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

WOMEN’S LACROSSE | Hungry Dogs Run Faster: Hoyas Ready for Fresh Start

Georgetown women’s lacrosse is hungry for conference success, looking to rely on its athleticism, depth and chemistry for a deep postseason run.
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Senior attacker and captain Kylie Hazen had no hesitation when asked what success meant for the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team.

“We all want one thing, and that’s to win the Big East and go as far as we can,” Hazen told The Hoya.

Hope springs eternal every February in the collegiate lacrosse world, and Georgetown believes it has plenty of reasons to be optimistic. After missing out on postseason play in 2023, the Hoyas are eager to reestablish themselves as a formidable presence in the Big East.

“They have a little mantra, ‘Hungry dogs run faster,’” Head Coach Ricky Fried told The Hoya. “They want to play in a way that appears to be hungry where they’re going after things.”

With the 2024 season opener just a week away, Georgetown will look to use its considerable depth and tight-knit chemistry to field a competitive team in a tough division.

The Hoyas received one first-place vote and were ranked fourth out of seven teams in the Big East preseason poll, vying with Denver, Connecticut and Villanova for the top spot in the division. For Georgetown to reach its ceiling, much of the responsibility will fall on the midfield’s ability to control the tempo and momentum in games.

“We have an athletic team, but we’re also very smart, so we want to dictate what is going on in the game, whether that’s on the offensive end or the defensive end,” Fried said.

Senior captains Tatum Geist and Tessa Brooks will anchor the Hoyas’ midfield play. Geist, a unanimous preseason all-Big East honoree, is a true dual threat, putting up 17 points last year while also generating 16 caused turnovers, 16 draw controls and 25 ground balls. Brooks will similarly add a level of offensive dynamism to the team, notching 9 goals in 2023.

Midfield depth will be one of Georgetown’s major strengths coming into the season. 

Juniors Maley Starr, who tallied 13 points and 12 ground balls and led the team with 44 draw controls, and Rileigh Meyer, who had 10 points and 8 ground balls, are poised to play key roles. Senior Emma Driggs will also serve as a draw specialist for the team, looking to add to her career total of 134 draw controls

In addition, five sophomores and three first-years will be vying for extra playing time.

“We look to roll a lot of people in to wear the other teams down, so we can pressure when we want, we can control the tempo through our midfielders, whether that’s fast or slow,” Fried said.

Although Georgetown will miss former captain Erin Bakes’ (GRD ’23) contributions, the offense stays largely intact from last year and should be a strength. 

All-Big East First Team awardee Hazen will be the focal point of the scoring unit following a breakout season that saw her put up 62 points on 37 goals and 25 assists, along with 40 draw controls and 26 groundballs.

Look to junior Emma Gebhardt to take her game to the next level after a strong 2023 campaign, in which she scored 46 points and set the program record for goals and points in a single game at 10 and 12, respectively. Furthermore, senior Katie Goldsmith, who had 15 points on .414 shooting, and sophomore Gracie Driggs, who was named last year’s team rookie of the year, will be important pieces for the offense. First-years Anne McGovern and Lauren Steer should also earn significant playing time this spring.

Courtesy of Kylie Hazen | The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team poses for a team photo on Cooper Field.

The defense presents the greatest uncertainty, with four defenders and two goalkeepers leaving from last year’s team. Still, senior captain Melissa Massimino and junior Lily Athanas are returning starters, and graduate transfer Maggie O’Brien from the University of Richmond, where she was a senior captain and earned all-A10 First Team honors, will also be a starter. 

The last defensive opening will feature heavy competition from fellow graduate transfers Margaret Lonergan from Mount St. Mary’s University and Johanna Kingsfield from Northwestern University, as well as junior Mikaila Kitchen

Sophomore Trinity Koetje is a major wild card: although she did not see game action last year, she was a 2022 USA Lacrosse All-American team as a high school recruit.

Junior Leah Warehime will assume goaltending duties after splitting time with Emily Gaven (SFS ’23) last year. First-year Olivia Shinsato will be the backup. 

Fried praised Warehime for her energy and presence in goal.

“Leah’s a tremendous goalie, great work ethic and works really hard,” Fried said. “She has super quick hands. Not only does she make the save she’s supposed to make, but she comes up with big saves during the course of the game, which really hypes up the defense and sidelines and gives us momentum.”

Despite having considerable roster turnover with eight new first-year players and three graduate transfers, Hazen sees a team that has rallied together to establish an identity of cooperation and competition over the past few months.

“There are a lot of new faces and a lot of new talent, and from the fall, not that anything is perfect, but we clicked very well right away,” Hazen said. “This is probably, out of my four years, the closest team I’ve been a part of.”

For the Hoyas, having that rapport means growing together on and off the field.

“There’s more than just the ending of the season,” Hazen said. “I think success for us is pushing each other every day. We preach a lot about everyday learning and growing with each other and keeping that same level of play.”

Georgetown kicks off the season against crosstown rival American University Feb. 10, and the home opener is a week later at Cooper Field against Rutgers University Feb. 17. Until then, the Hoyas are excited for what is to come.

“I want our team to play to the highest competition and be the best team we can be,” Hazen said.

“And at the end of the season, I want to be proud looking back on everything we accomplished as a team together.”

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