After Georgetown women’s lacrosse fell to the University of Connecticut twice in the regular season, the Hoyas sought to avenge their previous losses in the Big East tournament semifinals. Yet they failed to do so, and UConn emerged victorious with a 15-13 victory on May 6.
The Hoyas (6-10, 5-5 Big East) were looking to defend their 2019 Big East tournament title, while the Huskies (12-6, 7-3 Big East) hoped to dash the Hoyas’ dreams of a repeat and advance to the tournament championship in UConn’s first year after rejoining the conference.
Mirroring this year’s two prior matchups between the rivals, Georgetown gained a 2-0 lead in the first half against UConn. A goal by UConn attacker Lauren Barry briefly cut the Hoyas’ lead in half, but two quick goals by graduate midfielder Natalia Lynch and junior midfielder Annabelle Albert gave Georgetown a 4-1 lead after six minutes of play.
Then the Georgetown offense cooled down, and the Huskies began attacking offensively. Midfielder Sydney Watson’s first goal with 7:18 left in the first half capped off a 3-0 UConn scoring stretch, tying the game at 4-4.
The Hoyas were not dissuaded and quickly chalked up a scoring streak of their own. After junior attacker Ali Diamond scored with 5:03 left in the half, Georgetown looked poised to begin the second half with a 2-point lead, but Watson had different ideas. With 26 seconds left in the half, Watson was given a free position and capitalized. Georgetown held a 6-5 lead at halftime.
At the beginning of the second half, three quick goals by the Huskies — two of them coming from attacker Lia LaPrise — gave Connecticut an 8-6 lead.
After Diamond scored for Georgetown, it seemed as if the Hoyas had weathered the storm, but the Huskies were just getting started. By the time LaPrise scored with 19:59 left in the half, Connecticut had gained a commanding 12-7 lead after beginning the half on a 7-1 scoring run.
The Hoyas slowly chipped away at the Huskies’ lead, fighting back to within one after a goal from sophomore midfielder Mary Pagano with 11:32 left.
Georgetown’s comeback attempt, however, was short lived. Two more goals by the Huskies brought the score to 14-11 entering the last six minutes. A goal by first-year attacker Kylie Hazen briefly cut the lead back to two, but LaPrise’s goal at 3:15 essentially put the game out of reach. A Georgetown free position goal with 2:45 left in the game gave the Hoyas a little hope, but the Hoyas were unable to find the back of the net for the remainder of the game.
Georgetown’s scoring was led by Diamond and Pagano, with each scoring three goals.
Watson, the Big East Midfielder of the Year, delivered another dominating performance for the Huskies. Watson led Connecticut with 11 draw controls and also contributed four goals, adding to a 53-goal total on the season. The Huskies also received a huge contribution from attacker LaPrise, who led all players with five goals.
Georgetown’s season is likely over, given that the team is now unable to clinch an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament, and the Hoyas’ sub-.500 record is unlikely to earn an at-large berth. But despite Georgetown’s disappointing loss in the Big East tournament, Head Coach Fried remains optimistic about next season.
“Earlier in the year, we would not have responded well,” Fried said in a phone interview with The Hoya. “We have a pretty good base of talent coming back. We’re excited about what we have and can accomplish.”