After sinking to a five-game skid, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (2-7, 1-0 Big East) won its first Big East game of the season and snapped its losing streak in a 10-6 contest against Big East newcomer Vanderbilt (3-8, 0-2 Big East) on Saturday.
The game marked Vanderbilt’s second-ever match in the Big East after joining the conference for the 2015 season. Georgetown and Vanderbilt had not played each other since 2002, and the Hoyas are now 6-0 all-time against the Commodores and 4-0 at home.
Head Coach Ricky Fried noticed a significant improvement from the Hoyas on both ends of the field compared to previous matches.
“One of the biggest things we have been focusing on is spacing on our offensive end and playing with a lot more pace. On the defensive end, we have been [practicing] a lot of one-versus-one. I thought we did a really good job with that throughout the course of the game,” Fried said.
Georgetown built a lead in the first half that proved to be crucial when Vanderbilt fought back late in the game. After seven scoreless minutes in the opening period, senior midfielder Lauren Schwalje scored off a free position to earn the first goal for the Hoyas. Junior attack Corinne Etchinson followed with two goals of her own, putting Georgetown ahead 3-0.
Vanderbilt freshman midfielder Kayla Peterson scored with 10 minutes left in the first half to put the Commodores on the board, but Georgetown senior attack Caroline Tarzian answered with 46 seconds left to give the Hoyas a 4-1 advantage going into the second half.
Georgetown and Vanderbilt traded goals in the second half, but the Hoyas’ first-half lead helped them hold on throughout the rest of the game.
Senior attack Sammy Giordano’s goal two minutes into the period was quickly followed by a goal from sophomore attack Colleen Lovett. Lovett scored two more goals, and Tarzian and freshman midfielder Hannah Seibel each contributed goals in the second-half effort to end the game at 10-6.
Lovett, who has scored 11 goals this season, was happy with her second-half performance.
“It felt good,” Lovett said. “I had a rough first half shooting-wise, so it was nice to have a couple in the second half.”
Vanderbilt had 19 ground balls compared to Georgetown’s 14, but the teams were evenly matched at the draw circle, with nine draw controls each.
Sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Fisher played all 60 minutes for the Hoyas and had 11 saves, including several crucial deflections during the last 10 minutes of play.
Fried was satisfied with the win and the steady improvements his team has been making over the course of the season.
“Right now, this Big East win is the most important thing we have,” Fried said. “We had a rough start to the season but have improved over the last three games, so we want to continue playing our best as we move forward. We want to remember from here on as opposed to from here backwards, and this conference allows us to still obtain the goals we have set for ourselves at the beginning of the season.”
Lovett also acknowledged the importance of the win.
“At the beginning of the season, we started off rough, but this was our first conference game and now that we’re 1-0, it’s a step in the right direction,” Lovett said.
Fried was also proud of his team’s discipline and battle throughout the course of the game.
“The biggest thing we need to take away from this game is confidence,” Fried said. “People made mistakes and didn’t stop playing, while in the past, we made some mistakes and got a little tentative. Today, we continued to battle and fight against a really scrappy athletic team, and it says a lot about our fight and our heart.”
Georgetown has a tough challenge ahead as it prepares for No. 1 Maryland (10-0, 1-0 Big 10) on Wednesday, but the team is optimistic.
“We can just build off of this,” Lovett said. “We played as a team, this game meant a lot, and we just need to keep working together and following the sets.”