After getting off to a slow start during a rugged schedule, the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (6-5, 4-0 Big East) is riding a four-game winning streak. The Hoyas have beaten Yale, along with three conference foes in Connecticut, Cincinnati, and Louisville, to bring their record over .500.
Senior attacker Jordy Kirr has helped carry the Hoyas’ potent offensive attack. In Sunday’s win against Louisville, the captain scored twice and provided four assists in the high-tempo 19-12 home victory.
“There were actually some really bad passes in that game, but the stats won’t show that,” she said. “A lot of credit goes to my teammates that caught those passes.”
Her deference to her teammates aside, after totaling nine points with four goals and five assists in two games last week, Kirr won the Big East Player of the Week award.
Kirr also put herself in the Hoya history books as the first women’s lacrosse player to ever score 100 goals and dish out 100 assists in a career. Moreover, her 101 assists make her Georgetown’s all-time leader in the category. Despite her accolades, the humble veteran remains focused on the larger task at hand—winning the Big East title.
“Bring it every day,” she said, reciting the team’s mantra. “It’s easy to just go through the motions.”
The team’s confidence is not unwarranted. Head coach Ricky Fried’s Hoyas have won the Big East regular season title every season since the league’s inception in 2007, except for 2008. As for his team’s prospects of repeating that feat this season, Fried remains confident.
“It’s exciting, but it’s something we expect to do well in,” the seventh-year head coach said. “It’s rewarding to improve over some tough opponents.”
Improvement has been a necessity for the Hoyas this season. Their slow start revealed the growing pains they underwent with a young core supplementing the veterans. The freshman class represents the best in the country according to insidelacrosse.com, while the sophomores, led by attacker Sophia Thomas, are now regular contributors to the team. Thomas was named to the Big East Honor Roll this week and currently leads the team with 27 goals.
“Sophia has really stepped up,” Kirr said. “She is really competitive—she really has this hunger.”
Still, much of the team’s success can be attributed to Kirr and her fellow seniors, including Logan McCraw on defense and Mary Beth Brophy in the midfield. To Fried, their leadership is by far the most crucial aspect of their contributions to this season’s team.
“Every team goes as their seniors go,” he said. “Not only do they have to play well but they have to bring everyone along with them. This year, without exception, our seniors have put the team first ahead of their own needs.”
McCraw leads a reinvigorated defense, which has not allowed more than 12 goals in any game since Big East play began in late March. While this number may not seem impressive on the surface, the Hoyas gave up totals ranging from 17 to 24 goals early on this season.
Fried has emphasized forcing the opponent to work for all of their goals, but only now are the Hoyas seeing consistent results from his philosophy. The coach acknowledged the transition his defense has made as a game-changer, but still felt there was room for improvement.
“That is part of our upswing—our defense coming together,” Fried said. “We’re starting to play better as a group, but we still need to get rid of some of the lapses that we have.”
Certainly, this group of Hoyas is capable of great things on defense, having limited Yale and Cincinnati to three and two goals, respectively. However, those two wins were sandwiched by two games in which, despite winning, the defense gave up 12 goals in close games.
The Hoyas soon face the heart of their Big East schedule. In between tough matchups with Loyola and Maryland lie matchups with traditional powers Syracuse and Notre Dame. Fried continues to stress his “focus on the game at hand” mentality, choosing to approach the postseason when it actually arrives, rather than speculating almost a month in advance.
Kirr also acknowledged the challenge of facing such motivated opponents, but keeps the near goal of running the table in the Big East at hand.
“They bring their best game when they play us,” she said. “We have the quiet confidence that we are the Big East.”