Believe it or not, it wasn’t all about basketball and soccer for Georgetown athletics in 2012-13.
To prove it, we’re going to just go ahead and exclude those two sports entirely, as we count down the top five performances and storylines of the year that was:
5. Women’s Lacrosse – Tarzian Goes Off on Towson
Especially with senior midfielder and Teewaraton Award finalist Sophia Thomas at the helm, Head Coach Ricky Fried knew that his 2013 Hoyas would be strong; their current No. 8 national ranking, lofty as it may be, is no real surprise.
Making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2010 remains the ultimate end game, however, and Georgetown made strides toward that goal right from the get-go. In the Blue and Gray’s home opener Feb. 23 against then-No. 17 Towson, sophomore attack Caroline Tarzian posted five goals (on just six shots) to go along with two assists in a 13-10 victory.
It wouldn’t be Georgetown’s first win over a ranked opponent in 2013 — and Fried is hoping it won’t be the last — but that early one against Towson thanks to Tarzian’s outburst set the tone.
4. Men’s Tennis – Caris’ Comeback
Last year’s men’s tennis team featured just one senior, Connecticut native Andrew Bruhn. This year was more of the same, and the leadership skills of Charlie Caris were always a favorite topic for Head Coach Gordie Ernst.
Caris was hardly just a figurehead, though, and he took center court at No. 2 singles April 10 against University of Maryland-Baltimore County, surging back from a three-game deficit in the decisive third set to win 7-5, 3-6, 6-4. That turnaround was vital for the Hoyas, who needed both Caris and sophomore Alex Tropiano to win their respective matches in order to pull out the overall win. The duo did just that.
3. Softball – Anttila Slams Four Homers
It’s safe to say that the 2013 Georgetown softball season didn’t exactly begin as planned, with the team kicking things off by going just 1-12, a mark that included eight straight losses. Looking back now, that might be tough to imagine.
Since their dreadful start, the Hoyas have played plus-.500 softball, going 18-16 and countering their eight-game slide with an eight-game win streak from March 19 to March 28. On an individual level, though, the season’s undeniable highlight would come a week after that streak was snapped, as junior right fielder Alexandria Anttila went 4-for-4 on April 6 against Rutgers with four home runs and 10 runs batted in.
It might well qualify as the top 2013 performance of any player in the country, and Georgetown needed every last run Anttila produced, pulling out the win by just one, 12-11, in Piscataway, N.J.
2. Football – Quarterback Carousel
Ask a casual fan to name a player on any given NFL or college team, and the most likely answer is going to be the quarterback. If you have one very good one — see Brady, Thomas; brothers, Manning — you’re usually in good shape. If you have four, well, you might just be the 2012 Georgetown Hoyas.
Each class had its own largely ill-fated representative: Senior Isaiah Kempf, junior Aaron Aiken, sophomore Stephen Skon and finally, toward the end of the season — with those first three all injured — freshman Kyle Nolan.
Led by senior All-American linebacker Robert McCabe, the Hoyas were typically sturdy on the defensive side of the ball, but the lack of a stable signal-caller under center proved costly. An embarrassing season-ending shutout on Senior Day against Brown was evidence enough of that.
1. All Sports – The End of an Era
The Big East Conference was founded in 1979 for the sole purpose of playing college basketball. Thirty-four years later, in 2013, four of its founding members will be bringing the league back to those roots.
Breaking off from the Big East’s BCS football schools, the so-called “Catholic Seven” — founders Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall and St. John’s plus DePaul, Marquette and 1980 entrant Villanova — have added Butler, Creighton and Xavier to a reborn conference that, beginning next school year, will look to assert itself as one of the basketball big boys.
It’s a big move whose implications extend far beyond the hardwood, though, as soccer and lacrosse are just two of the sports that will likely suffer from Georgetown’s messy divorces with Connecticut, Louisville, Notre Dame and others. With the ACC and Big 12 picking off Big East members left and right, though, it seems right now to have been the correct call for the Hilltop’s highest-revenue sport.