A second-half explosive offensive effort by No. 19 Georgetown women’s lacrosse proved too little too late as the team fell 17-6 to No. 12 University of Pennsylvania in their first ranked matchup of the season.
Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried pointed to the Blue and Gray’s first-half struggles as the reason for the loss despite the team’s repeated comeback efforts.
“I thought we got outplayed early in the game and had trouble solving their defense,” Fried said in an interview with GUHoyas. “We showed resilience in the second half with a strong effort, but it’s difficult to sustain that energy to come back against a quality opponent.”
Georgetown (1-1) entered the matchup Saturday, Feb. 15, coming off a dominant 19-5 victory against St. Joseph’s (1-2) on Feb. 8 while Penn (1-0) sought its first win of the season.
The rivalry between the two ranked teams continues after the Hoyas ended the Quakers’ season after beating them in a dramatic 13-12 double-overtime victory in the first round of the NCAA tournament last year. Earlier in the 2019 season, Georgetown had lost to Penn in Philadelphia in a close 7-8 defeat.
Both offenses started off fairly slowly in terms of scoring due to the strong play of both goalies, who combined for eight saves in the first 15 minutes of play and allowed just two goals.
Penn got on the scoreboard first with a tally two and a half minutes into the game after senior captain and midfielder Natalia Lynch committed a foul inside the eight-meter mark. Penn midfielder Erin Barry capitalized on the opportunity, powering the ball into the back of the net on the free position attempt. The Hoyas’ defense could not contain Barry’s offensive success as she finished the game with four total goals, all of which came in the first half.
Despite the early goal, the Quakers failed to generate offensive momentum and could not find the back of the net in the next seven minutes.
The Quakers eventually struck again in the ninth minute of play as Barry netted her second goal of the game. Midway through the first half, Penn found itself up just 2-0.
The game quickly slipped out of the Hoyas’ hands, however, as they could no longer stop the Quakers’ attack after its slow start. Penn would go on to rack up five more consecutive goals over the span of 10 minutes before Georgetown could respond.
Sophomore attacker Celia Walsh was able to score Georgetown’s only first-half goal with a little less than two minutes left on an unassisted goal. Barry would go on to score her fourth goal with just 30 seconds remaining, bringing the score to 8-1 and creating an advantage that would be insurmountable for the Hoyas.
Penn scored again to start the second half before Georgetown went on a scoring explosion. The Hoyas scored five goals in just two and a half minutes, closing the lead to just three goals at 9-6 with 15 minutes on the clock. This scoring effort was led by Lynch, who scored the first two goals of the run on back-to-back free position shots in less than 30 seconds. Walsh was then able to claim her second goal of the match. Finally, sophomore attacker Ali Diamond found the back of the cage from the right side while junior midfielder Mary Pagano followed with a free-position score before Penn called a timeout to halt Georgetown’s momentum.
For the Quakers, the timeout worked out perfectly and the Hoyas were unable to score again for the remainder of the match. Meanwhile, Penn buried eight more goals, including a goal in a man-up situation with just six seconds left in the match, to secure the 17-6 victory.
The Hoyas lost the turnover battle, turning the ball over 24 times to the Quakers’ 19. Additionally, Georgetown shot the ball 13 times less than Penn with 22 shots to their 35. In net, senior Micheline DiNardo was able to make 13 saves to the Quakers’ 14 while conceding 17 goals, just two less than she allowed in her seven appearances and 135 minutes in the 2019 season.
Georgetown next takes to the road for the first time this season to face off with the Drexel Dragons on Saturday, Feb. 22, at noon.