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Sophomore attack Jordy Kirr

Georgetown’s women’s lacrosse team suffered its most disappointing loss on Saturday-falling, for the first time this season, to a lower-ranked team. Its only previous losses were against the nation’s two top-ranked teams. Playing in Chapel Hill, N.C., the No. 4 Hoyas (5-3) fell to the No. 6 Tar Heels (7-2), 12-7.

“We had a good start but got lethargic mentally,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said.

The Hoyas did not appear offset being the away team, coming out fiery. Just 19 seconds into the game, Georgetown got on the scoreboard. After getting possession off the opening draw, the Hoyas got the ball to sophomore attack Jordy Kirr who delivered it to junior midfielder Ashby Kaestner for the goal. The Tar Heels were still reeling from the Hoyas’ game-starting attack when, a minute later, junior attack Molly Ford teamed up with Kaestner for her second goal. Less than four minutes had gone by when Kirr capitalized to put the Hoyas up 3-0.

Unfortunately for the Blue and Gray, North Carolina did regain its footing after the initial Georgetown onslaught – and returned the favor. In a tumultuous minute and a half for the Hoyas, which ended at the 20-minute mark, the Tar Heels took their first three shots of the match and connected on all three to tie the score.

The Hoyas stopped the run there, however, and soon answered with one of their own when Ford linked up with Kirr for her second assist of the day and Kirr’s second goal. But Georgetown’s lead was brief.

After messy play in the middle of the field by both teams, the Tar Heels scrambled to emerge with possession and to piece together an attack to even the score at four-all. Turnovers proved detrimental to the Hoyas. Before the end of the half, the Tar Heels scored twice off of quick counterattacks following Hoya turnovers. Georgetown was able to mount an attack as the clock wound down, resulting in a point-blank shot with two seconds to go. But, the UNC goalkeeper made a big save to give her team a two-goal halftime lead.

As at the beginning of the match, the Hoyas came out blazing in the second half. Sophomore attack Jacqueline Giles scored in the first minute to put Georgetown back within one, 6-5. Then, although UNC marked her tightly all match, Kirr penetrated the Tar Heel defense once more to capture her third goal.

The score was not even for long, with UNC scoring at 19:03 and again less than three minutes later, to go up by two.

The Hoyas tightened the score again, when freshman midfielder Erin Lovett displayed an impressive spin move to cut to the net and score her second career goal, bringing the Hoyas back within one at 8-7. Lovett’s goal would be the last for the Hoyas, as they were not able to effectively get and keep possession in the final 10 minutes. The Tar Heels’ domination of draw controls throughout the game, especially in the last quarter, was crucial to their victory because of the advantage in possession. They tallied four more goals before the final whistle, to secure a 12-7 win.

The draw-control count was not the only statistical category in which Georgetown was outdone, but it was arguably the one that most impacted and hurt the team.

“We went through a span of 18 minutes without the ball in the first half,” Fried said, pointing out how hard it is to get possession of the ball without winning draw controls.

He also noted that although the final tally was 13 draw controls for UNC and eight for Georgetown, four of Georgetown’s occurred in the first five minutes of the match.

The Tar Heels ended the game with six more shots (24-18) and 21 fewer fouls committed – 13 as opposed to 34 for the Hoyas. The teams had an equal number of ground-ball wins and UNC actually finished with two more turnovers than Georgetown did. However, turnovers appeared to hurt the Hoyas more than their opponents.

“We would get a turnover and then turn it over ourselves . and a lot were in our defensive end and their attacking third,” Fried said. “They took advantage.”

Kirr led the Hoya offense with three goals and an assist. Kaestner followed with two goals and Ford was the day’s assist leader with two. Fried acknowledged that more widespread offensive production would be helpful.

“If more people are threats, it would be much harder on them to defend, than if they can focus on Jordy, Molly and Ashby,” he said.

Georgetown was hurt by UNC junior midfielder Megan Bosica, who ended the game with four goals and two assists. When asked how they chose to guard Bosica, Fried did not mince words.

“We didn’t have a plan for Bosica – the problem was we did a really bad job of one-on-one defense and also helping on defense,” he said.

Georgetown will be away again this weekend, traveling to South Bend, Ind. for its Big East opener against No. 10 Notre Dame (8-1) on Friday.

“It is a huge rivalry – and basically, the start of our second season,” said Fried. “We want to focus on playing our style. Even though the loss was disappointing, we are in a good place.”

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