After a snowy exhibition match against Scotland’s international team, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (0-1) heads into an important game Saturday against No. 11 Princeton (2-0).
Georgetown is looking to bounce back from a disappointing performance in its season opener, when it fell to Delaware (2-1) 17-5 on Feb. 14.
As a result of the loss, the Hoyas fell out of the NCAA rankings after entering the season at No. 16.
A run of difficult games gives the Blue and Gray an opportunity to jump back into the rankings with a couple wins, and the first opportunity comes against a tough Princeton team on Saturday.
Against Delaware, the Hoyas committed 19 turnovers compared to the Blue Hens’ 10, which gave the momentum to Delaware early.
“The biggest thing for us is going to be execution,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “We had 19 turnovers, and that led to us not getting possession, and that led to them getting goals. So, it was a downward spiral, a perfect storm, in the wrong way from our perspective. So, it’ll be a lot more awareness on our end, making sure that we’re possessing the ball.”
In its first game, Princeton controlled then-No. 9 Loyola (0-1) in a 10-8 victory, winning 16-of-20 draws to dominate possession.
Fried said that practice has been more intense since the Delaware loss, as the team will focus on attaining a high energy level on game day.
“[Delaware was] more prepared than we were; they didn’t let outside influences impact how they played,” Fried said. “So how we practiced the last two weeks has been different, in the intensity level that we expect as coaches. Fitness was emphasized more, so we did a lot more running. And we did a lot more competitive drills … How we play the game isn’t going to be changed that much, but how we practice had to be adjusted.”
Senior midfielder Mollie Caputo noted the emphasis on defensive communication as well as energy and intensity in practice.
“Practices have been way more intense and faster paced,” Caputo said. “We’ve been doing a lot of running, trying to get in better shape because it was kind of evident in the Delaware game that we need to be in better shape. … The energy throughout practice this week so far has been really great, so if we can maintain that, I think we’re going to be in good shape.”
Defensive communication will be vital against a potent Princeton attack, which is led by senior midfielder Erin Slifer, who notched five goals in the win over Loyola Maryland.
In addition to its attack, Fried praised Princeton for its possession style and noted its strength on draw controls because of the intensity of outside players.
“They play really hard,” Fried said. “They’re really aggressive, they go after loose 50-50 balls and they play together really well. On the offensive end, they have a couple people they rely on. But at the end of the day, they dictate tempo; they slow things down and possess the ball.”
Georgetown’s last warm-up before the Princeton game came in heavy snow against the Scotland international team, but Caputo said the team’s heads were in the right place this time, which led to a good performance.
“We had a really good warm-up. I think everyone decided that we can’t control the weather, and whether it’s snowing or not, we’re going to be playing,” Caputo said. “It was definitely interesting. I wouldn’t say it was fun, but we got through it … You can’t control the weather, but going out there and giving our best through the bad weather was pretty good, and we did a good job.”
However, Fried also said that they have not quite yet found the right combinations of players on the field. With six freshmen in midfield, the coaching staff will continue to make lineup changes.
“I would say we’ll continue to do that until there’s a consistency level on the field both in effort, decision-making and execution,” Fried said.