WOMEN'S LACROSSE | No. 10 Hoyas Set for Season Opener
Published: Thursday, February 13, 2014
Updated: Thursday, February 13, 2014 23:02
The No. 10 Georgetown women’s lacrosse team will take on Delaware in its first game of the season Saturday at 1:00 pm on the MultiSport Field. The Hoyas went 13-6 last season and made an appearance in the Big East Championship game, finishing with a conference record of 6-2. Though the Blue and Gray lost five starters to graduation, seven will return this season to assist the team in pursuing a second straight appearance in the Big East championship.
Senior goalkeeper and co-captain Barb Black is a major returning player for the Hoyas. After leading Georgetown to an exceptional record last season with 96 saves and a .350 save percentage, Black is back for her final season on the Hilltop. The senior faced over 350 shots last year and is ready for the challenges that await her over the course of the season.
“[Black has] really stepped into that role, I think she’s matured a lot, obviously being a senior as opposed to a freshman,” Head Coach Ricky Fried said. “She really understands what we’re trying to do and how we’re trying to do it and has really kind of relished that role as a senior leader this year.”
The three other captains bring not only leadership, but also undeniable skill to the squad. Senior defender M.J. Coyle and senior midfielders Hannah Franklin and Kelyn Freedman are returning starters for the Hoyas and are prepared to lead the team by example. Last year, Freedman tallied 31 goals and 10 assists at midfield while Franklin added 25 goals and 10 assists. The dynamic duo will rely heavily on Coyle to control the defensive zone as well as Black to protect the net.
“I think the biggest thing is that [the captains] compliment each other very well,” Fried said. “They know when to chime in and balance each other out, which is very helpful for the coaches. The rest of the seniors have really stepped into that leadership role as well, while the captains are the face of the leadership. Everyone is filling that void.”
Though the Hoyas are currently ranked 10th in the country, the team is not worried about the polls. The rank does, however, put a target on Georgetown’s back, as teams always relish the chance to knock off a top-ranked squad, and Delaware will be looking to do just that Saturday.
The Blue Hens were competitive last season as they went 10-6, with a 4-3 record in the Colonial Athletic Association. While Delaware is currently unranked in the NCAA poll, it did receive votes and will likely make its way into the top 20 at some point this season. It will be the second straight year that Georgetown and Delaware kick off the season against each other. The Hoyas came out victorious last time with a 16-12 final score. The Blue Hens competed well last season and are likely to continue their success, even with the loss of four key starters.
“As always, at the end of preseason, everybody is ready to play someone else,” Fried said. “Our mentality is where it needs to be in the sense that we know we’re not as good as we’re going to be in a couple months.”
One Delaware player the Hoyas will have to watch out for this Saturday is junior midfielder Caitlin McCartney, who was recently named to the preseason all-CAA team. McCartney led the Blue Hens with 41 goals and 46 points last season. Not only is the captain skilled near the goal, but she also controls the draws. A 2.43 draw control percentage last season is just one of the junior’s many impressive statistics, which also include nine hat tricks, game-winning goals and more.
Georgetown will rely on its consistency to find success, according to Fried.
“I think one of the biggest strengths of this year’s team is we’ve been very consistent thus far. We have a lot of people who are inexperienced but have really stepped up to fill voids,” Fried said. “I think the biggest thing is our consistency and that there’s not a big drop off from the highest end to the lowest end this year, which I think has been different from past years.”
While the first few games of the season usually serve as a way to iron out any wrinkles the team may have, Georgetown hopes to get a quick start and begin its season with full force. With a strong combination of skill and leadership, the Hoyas feel that this year could be special.