FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Junior defender Adrianne Devine started all 19 games last season.
Junior defender Adrianne Devine started all 19 games last season.

The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team saw its fair share of ups and downs last season.

A disappointing finish to the 2014 season, which included a six-game losing streak, saw the Blue and Gray drop below their lofty No. 10 preseason rank. But the team bounced back and finished 6-1 in the Big East, good enough to earn a spot in the postseason conference tournament. An appearance in the Big East Championship game — and eventually an at-large berth in the NCAA national tournament — followed.

Through all the inconsistencies and challenges of the 2014 season, Georgetown remained a close-knit team. Head Coach Ricky Fried credits much of the team’s perseverance to strong upperclassman leadership.

“I think the biggest takeaway from the season was our seniors and how they kept the team together,” Fried said. “We had a six-game losing streak … and that can go in a lot of different ways, and our seniors kept everyone engaged, focused on the team and on themselves. I think at the end of the day that’s what led us to have the opportunity we had at the end of the year … because of their ability to keep the team together.”

Finishing a competitive season schedule with a second-place finish in the Big East, as well as a second consecutive NCAA tournament berth, was certainly no small feat. However, the program still has plenty of room to grow.

With the loss of nine graduating seniors from the last season and the 2015 season looming, Fried already sees his returning players stepping into leadership positions to create a new team dynamic.

“You can tell our current seniors learned a lot from last year’s seniors, as far as how to deal with the team, how to motivate the team [and] how to keep them engaged,” Fried said. “So I think that’s the biggest piece.”

Key leaders on the team will include senior attack Caroline Tarzian, who led the team with 47 points during the 2014 season, finishing with 29 goals and 18 assists. Senior defender Adrianne Devine also returns after tying for first on the team in ground balls with 33 and leading the team in caused turnovers with 39.

Additionally, Fried says that the freshmen have already begun to make an impact on the team’s performance and dynamic during practice.

“The seniors are going to lead the team at the end of the day, but they’re coming in with a good work ethic, a great mindset and [the freshmen are] really working hard to understand how we want to play the game,” Fried said.

Georgetown’s fall schedule, which includes games against Navy and Virginia this weekend, presents several opportunities for the team to adjust to its new leadership and new additions.

“Each team is different every year, so we don’t want to predetermine that, because we don’t know each other well enough yet,” Fried said. “We have a whole new leadership group. There [are] nine seniors, and there’s nine new freshmen, so there’s a lot of new personalities and skill sets. So that’s our challenge going into this fall … to have an idea of what our identity is going to be on the field, how we’re going to deal with each other, and who we’re going to be.”

This weekend presents the first opportunity for the team to play together in an actual game setting, which can reveal team chemistry in ways that a daily practice environment cannot.

Fried looks forward to this early chance to gauge the talent he has to work with. The fall games will not affect the team’s spring season or its eligibility for the postseason, so the coaching staff will be able to experiment with both personnel and tactics.

“As coaches, our goal is to make sure that everyone gets an opportunity to participate, because in the spring everybody doesn’t get [that] opportunity … so we’ve got to figure out what our strengths and weaknesses are, and how we can utilize the skill sets of all the players on our team,” Fried said.

Georgetown will host Navy on Friday and Virginia on Saturday. The following Sunday, Oct. 5, Georgetown will participate in Play for Parkinson’s, when it will face off against three NCAA tournament teams: Duke, Penn State and defending national champion Maryland.

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