The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team lost to the Syracuse Orange 14-8 in the second round of the NCAA tournament after upsetting the University of Pennsylvania in double overtime 13-12 in double overtime in the first round. The Hoyas entered the NCAA tournament following an impressive Big East tournament victory as the third seed after defeating the Marquette Golden Eagles on Thursday and top-seeded Denver on Sunday. This constituted the Hoyas’ first Big East tournament championship in nearly a decade.
The Hoyas entered their first contest looking for redemption, as they had lost to the Golden Eagles in Milwaukee 12-14 on April 27. Senior attack Taylor Gebhardt started the scoring three minutes into the half, which gave Georgetown the early lead. After a response from the Golden Eagles, the Hoyas took advantage of two straight Marquette penalties to further their lead to 3-1 with 24 minutes to play in the half.
After a Marquette response, Georgetown ran away with the game, closing out the half with a 9-2 scoring run. Leading the way were Gebhardt and senior midfielder Francesca Whitehurst, who each came out of the first frame with a hat trick. The 12-4 lead at the half would prove insurmountable for the Golden Eagles, and the Hoyas followed through to a 17-10 victory.
The senior leadership on the team spearheaded the victory, with Whitehurst tallying six goals and two assists, Gebhardt scoring four goals and one assist and senior attack Morgan Ryan posting a hat trick. Senior goalkeeper Haelle Chomo also had a strong performance in net with seven saves.
The Hoyas returned to the same field Saturday in another redemption game against the top-seeded Denver Pioneers, who defeated them earlier in the season. In the first half, Denver took control of the game, grabbing a 6-0 lead over Georgetown less than halfway into the frame.
Despite this rocky start, the Blue and Gray was soon able to jumpstart a comeback with the help of its younger players. Freshman attack Ali Diamond scored the Hoyas’ first goal, and sophomore midfielder Mary Pagano followed with a goal of her own less than a minute later. After each team scored two more goals, the scoreboard read 8-4 in favor of the Pioneers at the half.
Beginning in the second half, Georgetown’s veteran leadership took over, sparking a great comeback revolving around a newfound offensive spark. The Blue and Gray chipped away at the Pioneers’ lead, scoring four unanswered goals in the opening 20 minutes of the second half to tie the game up 8-8. Seniors Ryan, Whitehurst and Gebhardt all tallied goals, as did junior attack Michaela Bruno. The Hoyas defense then shut out the Pioneers for the entirety of the second half, sending the game into overtime.
After a scoreless first overtime period for the Hoyas, Whitehurst scored on a man-up play in the second overtime period with a pinpoint shot to the top right corner of the cage. The goal gave the Hoyas both the Big East championship and an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
Whitehurst, who led the Hoyas with her eight goals and two assists over the two games, was named the tournament’s most outstanding player. She was named to the all-Tournament team along with Gebhart, Chomo, Bruno and sophomore defense Mollie Miller.
The Hoyas faced off against the University of Pennsylvania on Friday in Syracuse, N.Y., where they were able to avenge their March 9 loss with a double overtime 13-12 victory thanks to a game-winning goal in the second overtime from Gebhardt. The goal came following a well-designed timeout play and marked Gebhardt’s seventh goal of the afternoon.
In the second round, Georgetown also played in Syracuse against the hosting Syracuse Orange. Ryan’s hat trick was not enough for the Hoyas’ offense to keep pace with that of the Orange as they fell by a final score of 14-8 to end the season.
The Big East championship, followed by advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament, marked a successful final stretch of the season for the Blue and Gray as it finished with a final record of 12-9.