WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University women's lacrosse squad will open the 2017 season on Saturday against the University of Delaware Blue Hens at Delaware Stadium. The opening draw is scheduled for 1 p.m., at Delaware Stadium. Live stats and a free webcast will be available through www.GUHoyas.com.
Georgetown returns 19 letterwinners from a season ago. The Hoyas finished the 2016 season with a mark of 6-11 overall and 4-3 in conference play, which earned a BIG EAST Championship berth. The squad graduated eight seniors and one graduate student, but returns two of its top three scorers in 2017.
Sophomore midfielder Francesca Whitehurst (Baltimore, Md./Roland Park Country School) was named Inside Lacrosse Preseason Third Team All-American earlier this season.
Whitehurst earned a spot on the All-BIG EAST Second Team last season in her rookie campaign. She tied for the squad lead in scoring with 34 points on 23 goals and 11 assists, and was 2-for-5 on free position shots. The midfielder was also ranked third on the squad in draw controls with 19 as well as posting 19 ground balls and six caused turnovers.
Whitehurst was named the BIG EAST Freshman of the Week on March 1, and was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on April 26. She also earned GU’s Sheehan Stanwick Rookie of the Year award.
Also returning to lead the offense is sophomore Taylor Gebhardt (Baldwinsville, N.Y./C.W. Baker) who tied Whitehurst with 34 points on 24 goals and 10 assists a season ago. In goal, senior Maddy Fisher (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) returns for her season season after starting in the cage for the past three years.
Seniors Jenny Schwalje (Setauket, N.Y./St. Anthony's), Kate Snouffer (Baltimore, Md./Bryn Mawr School) and Fisher as well as junior Sarah Cheney (Loudonville, N.Y./Shaker) were selected to lead the squad in 2017 as captains.
The BIG EAST coaches picked the Blue & Gray to finish third in the conference's preseason poll. Additionally, Whitehurst was a Preseason All-BIG EAST selection.
A squad that went 11-6 overall and 3-3 in CAA play last year, Delaware returns 16 letterwinners and five starters while adding 10 newcomers. UD was predicted to finished fourth in the CAA Preseason Poll, and seniors Coley Ricci and Jamie Schwartz were picked as All-CAA Preseason Honorable Mention selections.
Last year, Georgetown fell to Delaware, 10-6, at home in the season opener. Morgan Rubin and Corinne Etchison posted two goals apiece in the loss. The Hoyas are 3-2 all-time against the Blue Hens with all five of those meetings serving as the season opener. GU is 22-18 in its first game of the campaign.