For the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team, winning has been a frequent and comfortable achievement recently. After getting off to a 2-5 start, the No. 16 Hoyas broke off a six-game winning streak, which improved their record to 8-5 overall with an unblemished 6-0 record in the Big East.
This past weekend, however, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-8, 4-2 in the Big East) put an end to the Hoyas’ momentum, defeating them 13-10. The Hoyas struggled until midway through the second half, trailing the Fighting Irish by as many as seven goals. Despite an admirable comeback attempt, the Hoyas could not pull out a victory to retain their undefeated conference record.
Despite the loss, the Hoyas are still optimistic as they hit the final stretch of the regular season. Senior captain Mary Beth Brophy knows that the team will look back on this game positively.
“The loss against Notre Dame was really disappointing, especially since we were 6-0 in the Big East,” Brophy said. “It is better to lose to Notre Dame over the weekend rather than in the Big East tournament. … We were able to realize that we are the bigger team in the big picture.”
The team faces a short turnaround from their trip to South Bend and will play Maryland, the defending national champions today. The Terps come to the Hilltop with an undefeated 17-0 record. They won convincingly against the North Carolina Tar Heels in their most recent game to take home their third consecutive ACC tournament title.
But the Hoyas are not intimidated by the Terps’ impressive resume.
“Something that Maryland is really good at … is capitalizing on other team’s mistakes,” Brophy said. “We’ve incorporated different strategies after Notre Dame to minimize mistakes and really look to possess the ball.”
Head coach Ricky Fried agrees that the loss has taught the Hoyas some important lessons.
“I think the biggest thing is, you have to show up and play with a purpose for the entire 60 minutes,” he said. “We need to be focused the entire time, play with a lot of energy, and play with a consistent purpose.”
Given the Terps’ No. 1 ranking, a victory for Georgetown could have major consequences for postseason seeding.
“If we win [this] game, it will put us in a good position for an at-large [bid] as opposed to having to win the Big East Tournament,” Fried said. “They are very fast, they are very athletic, so we will have to shorten the game by possessing the ball for a lot of the time.”
The end of the regular season marks the beginning of the Big East Tournament, a competition Georgetown has dominated in recent years. Nevertheless, Brophy thinks that this season’s tournament will be different from previous years because many teams are talented and will be eager to secure an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament.
“What’s different from this season to last is that it doesn’t really matter what seed you are going into the tournament because you are going to have to battle,” she said.
Fellow senior captain Jordy Kirr said she is excited to play in her final tournament with the Hoyas.
“We win the Big East tournament pretty much every year,” she said. “We are really excited to have it here and we’re coming in with a lot of confidence.”
But the Hoyas know they will first have to take care of business and finish their regular season with a determined and focused approach, making sure not to get ahead of themselves.
“We are taking it one game at a time,” Kirr said.