In many respects, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team’s performance against No. 11 Princeton represented a welcome departure from its effort against Delaware on Feb. 14.
Georgetown committed just nine turnovers against Princeton, an improvement from 17 against the Blue Hens two weeks ago. Also unlike in its first game, Georgetown started strong against Princeton, with a pass intercepted by senior defender Adrianne Devine leading to a goal from senior attack Caroline Tarzian within the opening three minutes.
However, the small differences between Georgetown’s (0-2) first two games were not enough, as the team failed to claw back from a 7-1 halftime deficit on its way to an 11-7 loss to Princeton (3-0) on Saturday in its home opener.
Head Coach Ricky Fried recognized the team’s improvement from its opening game, but said that despite the team’s solid second-half performance against the Tigers, there was no such thing as a moral victory.
“It was a good three quarters,” Fried said. “The second quarter, we fell apart defensively. I think a lot of that had to do with [the fact that] when [Princeton] scored a couple of goals, we got tentative. We were tentative on the draw in the first half; we knew that they go hard, they’re aggressive to the ball. And frankly, there were 50-50 balls, and they were just out-hustling us.”
The Hoyas held the Tigers to just two goals through the opening 20 minutes of play, but then conceded five in an eight-minute stretch at the end of the first half, largely due to controlling only two draws in the first two periods of the game.
A 6-5 advantage in second-half draw controls spurred the Hoyas to more possessions and greater control of the game.
“In the second half, we didn’t make an adjustment tactically, but our players on the field got hungrier and decided we weren’t going to just give them the ball,” Fried said. “The problem with that is, in some respects, it’s easy when you’re down 7-1 to go hard, because you can be [the] loser, and you don’t have anything to lose. We have to find a way to bring that same intensity level to practice every day on a consistent basis so that we’re prepared for that aspect of the game.”
After the halftime break, the Hoyas showed signs of improvement by pressing harder on the defensive end and being more active offensively. A few critical saves from sophomore goalie Maddy Fisher also helped keep the game in the balance.
Tarzian was disappointed in the chances left on the table after the first half.
“We’re just not consistent right now,” Tarzian said. “We kind of sat back on our heels. I think we have to take more advantage of the possessions that we do have. Like in the first half, we didn’t have that many, but we still had nine shots. You have to be able to make sure we’re not going one for nine on every possession, especially when the other team likes to hold the ball longer.”
Tarzian said that she is generally unfazed by the number in front of a team’s name, which, for Princeton, rose to No. 11 after beating No. 9 Loyola Maryland last weekend.
“I don’t think the rankings mean anything, to be honest,” Tarzian said. “Every week they come out with new rankings. And especially now, when recruiting is so much more widespread and the game is played in more regions of the country than ever, you never know what you’re going to get. You can be ranked No. 1 and lose to team 35, and the next week it’ll be a whole new set of rankings.”
Though Georgetown held Princeton midfielder Erin Slifer to one goal, sophomore midfielder Olivia Hompe tallied five against the Hoyas.
On the Georgetown side, several players impressed in the team’s overall improved performance. Tarzian finished with a team-high three goals and sophomore attack Colleen Lovett tallied two.
“Colleen Lovett obviously stepped it up and really was a spark offensively, with her dodges,” Fried said. “We need to shoot better across the board, because we were 7-for-26, but I thought she did well offensively. … I thought [senior defender] Megan Marinelli did a great job off the draws, and was scrappy and hustled. And Tarz always leaves it out on the field. And like what she does or don’t like what she does, you know she’s trying to win.”