The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team took the field Wednesday afternoon for the first time this season against local rival Johns Hopkins (1-1). The seventh-ranked Hoyas weathered an early storm from the Blue Jays and ultimately pulled away late in the second half for a 15-9 win.
The game began inauspiciously for the Blue and Gray as Hopkins sophomore Candace Rossi converted a free position shot after being fouled less than 40 seconds into the game. Georgetown would answer, however, in the form of consecutive goals from senior captains Molly Ford and Ashby Kaestner.
The game seesawed back and forth for a while, as the Blue Jays used their speed and athleticism to attack the Hoyas, who were solid in the offensive and defensive zones but struggled in the transition game.
“[Hopkins] dictated the pace of the game to us a little bit, and we were a little reactive,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “We panicked a little bit, we didn’t stay composed, we made some uncharacteristic mistakes. It’s a first game kind of situation, I think.”
As the first half drew to a close with the Hoyas leading 5-4, Ford and Kaestner stepped up again. With 1:20 left before the intermission, Kaestner lofted a pretty pass over the goal that Ford snatched out of the air and quickly fired past a bewildered goaltender. About a minute later, Ford returned the favor by hitting Kaestner cutting to the front of the net, where she quickly slotted the ball past the goalie. The Blue Jays won the ensuing draw, however, and senior goalie Caitlin Formby had to make a tough save to preserve the two-goal lead heading into halftime.
“We actually set up two plays for those goals, so it was nice that we were able to execute,” Fried said of the two goals before halftime. “It was an opportunity where we really needed to get some goals, so we set up two plays [which] they ran really well.”
Hopkins refused to go away, though, and senior Paige Ibello took advantage of Georgetown’s mistake of not clearing the zone and notched her third goal of the game less than two minutes into the second half, closing the gap to 7-5.
“[Not] clearing the ball really hurt us,” Fried said afterward. “When we had the ball on offense, we did a fine job and we were pretty consistent. The transition game is where we need to clean up our play.”
Junior Jordyn Kirr’s individual effort just over two minutes later pushed the Hoyas’ lead back up to three goals and touched off a minute-and-a-half of Georgetown dominance that saw freshman Kelsi Bozel score her first collegiate goal and Ford notch her third of the game.
The Blue Jays briefly clawed back to within three goals after senior Angela Hughes and sophomore Colleen McCaffrey both beat Formby, but the Hoyas responded with another run of their own to put the game comfortably out of reach. Kirr scored her second goal of the game, this time from the free position with 14:04 left in the game to get the lead back up to four. Neither team scored for the next seven minutes as both teams struggled to get clean looks at the goal.
The scoring drought ended at 7:03 after a long possession saw the patient Hoyas finally break down the desperate Blue Jays’ defense when Kaestner finally converted from close range. Ford added her fourth of the game off the ensuing draw when junior Mary Beth Brophy raced down the field virtually unopposed before dumping the ball off to a wide-open Ford.
Two minutes later, the Hopkins goalie was caught in the midfield as the Blue Jays pressured relentlessly in search of a goal. Ford scored again on a long pass from Kaestner to put the game completely out of reach for the visitors.
“Mentally and physically we wore them down,” Fried said. “They were in it for a while … [but] when you give it everything you have and you’re still a little short, you tend to get deflated.”
The Blue Jays managed to scrape together two more goals, including one with 13.3 seconds left. But the star of this game was clearly Ford, who scored her sixth and final goal of the game with just over four minutes left.
“It was an ugly game,” Fried said. “[But] it’s nice for us to see what we need to work on while coming away with a win, and a pretty satisfying win at that.”