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 Recap

The Georgetown women’s lacrosse program has been receiving national attention for years and the 2003 season was no exception. The lacrosse program has become one of the most successful athletic programs at the university in the last decade. The women are never far from a national ranking and have made the NCAA tournament for the past five years under Head Coach Kim Simons.

A large part of Georgetown’s success is due to its domination of the other teams in the Big East. In 2003 the women got off to another fast start against conference rivals. The women won their first game of the season against Virginia Tech by a score of 17-5, then went on to win their next four games to start the year 5-0. One of those victories came against West Coast rival Stanford, which has always been one of Georgetown’s toughest opponents.

The women took their first loss when they ran into national powerhouse Duke. The game was a disappointing loss for Simons, who saw her defense break down against a persistent Blue Devil offense, falling 14-11. Until that point in the season, defense had been a particularly strong suit for the Hoyas, but the Duke game illustrated what could happen if it fell apart. The loss came right before one of the Hoyas’ biggest tests of the season against the defending national champion Princeton Tigers.

The last time Georgetown met Princeton was in the 2002 National Championship game. The 2003 meeting between the two teams did not go any better for Georgetown. The game was intensely played and the score seesawed back and forth throughout the contest. There were five lead changes and nine ties throughout the day. Georgetown managed to force overtime but could not score in the extra periods and fell to the Tigers 13-11. This was the second consecutive loss for the Hoyas, who had not faced two consecutive losses since the 2000 season.

Georgetown managed to rebound against a weaker Rutgers team with a narrow 6-5 victory but then were defeated by the Maryland Terrapins for their third loss. With that game the Hoyas decided they had had enough of losing, and did not drop another game during the regular season, finishing with six wins in a row. Key Big East wins helped the Hoyas clinch their third Big East Championship in a row.

Georgetown finished the 2003 regular season with a 12-3 record, which included a perfect 6-0 performance in the Big East.

With that record behind them, the Hoyas captured a home seed going into the NCAA tournament and took on James Madison University in the first round. In a relatively low-scoring game the Hoyas handed the JMU Dukes a 9-5 loss, advancing to the quarterfinals. Again, the Georgetown defense carried the team, forcing 15 turnovers. On the offensive side of the ball the Hoyas committed only eight turnovers.

The win meant the Hoyas would be traveling to the University of Virginia to take on the Cavaliers. The Cavaliers had also had a very strong 2003 season but Georgetown was at the peak of its season, playing the best lacrosse it had all year. The team expected to defeat Virginia and continue a march towards a national championship. Going into the game, Georgetown was 0-4 against Virginia, although the two teams had not played since 1998.

The game was hard-fought with both teams playing to stay alive, but in the end, Georgetown was defeated 16-9 and saw its season come to an end. That final loss was one that the current Georgetown team is not likely to forget.

“The biggest disappointment would be . the final game. We really felt like we had a pretty poor showing against Virginia in that quarterfinal game,” Simons said. “It’s been a big motivator for us this year.”

Despite the disappointing final game, the 2003 season was one the women’s lacrosse team is proud of. The Hoyas were ranked in the top six nationally throughout the season and were recognized for both offensive and defensive excellence. They were also ranked first in the nation in forced turnovers and eighth in scoring offense.

In addition to the team honors, numerous Hoya players received individual honors. Graduating seniors and captains Wick Stanwick and Melissa Biles were both named national All-Americans, with Stanwick on the First Team and Biles on the Third Team. They were joined by teammates Michi Ellers and Gloria Lozano, who were also national All-Americans. Ellers and Lozano finished ranked first in the nation in caused turnovers and draw controls, respectively.

Looking at last season’s results, the Hoyas know where their weaknesses are and plan to address them. The two consecutive losses last season illustrated that consistency was an area that needed to be addressed. The Hoyas would have stretches where they could not score, or where the defense would fall apart for periods of time. Those lapses cost them games and Simons said she expects to work on those this season.

“One of the things we pride ourselves on is continuing to get better throughout the season,” she said. By eliminating the burden of inconsistency, the Hoyas plan to be in a good position to again compete for a national championship.

The 2003 campaign was extremely successful, but the Georgetown women won’t be satisfied with another early exit from the NCAA tournament. The team will take some of the lessons it learned last year and use the impressive national standings to build on for the 2004 season. If last season was any indication, this season should be one of the best yet for Georgetown women’s lacrosse.

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