After clinching a spot in the Big East Championship Tournament with two comfortable wins against Cincinnati and Marquette over Easter break, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team faces the No. 13 Denver Pioneers this Saturday in a game to help determine the seeding.
“Honestly, it comes down to execution,” Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried said of the two wins. “Shooting, I think we were over 50 percent both games, which helps a lot. We have talented players getting in good spots, now it’s just a matter of finishing the shots.”
Georgetown (8-7, 6-1 Big East) defeated Cincinnati (5-10, 1-6 Big East) 19-7 on April 12 before beating Marquette (4-11 overall, 2-5 Big East) 19-11 three days later. Sophomore midfielder Francesca Whitehurst scored six goals over the two games, earning her Big East Midfielder of the Week honors for the second consecutive week.
Sophomore attack Taylor Gebhardt also scored six goals, five of which came against Cincinnati. Georgetown showcased its offensive depth, as 10 different Hoyas scored against Cincinnati, while nine Hoyas scored against Marquette.
Fried credited his team’s improvement to the continuing development of this year’s sophomores.
“It shows that we’re improving from the beginning of the season to now. I think we had some close games, and it’s tough to lean on sophomores early in the year. But now that they are a little bit more seasoned, they are taking that leadership role, and they’re OK with that. At every position we are pretty young, but they are able to now execute better than they were at the beginning of the year because they are more comfortable and they have more game experience,” Fried said.
Georgetown’s greatest test this season comes Saturday against Denver (12-2, 6-1 Big East). Pioneer sophomore attacks Elizabeth Behrins and Julia Feiss have scored 40 and 35 goals, ranking No. 4 and No. 7 in the conference, respectively. Fried continues to emphasize execution on both ends of the field and believes the Hoyas and Pioneers are more evenly matched than Denver’s better record might suggest.
“[The Pioneers] play a zone, where they pressure out, so us handling that pressure and being able to move the ball and finish, as I said. Offensively, they are very structured and disciplined, so maintaining our discipline is going to be really important in executing the game plan,” Fried said. “Really, at the end of the day, it’s going to be who executes better, as it usually is. I think we are pretty evenly matched even though our records may not indicate that. They might be a tad bit more athletic than we are, but skill set-wise, I think we have the advantage there. So we’ll kind of see which one wins out.”
Georgetown’s game against Denver is scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday at Cooper Field.