With 36 seconds left on the clock and the scored tied at 12, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse looked to take the lead over University of Connecticut and earn its fourth Big East victory of the season. Georgetown senior attack Sammy Giordano had missed a shot 16 seconds earlier, prompting Head Coach Ricky Fried to call a timeout to draw up a play for his team.
“Coach actually set up the play — give an assist to coach,” junior midfielder Kristen Bandos said. “We had a play set up when we came in [from the timeout]. I got pulled up to the outside, and the point was to get two people in the middle so the defender had to pick one. The defender picked the other girl, so I cut through and there was no one on me for a while. It worked out exactly how we planned.”
With 15 seconds left in the match, Fried’s play came to fruition as Bandos scored for her team, earning Georgetown (5-9, 4-1 Big East) a 13-12 victory over UConn (8-6, 3-2 Big East).
The win at MultiSport Facility secured a spot for Georgetown in the Big East tournament for the ninth consecutive year. The Hoyas have appeared at the conference tournament every year since 2007, when the Big East first instituted the postseason contest.
Head Coach Ricky Fried was satisfied with the victory and enthusiastic that the team would continue into the postseason.
“This game was huge for the team,” Fried said. “This clinches us a spot in the Big East tournament, which is our only way to continue on into the postseason, so this was a huge victory for us. I thought we showed a lot of resilience, and although we did not play very well, we showed a lot of toughness.”
Bandos, who scored five goals including the game winner, agreed on the importance of this game for the team.
“We knew this was one of the biggest games we’ve had all season, since UConn has always been a big rival,” Bandos said. “We knew this could clinch the Big East with a victory, so we put a lot of effort in this one and knew we had to fight. This was the one day where we put everything out there and going into the weekend we can relax and focus on the Big East once we beat Temple.”
Bandos scored the first goal of the game three minutes into the first half, followed by two goals from Husky freshman attack Kelsey Catalando. The Hoyas responded with two goals from senior defender Adrianne Devine and sophomore attack Corinne Etchinson.
The Huskies scored twice more to even the score, but the Hoyas ended the first half on a 3-0 run, giving them a 7-4 lead entering the second half.
Bandos scored another goal 16 seconds into the second period of the match, but UConn responded quickly, scoring five of the next six goals in the match to even the game at nine. The teams traded goals for the remainder of the game, including another goal from Bandos, and the Huskies took an 11-10 lead with 6:34 left in regulation.
The Hoyas responded quickly, as Devine scored 29 seconds later for her third goal of the game to tie the score. Giordano found the net with 4:09 left to play to give the Hoyas a 12-11 lead. After a Hoya turnover around the 8 meter, UConn junior midfielder Alexandra Crofts brought the Huskies even after scoring on a free position attempt.
The Hoyas had 1:47 left in regulation to make the final shot of the game to earn the victory. Bandos’ game-winning goal clinched the victory for Georgetown.
Fried said that the team did not play its best, but prepared a lot in practice to take on the tough Big East opponent.
“It didn’t show a lot today, but we’ve been working a lot on stick work, shooting and one-versus-one defense,” Fried said. “There are some small things, like making sure we are in the right places and doing the right things. We need to be doing a lot of these things on a consistent basis in order for us to be successful.”
Georgetown will travel to Milwaukee to play Marquette (4-11, 0-5 Big East) on Saturday and will end the season with a home game against Temple (9-5, 1-4 Big East) the following weekend.
“The biggest thing for us is not to focus on who we are playing, not the score, not the opponent,” Fried said. “We have the ability to be very good, but we can’t just turn it on and off. We have to come in with a certain mentality and play with that mentality for 60 minutes.”