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

Second-Half Lapse Dooms Hoyas

Then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed.

Duke stormed out of halftime and scored within the first 1:13 and then again less than two minutes after that to pull within a single goal. Two minutes later, senior standout attacker Kristen Waagbo scored her second goal of the half to knot the game at eight, and just 32 seconds later, the Blue Devils’ leading scorer, junior attacker Caroline Cryer, took a pass from Waagbo and fired a rocket past Koch to give her team the lead.

In that same six minute span, the Hoyas made several bad pass turnovers, and Duke capitalized.

“The game came down to the first 10 minutes of the second half, and they executed better than we did on the defensive end and they executed better offensively,” Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried said.

The Hoyas managed to tie the game back up with 16:19 left with a goal by junior attacker Zan Morley and took the lead two minutes later thanks to sophomore attacker Bunny O’Reilly. But by then, confidence was brimming on the Blue Devils’ sideline and the momentum had shifted. The lead held for just six minutes.

“We played a little bit more patient,” Duke Head Coach Kirstin Kimel said. “Our kids were a little more heads up, and we played smarter.”

The start of the first half stood in stark contrast to the second. Within the game’s first five minutes, the Blue Devils had a shot stopped by Koch, missed from point-blank range, hit the cross bar, missed just high, hit the left pipe and skipped a shot just past the goal. Senior attacker Leigh Jester connected at the 25:06 mark, giving the Blue Devils a single goal to show for the blistering first five minutes of the half.

The game continued a back-and-forth affair, with the score knotted at four, 20 minutes into the action, but rather than continuing to trade goals, Georgetown took control. Senior attacker Coco Stanwick scored her second of two goals of the afternoon to put the Hoyas in the lead, and Schuyler Sutton, also a senior attacker, scored her third of three on what has become her trademark shot – a bullet to the top right corner.

After each team had scored once more, Georgetown had the half’s last laugh with 1.4 ticks remaining. Junior midfielder Patty Piotrowicz took an O’Reilly pass from behind the goal and fired it past the Duke keeper for the score. Heading into halftime, all seemed well for the Hoyas.

But for the Blue Devils, the break was exactly what they needed.

“The halftime was obviously great for our kids to regroup,” Kimmel said. “We just needed to get back into playing our tempo, our style, take much better shots and take better care of the ball in transition. It’s not like us to turn the ball over the way we did in the first half.”

Not only did Duke stop turning the ball over in the second half, but they forced the Hoyas to do so with ease, and when the ball was loose, they almost always came up with it. The Blue Devils committed just four turnovers to the Hoyas’ 10 in the second stanza, while Duke captured eight of 11 ground balls. With the extra possessions, the Devils were able to outshoot Georgetown by a wide margin, 18-6.

For Kimmel, the advantage on the loose balls was the key to victory.

“That’s normally how we play,” she said. “We feel like the loose ball game is our game – I don’t feel like we did that in the first half. We left our teammates kind of hanging, one on three, to win a ground ball, and in the second half I just felt like our kids really kinda dug in and got back into our game.”

Countered Georgetown’s Koch, “We talked about it after the game: we were the stronger team. The things that beat us were within our control: turning over the ball, not running for ground balls, all the things we do every day in practice. We do it correctly, and then we come out today and those are the things that beat us.”

The Hoyas’ loss marked their second of the season and second to Duke in as many seasons. Before last year’s 10-8 loss on March 18, Georgetown had defeated the Blue Devils in four straight. Now, with three straight games against lesser competition – unranked George Mason on Wednesday, next weekend’s No. 17 Rutgers and unranked William & Mary on March 27 – the Hoyas have a chance to recapture the swagger they showed in Sunday’s first half and forget about their second-half lapse before they oppose No. 1 North Carolina on March 30.

“You always learn more from a loss, unfortunately, than you do from a win,” Fried said. “So hopefully what we take away is that we can play with anyone in the country, and we just need to make sure that on game day we execute for 60 minutes and not just for 50 minutes.”

Still, for Stanwick, this was no moral victory.

“I don’t see a silver lining yet,” she said after the game. “Maybe tomorrow.”

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