For the fourth time in as many years on the Hilltop, the Class of 2014 saw its season end Saturday without an NCAA tournament victory to show for it.
The No. 6-ranked Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (13-6, 6-2 Big East) had earned a bye to the second round of the tournament by virtue of its high seeding, but visiting Virginia (11-9, 1-4 ACC) controlled the game for all but the final 12 minutes at MultiSport Facility in a 10-8 upset.
“Obviously there’s a finality to it all. It’s unfortunate that one team had to lose — I thought it was a hard-fought game,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said afterward. “I thought Virginia came out harder and played more consistently throughout the game, and given that quality … when they get up that big, it’s going to be hard to come back.”
But although they ultimately fell short, come back the Hoyas did.
A goal by the Cavaliers at the 15:13 mark of the second half made it 10-4 and extended their lead back to six, tying their largest of the game. Georgetown was left, then, with just a quarter of the game to more than double its tally on the day, a task that seemed outlandish given the team’s offensive futility to that point.
Sophomore attack Caroline Tarzian, though, would start the rally with 11:32 remaining, as a scramble in front of the Virginia cage led to an empty net of which the New Yorker easily took advantage. Senior attack Rosie Corcoran followed that tally up with a goal of her own three minutes later, and, at 10-6, a chance at forcing overtime was no longer outside the realm of possibility.
According to Fried — who didn’t call a timeout all day — bit of motivation from within was all that his players needed to find that spark.
“It’s the mindset you get when you realize, ‘Oh, well this could be the last time we play together this year,’” Fried said. “We just needed to have that feeling a lot sooner, going into the game, but it’s hard to convince people that that [scenario] could happen.”
The Blue and Gray would not strike often enough, however, waiting until 5:02 to finally pull within three via senior midfielder Kelsi Bozel. Junior midfielder and draw specialist Kelyn Freedman made it 10-8 with just over four minutes to play, but that would be the final goal for either team as the Hoyasfell on their home turf in an unexpected early exit.
Georgetown had missed the NCAA tourney the two years prior, instead bowing out in the first round of the four-team Big East tournament each time. 2013 saw the team finish first in the conference and advance to the finals, also at MultiSport, before losing a lopsided title game to Syracuse.
As it turned out, the script would return to classic Georgetown fashion from there.
“It’s difficult to swallow because you want to play your best 60 minutes at this time of year,” Fried said. “But you have to give Virginia a lot of credit for how they came out and the fire they came out with.”