’ve got some real good team chemistry going, we’ve got great leadership and our players have been putting forth a great effort in every game so far this year.”

Both teams come into today’s game undefeated. No. 1 Princeton opened Ivy League play Wednesday, knocking off Columbia, 17-6. The win maintains a 6-0 season and extends the Tigers’ consecutive win streak to 15, dating back to last season – a streak that includes their second consecutive national title. The No. 2 Hoyas have started their season with five consecutive wins, including a close one against Duke last weekend.

Just a week before Georgetown squeaked away from Duke with a 9-8 victory, Princeton handed the Blue Devils a 12-5 thrashing. Simons, however, discounts the difference in margins as a product of Duke’s learning curve.

“Duke is a good enough team that they’re going to learn from not playing well against Princeton, so I think they probably played a little bit better against us than they played against Princeton a week earlier,” she said, adding that “being in that situation was better than blowing Duke out by four or five goals because it made us more savvy going into the game [today].”

She also cited Georgetown’s youth as a contributing factor that could easily become a liability against the well-honed and more experienced Tigers. While the Hoyas often start three or even four freshmen, most of the Tiger lineup has been around for both of the team’s last two titles.

Expect today’s game to be a close one, with the outcome likely to be decided in the last few possessions. In the last seven seasons the Hoyas and Tigers have met up nine times and six of those nine meetings have been decided by two goals or less or in overtime. Last year the Tigers won the matchup 13-11 in overtime at Princeton.

In such a close contest, the same youth that let the Blue Devils back into the game several times last Sunday could easily cost the Hoyas this game.

“We had a significant lead several times in the game and we would have liked to hold onto that lead, but when you have some younger players and some more inexperienced players, you’re going to make some mistakes,” Simons said.

Yet Simons points out that during Duke’s last possession, the Hoya defense held, adding that she “wasn’t too disappointed with how we handled the pressure, knowing that we had some younger players on the field.”

The Hoyas were granted a reprieve last week when senior midfielder Anouk Peters returned to the lineup to have a solid game against Duke. “From a leadership perspective, it takes a little bit of the pressure off Michi and Gloria; from a playing perspective, I don’t know if we would’ve won on Sunday without her on the field,” Simons said of Peters.

Both the Tigers and the Hoyas are balanced teams, though each team’s strength lies in its offense.

“The biggest threat is that they have an incredibly balanced team. They have a couple of players who are highly touted and have gotten a lot of press, but I think they’re the kind of team that any one of their players can hurt you if you don’t play good team defense and good team offense. We are also a very balanced team, and that’s one of the reasons why we typically have a good game against Princeton. I would be surprised if Friday was any different.”

These two balanced teams slug it out today at 4 p.m. on North Kehoe field in what promises to be an exciting 1-2 matchup. The history of this contest all but assures a close game, and overtime is a distinct possibility. That in mind, this game will be won not by the team that hits hardest, but by the team that can keep hitting the longest.

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