WOMEN'S LACROSSE | GU Holds on Against Tigers
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 02:02
There were 13 minutes left on the clock, and the No. 15 Georgetown’s women’s lacrosse team (2-0, 0-0 Big East) had just seen a sizeable six-goal advantage cut in half in just two minutes.
Suddenly, for the first time all game, No. 17 Towson (0-2, 0-0 Colonial) appeared to have more energy than the Blue and Gray, with all the momentum going against a seemingly flustered Hoya squad.
Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried then called a timeout to gather his girls in the game’s critical moment. He decided to keep the message simple.
“The only thing I really told them was to take a big breath and smile,” Fried said. “It wasn’t about us having to do anything different than what we had done previously — it was about relaxing.”
As it turned out, that little bit of zen was all that Georgetown needed: The Hoyas scored on their next possession right out of the timeout and were able to comfortably hold off the Tigers from there for a 13-10 victory.
Junior midfielder Kelyn Freedman, who scored the crucial goal, credited her success to the playcalling and her teammates’ work in setting her up.
“We drew up one of our plays that we go to,” Freedman said. “[Junior midfielder] Hannah [Franklin] had a great pass on it and the whole offense executed it really well.”
The game was a tale of two halves at MultiSport Facility, the first of which was dominated by the Hoyas, as the hosts controlled possession, pace and the scoreboard in the opening frame.
The Blue and Gray went into the locker room up 9-4, thanks in part to sophomore attack Caroline Tarzian, who scored all of her five goals before intermission.
After the game, Tarzian echoed Freedman’s comments in deflecting praise from herself and pointing it toward her teammates.
“I think our offense moved really well as a whole,” she said. “Most of our goals either came from assists or we were wide open.”
The second half lacked the flow of the first and quickly turned into a messy contest that was at times hard to watch. On a wet and cold field, players failed to complete simple passes and catches and often slipped while in stride.
In a defensive struggle, it took the Tigers over 15 minutes to net their first goal out of the locker room.
The game then started to get out of hand partway through the second half, as multiple yellow cards were issued to both sides. While Towson bore the brunt of the referee’s disapproval, Freedman said the Hoyas were expecting such a brutal grind of a matchup based on the tape they had studied of the Tigers.
“We knew coming into it [that] it was going to be physical,” Freedman said. “I think it got a little out of control at times — there were a lot of fouls called, and we needed to break down our feet and fix that.”
Though the Tigers struggled to find the back of the net, they were kept in the game by sophomore goalkeeper Kelsea Donnelly, who made 11 saves on the day. Donnelly’s effort in the cage was still not enough, though, as Georgetown regained control after Towson’s surge midway through the second half.
The only other time the outcome became uncertain was late in the second half when Towson went on another run, scoring two straight goals to once again cut the margin to three with just over four minutes left on the clock.
This time, the Blue and Gray did not need a timeout to regain their composure, as they calmly controlled possession without any threat until the clock struck all zeroes.
After the convincing win over the ranked Tigers, Fried expressed his belief that the win would forge confidence in his team and be a sign of things to come.
“Today was a momentum builder for us,” Fried said. “This wasn’t a make-or-break game with the second game of the season, but I think beating a quality opponent on our field and the way we beat them says a lot about where we are right now as a team. If we can continue to build, it will bode well for us in the future.”
The Blue and Gray are home once again for their next game against Princeton at 4 p.m. Friday.