RALEIGH, N.C. - The Georgetown University women's lacrosse team put together a valiant second-half comeback, but fell to the Virginia Tech Hokies (14-6), 13-10, in the first round of the NCAA Championship on Friday afternoon at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Raleigh, N.C. With the loss, the Hoyas end the 2018 campaign with a record of 12-7 overall.
“In the second half we played with a little more confidence, with nosing to lose,” said Georgetown Head Coach Ricky Fried. “In the first half we showed that we hadn’t been here in a while, in fact none of our players have been here, and in the second half we showed a little more resilience and more fight.”
Junior attacker Taylor Gebhardt (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) led the way with three goals and two assists, while junior attacker Morgan Ryan (Maplewood, N.J./Oak Knoll School) and freshman midfielder Caroline Frock (Westminster, Md./Westminster) managed two goals apiece. Sophomore attacker Michaela Bruno (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City) rounded out the top scorers with one goal and two assists on the afternoon.
The Hoyas outshot the Hokies, 29-28, but pulled in 12 draw controls to Tech’s 13. In the cage, junior Haelle Chomoe (Naples, Fla./Barron Collier) took the loss with six saves, while sophomore Micheline DiNardo (Rye, N.Y./Rye) managed four stops in the game.
Ryan opened the scoring less than a minute into the contest as Bruno fed Ryan on the left side to make it 1-0. On the other end of the field, Chomo managed the save as the Hoyas were firing on all cylinders. Following a Hokie yellow card, Gebhardt found Frock in the middle of the field and the freshman fired to score the man-up goal for the Blue & Gray.
The momentum was short lived, as the Hokies answered with five-consecutive goals to make the score 5-2 in favor of Virginia Tech. The Hoyas stopped the run with a goal from Gebhardt with 11:11 remaining in the first half.
Virginia Tech came right back with another on the next possession, and then added three more including one in the final 30 seconds of the half to make it 9-3 at the break.
The Hokies opened the second half with a free position goal, but senior midfielder Hannah Seibel (Hanover, N.H./Hanover) managed a tough shot at 25:38 to make it 10-4. The squads traded goals as Ryan managed her second of the contest on the assist from Bruno which sparked a 4-0 run for the Blue & Gray as GU mounted a comeback.
A free position goal from freshman midfielder Mary Pagano (Short Hills, N.J./Pingry School) continued the run, and Gebhardt then spun in the middle of the crease and fired to pull the Hoyas within four, 11-7, with 15:36 remaining. Sophomore midfielder Natalia Lynch (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown West) caused a turnover and streaked down the field finding Bruno wide open on the left side as she found the back of the cage making it a 4-0 run for the Blue & Gray.
Defense made the difference as the Hoyas caused turnovers and DiNardo made some big stops. GU held the Hokies scoreless for 13 minutes as Georgetown clawed its way back.
Virginia Tech ended the run at 9:14 and scored back-to-back goals making it 13-8.
Following another long run from Lynch, the ball came to Frock who found the back of the cage to make it 13-9 with 3:51 remaining in the game. Gebhardt fired in a laser on a free position as the Georgetown comeback continued, but it would not be enough as the Hoyas could not overcome the deficit falling 13-10.
This season marked Georgetown's 15th trip to the NCAA Tournament, and the first since 2014. The Blue & Gray finished the year with a record of 12-7 and earned a BIG EAST Championship berth as well. The Hoyas will lose five seniors to graduation, but returns its top five scorers in 2019.