VILLANOVA, Pa. - The second-seeded Georgetown University women’s lacrosse team saw its second-half comeback fall short, 9-8, against the third-seeded University of Denver Pioneers (14-3) in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship Thursday evening at Villanova Stadium. With the loss the Hoyas end the season with a mark of 9-9 on the year.
“Well the result wasn’t what we had hoped for, but as I said to them, what they’ll remember is the fight that they had for each other,” said Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried. “I’m tremendously proud of the effort and mentality that they played with, and while things didn’t bounce our way, I’m extremely proud of this team and where they’re headed and a lot of that has to do with the foundation we’ve built this year.”
Sophomore attacker Taylor Gebhardt (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) led the way with the hat trick, while sophomore attacker Morgan Ryan (Maplewood, N.J./Oak Knoll School) and freshman attacker Emily Ehle (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) had a goal and two assists apiece. Junior midfielder Hannah Seibel (Hanover, N.H./Hanover) also managed a goal and an assist.
The Hoyas outshot Denver, 24-21, and pulled in 12 draw controls to the Pioneers’ seven. Denver held advantages in saves (8-4) and turnovers (18-14).
The Pioneers struck first with back-to-back scores, however, at 23:14, Gebhardt came around the cage and fired high on the right side to pull the Blue & Gray within one. Denver answered back with two more goals to take a 4-1 lead.
At 13:35, Ehle tallied the free position goal to make it 4-2. It wasn’t enough as Denver managed two more before the end of the half to make it 6-2 at the break.
The Hoyas scored first in the second half as Ryan passed it from behind the goal and found Gebhardt who buried it to pull GU within three. Georgetown continued to keep possession and Gebhardt added another on the assist from Ehle as ball movement resulted in a two-goal game, 6-4.
Denver managed its first goal of the half at 17:18, but the Hoyas came roaring back as Ryan penetrated the defense and found the back of the cage to make it 7-5.
Georgetown continued to battle as Ryan found junior midfielder Georgia Tunney (Towson, Md./Notre Dame Prep) on the left side who scored to cut the lead to one, 7-6, and force a Denver timeout. The Hoya defense fended off shots, but with five minutes remaining in the game, a GU yellow card gave the Pioneers a man-up opportunity. Denver took advantage to make it 8-6 with 4:41 left.
The Blue & Gray had some goals left in them as Seibel fired a laser from the middle of the crease to make it 8-7 at 2:39. Just 28 seconds later, Ehle found senior attacker Kate Snouffer (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr School) in the middle again and she found the back of the cage to tie the game with 2:11 on the clock.
Denver pulled in the ensuing draw control and let the shot clock wind down. With the ball on the ground, it looked as though the Pioneers wouldn’t get the shot off, but Emily Conway squared up and fired to regain the lead as the shot clock expired.
Georgetown won the draw and called timeout to set up a final play looking to tie it back up. The team had a chance, but the last pass was mishandled and time expired as the comeback fell just short, 9-8.
Georgetown will lose four seniors to graduation, but returns its top six scorers in 2018.