After two tough losses for the No. 13 Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (3-3), the Hoyas will play host to No. 11 Johns Hopkins (9-0) on Friday night at the Multi-Sport Facility.
Georgetown has played a difficult schedule to date; Friday’s game will be its sixth straight against a ranked opponent. Most recently, Georgetown fell to No. 1 North Carolina 18-11. Although the final score does not show it, the Hoyas finished that game on an impressive 5-to-1 run, and it is this momentum the team hopes will carry over to its game against Johns Hopkins.
“There are things that we need to work on, and a lot of it has to do with making sure we’re engaged and focused at the very beginning as opposed to focusing on the scoreboard,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said.
Georgetown fell into an early 7-1 hole that proved to be too much to overcome. At halftime, the Tar Heels held an 11-6 advantage and the game seemed within reach for the Hoyas. However, a 6-0 run by North Carolina coming out of the locker room removed all doubt about the outcome.
Although the final result was not what the Hoyas were looking for, the team was productive on offense and four different players scored two goals apiece. Senior attack Meghan Farrell, senior attack Reilly Woodman, senior midfielder Kelyn Freedman and sophomore attack Corinne Etchison all notched two points for Georgetown.
Defensively, Georgetown gave up 31 shots and all three goalkeepers received playing time. Although senior Barb Black got the start, all three received roughly the same amount of time in the net. Sophomore Megan McDonald boasted the highest save percentage of the group, allowing one goal on two shots.
With the loss, the Hoyas dropped to .500 on the season, surely a position the team did not expect to be in after entering the season ranked No. 10 in the country. Friday night’s game will give Georgetown the opportunity to end its losing streak against a formidable Johns Hopkins team.
“I think our players are going to be engaged because we lost and [Johns Hopkins] is undefeated, so it’s a big game, in that respect,” Fried said. “We’re going to have to make sure that we play for 60 minutes, recognize that when we make mistakes, we’re going to have to overcome those mistakes and not really focus on the things we can’t control.”
Johns Hopkins has been successful in various components of its game thus far in its undefeated season. Senior attack Taylor D’Amore recently broke two school records — all-time career draw controls and single-game assists — in the team’s 20-5 win over Michigan.
D’Amore leads the Blue Jays in points with 23 goals and 17 assists on the season. She is followed by sophomore midfielder Dene’ DiMartino with 24 goals and 2 assists. Stopping the powerful duo will be a priority for the Hoyas on Friday.
“Our big focus continues to be improving, and a lot of that doesn’t have to do with athleticism or skill, it has to do with our concentration level and execution,” Fried said. “They have a few really solid players, so we’re going to have to be really disciplined in our approach and minimize the mistakes that we make at the end of the day.”
Johns Hopkins has offensive depth beyond D’Amore and DiMartino as six players have tallied more than 10 goals on the season. The Hoyas will have to make sure that their one-on-one defense is up to the task of containing the talented Blue Jay offense, says Fried.
“Defensively it’s really going to come down to not overextending ourselves,” he said.
In its current stretch against ranked opponents, Georgetown has not had much downtime. Each practice has included preparing for the next tough opponent and creating plays to take advantage of opposition’s weaknesses counter opposition’s strength. However, Fried believes that the short-term suffering will eventually pay long-run dividends.
“It hardens us for the end of the season, which is the goal out of this,” Fried said. “While it can be challenging to deal with the preparation on a week-to-week basis, at the end of the day, it prepares us for what we’re going to have to do in postseason.”