This past Saturday, the No. 14 Georgetown University women’s lacrosse team hosted a thrilling game against No. 4 UNC-Chapel Hill on Multi-Sport Field. The Hoyas, with a record of 3-3 (1-0 Big East), beat the Tar Heels 9-8, serving up their opponents’ first loss of the season.
Following a loss against No. 20 Johns Hopkins University, where the Blue Jays won 16-12, the Blue and Grey were looking for a win against a tough opponent. Head Coach Ricky Fried used that loss to create new strategies for his team.
“We obviously came off a big loss to Johns Hopkins, so the biggest thing that we tried to focus on was outplay and our confidence, and not to get too caught up in what we didn’t do but what we are capable of doing,” he said.
Going into the game, Fried felt confident in his team. “I [knew] we were able to play with them athletically,” he said. “It’s just a matter of whether we believe we can play with them.”
The Hoyas were able to use that confidence and outplay during the last 15 minutes of the game. While they were down 8-5, the women staged a huge four-goal comeback. Their defense put huge pressure on the Tar Heels that ultimately disabled them from using their offense.
The team’s success was due to individual players’ smaller efforts throughout the game, according to Fried.
“I think that as the game went on, even though we weren’t necessarily leading, we knew we could compete at that level,” he says. “Once that happened, I think the confidence level rose [as we were] consistently doing the little things instead of the big things, and letting [them] cumulatively set us up for success.”
After competing against four nationally-ranked teams in the top 20 lacrosse programs while maintaining a .500 record, Fried said he is proud of his team and their season thus far. “[The win against UNC] shows what we are capable of playing,” Fried said. The challenge now is to do that on a consistent basis, focusing on improving each game, making sure we pay attention to small details.”
The confidence from this win certainly helped the Hoyas as they travelled to No. 8 University of Pennsylvania (4-1) this Wednesday. Coach Fried knew that the Quakers would be a very competitive match for the Blue and Grey, but he is still hopeful for his team.
“I think [the win against UNC] gives us a bit of confidence going into [the UPenn] game,” said Fried before the game. “UPenn is a very good team who has historically been in the top 10. They are very deliberate and smart…While we don’t want to minimize our athleticism, we want to be very patient during the course of the game to execute our game plan and not get caught up in their game plan.”
Shortly after the interview, the Hoyas went out and upset the Quakers, 11-9, in Philadelphia. Junior Sophia Thomas scored six goals and freshman Caroline Tarzian chipped in one goal to go with three assists.
With the team’s victory Wendesday night, Fried was validated in asserting the team’s record so far shows its ability to play among the nation’s best.
“I think that…we are athletic and skilled enough to compete with anybody,” he said.