While the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (6-9, 5-1 Big East) suffered from inconsistencies earlier on this season, the Hoyas have a chance on Saturday to redeem themselves with a Big East regular season title.
If the Hoyas beat the Temple Owls (10-5, 2-4 Big East) on the team’s senior day, they will earn a share of the Big East title — their first since 2011 — drawing level with No. 13 Florida at a 6-1 conference record.
The team is already guaranteed the second seed in the Big East tournament, as it lost the seeding tiebreaker due to the Gators’ 18-4 head-to-head victory over the Hoyas at the beginning of April. Still, Georgetown does not yet know whether it will take on the University of Connecticut (9-6, 4-2 Big East) or Villanova (9-6, 4-2 Big East) in the first round of the four-team tournament, which starts next Thursday.
The contest against Temple closes out what has been a successful Big East season for the Blue and Gray, a welcome change from the team’s 1-8 record out of conference.
However, Head Coach Ricky Fried knows that despite the Owls’ record in conference, the team is no pushover. Temple beat Marquette and lost by just two goals to Villanova, a team that may earn the third seed in the tournament.
“The biggest thing is they have a lot of team speed, they’re very athletic,” Fried said. “So they’ll probably be in the top half of teams, speed-wise, that we’ve played so far. And they’re very good in transition, so we’ll have to minimize their transition game.”
Georgetown’s defense is certainly capable of slowing down Temple, as it has stepped up significantly over the course of the current four-game winning streak, riding opponents hard and forcing turnovers consistently.
Senior defender Adrianne Devine, who was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week this past Tuesday, is more confident than nervous heading into the home stretch of the season.
“Because we’ve been winning, obviously we’re doing something right. So we just have to keep this momentum and streak going,” Devine said. “Recently we’ve been more on the same page. Ever since our Hopkins game we’ve been more of a unit and more on the same page. I think that was really the turning point in our season, specifically for the defense.”
Before the 8-6 loss to Johns Hopkins on March 21, the Hoyas lost five of their six games and conceded 12.8 goals per game; since then, their record has been 5-4 and they’ve given up just 9.3 goals per game, even including the aberration of conceding 18 goals to Florida.
Junior midfielder Kristen Bandos also earned Big East honors this week, as she was named Midfielder of the Week. Bandos scored five goals in Georgetown’s 13-12 win over UConn including the game-winner with 15 seconds left, and she recorded the final two goals at Marquette in an 8-7 victory. She now leads the team in goals with 23 on the season, two goals ahead of senior attack Caroline Tarzian.
Though Georgetown has won the Big East regular season title in previous years, including three straight from 2009-2011, Fried understands the importance of a win on Saturday.
“We haven’t won the Big East, or had a share of the Big East title, since 2011. I think a lot of people on the outside looking in and some people even on the inside think that’s just an expectation, and that just happens,” Fried said. “[It] is special for the seniors, because it would be the first time they’ve done it since they’ve been here. And our focus has to be totally on that area. … We’re playing to win something right now.”
The contest will take place at Georgetown’s MultiSport Facility at 3 p.m. After Saturday’s home matchup against Temple, the Big East tournament will start Thursday, April 30 in Connecticut with a semifinal against either UConn