On April 4, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team suffered a blowout 18-4 loss at the hands of the Florida Gators, dropping its record to 1-9. At the time, the Gators and the Hoyas seemed like the furthest thing from equals.
Yet at the end of the season, that’s exactly what they were, as Georgetown turned its season around almost overnight, reeling off five consecutive Big East wins to equal No. 11 Florida’s 6-1 conference record and earn a share of the Big East regular season title.
The Hoyas’ strong performance late in the season earned them the second seed in the Big East tournament, which was a significant accomplishment after the team’s slow start. In the semifinals, however, the Hoyas’ win streak ended in a hard-fought 11-10 loss to third-seeded Connecticut (11-7, 5-2 Big East) in Storrs, Ct.
Sophomore attack Colleen Lovett led Georgetown with four goals and three assists, and junior midfielder Kristen Bandos added two goals to finish her season with a team-leading total of 29.
The game featured a number of scoring runs. UConn took an early 4-1 lead before Georgetown responded with four goals, two by Lovett, to retake the lead. The Huskies then went on an extended 7-2 run to take an 11-7 lead, but the Hoyas staged a late comeback. Bandos’ goal with 2:14 left to play brought Georgetown to within one goal, but it was unable to complete the comeback.
“It didn’t go the way we thought it was going to go, but it was kind of predictable. If we allowed them to get out in transition we knew they could get their goals,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “We’re proud of the way our team fought; we fought back twice from three goal deficits, tied it once, didn’t quite tie it the second time and fell just short at the end of the day.”
The loss does not diminish the Hoyas’ remarkable late-season accomplishments. A deep senior class, including attacks Sammy Giordano and Caroline Tarzian and defenders Adrianne Devine and Megan Marinelli, led the Hoyas throughout the season, particularly in times of adversity. Devine and Tarzian earned All-Big East First Team honors, Devine receiving the honor unanimously.
“The seniors really kept the team together, and I’ve said this a number of times, but we started off really poorly and people could have checked out and packed up. They were able to stay focused and were rewarded with that championship at the end of the season,” Fried said.
Bandos also earned All-Big East First Team recognition, and Marinelli, junior attack Corinne Etchison and sophomore goalkeeper Maddy Fisher earned Second Team honors. Individual recognition reflected the strong play of several of the team’s standouts, particularly in conference play, but Bandos was more focused on the Hoyas’ resilience as a group.
“I think the one thing that helped us the most was even after we went on a losing streak, we didn’t let that affect the rest of our season,” Bandos said. “We went into the Big East knowing that we could win the regular season, go on to the championship and get into the NCAA tournament. I think we used that and got our first goal of winning in the regular season.”
It will be difficult to replace the nine graduating seniors, but Fried is optimistic about the program’s future. The Hoyas will bring in nine freshmen next season to bolster the roster, and will return several standouts from this season, including Fisher, Etchison and Bandos.
“It’s going to be a whole new dynamic with a loss of nine seniors and nine freshmen coming in. That’s the biggest challenge in the fall, to bring that group of people together to form a team while focusing on the lacrosse aspect,” Fried said.
Adjusting a team’s lineup to replace graduated players is always difficult, but Fried, who just earned his seventh Big East regular-season title, seems well equipped to lead the program to continued success. Fried has a 124-77 overall record in his 11 seasons as Georgetown’s head coach and has won more games than any other coach in program history.
Hoya Staff Writer Claire Schansinger contributed to reporting.