By Sean Gormley Hoya Staff Writer

It took a little while, but once the Georgetown women’s lacrosse team got settled against Notre Dame, it cruised to its third consecutive dominating victory. Despite scoring only one goal in the first 13 minutes of play, the Hoyas turned it up a notch the rest of the way en route to a 14-4 victory over the Fighting Irish.

Senior middie Kristen Baer opened up the scoring just two minutes into the game on an unassisted drive, but no one on either team would find the net for the next 12 minutes. Both teams had opportunities during that span, but neither capitalized, allowing the outgunned Notre Dame squad to hang around with Georgetown longer than the Hoyas would have liked.

“I didn’t think we had a very good game today, especially in the first half. We played flat and struggled taking care of the ball,” Head Coach Kim Simons said.

“It’s always nice to get a win, but we did come out a little bit flat and could have picked it up,” junior All-American attack Sheehan Stanwick agreed. “We didn’t protect the ball well.”

After a score by senior attack Jordan Keating put Georgetown up 2-0, it was time for the Stanwick sisters to take over the game. Sheehan scored back-to-back goals, both on drives towards the crease in which she drove past hapless Irish defenders to find the back of the net, including a free position shot in which she delayed her shot and spun past a defender to find a wide-open net.

Her sister, freshman attack Wick, scored just over a minute later to widen the Georgetown lead to 5-0 and effectively end the game.

“[Wick and I have] played together for a long time, so I just know where she is and vice-versa,” Sheehan said.

Despite the Irish’s first score of the game late in the half, the Hoyas held a 5-1 advantage at the break and were in solid control despite less than spectacular play. The game quickly turned into a blowout, however, as Georgetown scored four unanswered goals in the first six minutes of the second half.

“We picked up in the second half and started to get ourselves going,” Simons said.

Sophomore All-American attack Erin Elbe got things going first, scoring two minutes into the half on a demoralizing play in which she drove straight in towards the crease. Despite being stripped of the ball by a Notre Dame defender, Elbe was able to scoop the ball off the ground and shoot it past the astounded Irish goalie, Tara Durkin.

Wick Stanwick followed with her second goal of the day and Baer added two more tallies to widen Georgetown’s lead to 9-1 and effectively end the game just a few minutes into the second half.

Two quick Notre Dame goals put little pressure on Georgetown, and Elbe added her second goal of the day while Sheehan Stanwick added another pair for a 12-3 lead with a few minutes remaining.

The transition game was one aspect of the game that made a difference for Georgetown, with the Hoyas winning 13 draws to only seven for the Irish, largely thanks to junior middie Sarah Oglesby. Superior stickhandling enabled Georgetown to recover 41 ground balls versus 27 for Notre Dame.

Another difference in the Hoyas’ easy victory against the Irish was the ability of the defense and rapidly improving junior goalie Bowen Holden to shut down Notre Dame despite some early lapses by the attack.

“We just had to go out there and execute and do what we needed to do to win,” Holden said.

“Bowen has been playing exceptionally well the last few games. I think she has really turned the corner. She is stepping up and making the saves she should be making,” Simons said. “I think the defense has improved the last couple of games. They have been stepping up. They’ve done a good job in transition and stopping the break.”

The defense is fourth in the nation in goals allowed per game, giving up only 6.11 per contest, while Holden was fifth in the nation in goals against at 6.94 per game prior to her solid performance in net against the Fighting Irish that will be sure to boost her numbers. Sheehan Stanwick’s four goals and five points raise her averages to 4.11 points and 3.11 goals per game, both good for top-20 in the nation.

Next up for the now-surging Hoyas are the Tar Heels of North Carolina, who take on Georgetown tomorrow at noon on Kehoe Field. The No. 6-ranked Hoyas will have their work cut out for them against the No. 5 Tar Heels, the team that Georgetown defeated in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament.

“North Carolina is one of the biggest games for our team, and its going to be another battle on Saturday. We need a win, they need a win – you name it. It’s going to be a battle,” Simons said. “I can guarantee our kids will get themselves together and be ready to play.”

Sheehan Stanwick agreed, seeing one key thing the Hoyas must do to win: “We have to come out here hard and want it. They are going to be out for revenge, because we beat them here last year in the tournament. We just have to play our game.”

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