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 Second-Half Surge for Hoyas in NCAAs

In the end, it was too little, too late.

After a season filled with second-half comebacks, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team could not pull one off in its first-round match of NCAA tournament play against Princeton last Sunday. Only eight of the 16 teams in the tournament are seeded, so the No. 8 Tigers were the lowest-seeded squad in the field. Playing on the road, the Hoyas, who earned an at-large bid, did not regard themselves as underdogs – but they knew the match would be a tough one.

“We’ve played Princeton a number of times in past seasons so we thought it was a good matchup,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said regarding Georgetown’s mindset going into the match.

The Hoyas opened up the scoring with an unassisted goal from junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner. However, that would turn out to be the Hoyas’ only lead of the match. The Tigers evened the score two minutes later and went ahead less than a minute after that. In a little under three minutes, Princeton notched two more goals, grabbing a 4-1 edge out of the gate.

With 18:13 left to play in the first half, freshman midfielder Erin Lovett scored off a free-position shot to put an end to the Tigers’ run and the Hoyas looked to spur a comeback. Unfortunately for the Blue and Gray, that did not happen.

Less than one minute later, Princeton answered back with a score of its own, delivering a blow to the Georgetown morale, while restoring its three-goal lead. Two and a half minutes later, the Tigers tallied another, widening their lead to four at 6-2.

After being silenced since her goal in the first two minutes of play, Kaestner notched her second at the 11:24 mark. But again, the Tigers had a quick response – this time, just 20 seconds later.

With Princeton up 7-3, the Hoyas needed their offensive leaders to deliver. Sophomore attack Jordy Kirr finally got in on the action with 9:33 left to go in the first half, when she got the ball to Kaestner, who fired it in for her third goal of the match. Then, just 40 seconds later, Kirr tallied her second assist, this time connecting with junior attack Molly Ford to bring the Hoyas to within two at 7-5.

It had been nearly seven minutes since the last Tiger goal when senior midfielder Kristen Schwab scored her third of the day to put Princeton back on top by three, 8-5. After four minutes of scoreless play, Ford’s goal off a pass from sophomore midfielder Logan McCraw broke the silence with 26 seconds to go in the half. Then, off the draw control, co-captain senior midfielder Megan Bloomer gained possession, took the ball into the Tiger defensive zone, and launched it into the net with 18 seconds left, narrowing the Tiger lead to just one, 8-7, as the teams headed to the locker rooms.

Any momentum the Hoyas had going into halftime was negated by Schwab, who started off the second-half scoring to restore Princeton’s two-goal lead. That goal sparked an uninterrupted five-goal run by the Tigers who took a commanding 13-7 before Georgetown could settle in.

“The first 10 minutes of the second half really hurt us,” Fried said. “They came out and played harder.”

Finally, with 3:12 to go, Ford’s third goal put the Hoyas on the second-half scoreboard. Freshman midfielder Kelly Barnes followed it up with an unassisted goal at the 2:05 mark, but that was it for Georgetown’s scoring. Princeton notched two more in the final minute of play, resulting in a 15-9 final score.

Princeton’s quick-strike runs ultimately won the match for the Tigers. Twice, they responded to Hoya goals with long scoring streaks – the first, four unanswered goals to go up 4-1 in the game’s early moments and the second, five in a row to make the score 13-7.

Georgetown suffered a big loss late in the first half when Kaestner sustained an injury following her third goal and missed the remainder of the match. “People tried to make up for her loss and in trying so hard ended up making mistakes,” Fried said of the injury’s impact on his team.

In addition, the Hoyas were outshot 29-26 and ended the match with seven fewer groundball pickups (10) than their opponents (17). The most telling statistic was draw control wins, which largely determine how much each team has possession throughout the match. Georgetown finished with nine draw control wins, compared to a commanding 17 for Princeton.

Five seniors – midfielders Bloomer, Jordan Trautman and Katie Burton, and defenders Margot Ellis and Bridget Noon – will be graduating. Attack Bunny O’Reilly will return as a fifth-year senior after not playing this season due to injury. Offensively, much will stay the same for the Hoyas next year as its top nine scorers will be back.

“We have a solid group coming back,” Fried said. “And we’ve got a talented recruiting class coming in.”

Of course, it will be hard to assess the 2010 Hoyas until they have a chance to gel together in the fall, but with the majority of this tight-knit team, which came within one win of a Big East tournament title and a first-round home game in the NCAA tournament, returning next year, Georgetown fans may be in for an exciting season.

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