March 1, 2013

Georgetown 'D' Steps Up to Hold Down Princeton

by Clare Lochary | | Live Blog Replay

Dina Jackson led Georgetown with three goals, but it was the Hoyas defense that allowed them to cruise to a 11-6 win over Princeton on Friday.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Georgetown knew it had to tighten up its defense to compete nationally in 2013. Based on the Hoyas' 11-6 defeat of Princeton, the D on the Hilltop looks pretty tenacious.

"It's really difficult to stop people in women's lacrosse, because of the nature of the game. So we understand what we want to take, and how we want to defend them, instead of just being physical or bodying up," Hoys coach Ricky Fried said.

Coming off a pair of narrow wins against Delaware and Towson, Georgetown clamped down on the Tigers, holding them to just two goals on eight shots in the first half and allowing the offense to cruise to a 7-2 lead at the break. By pressing Princeton far outside the arc and forcing attackers to their weak hands, the Hoyas limited the Tigers' quality looks and never allowed their opponents to find any kind of offensive rhythm. Senior goalie Barb Black had seven saves in the win, and was 15-for-16 on clears.

"We're in a controlled defense, and then we have a trigger for when to pressure them," Georgetown junior defender MJ Coyle said. "Something that we really worked on this week is our confidence because we have a really tight unit. We're a smart defense, we're athletic, and we have really good stick skills, too. So we're a pretty good bunch."

Senior defender Ashley Hunter led the team with three ground balls, and contributed a caused turnover.

"We're working on our 1-v-1s too, so when our 1-v-1s are down we send the double team, and that's when we get the caused turnovers," Hunter said.

Offensively, senior attackers Dina Jackson (3g) and Rosie Corcoran (2g) led Georgetown. A combination of good ball movement and a flurry of Princeton fouls (32) in the 8-meter arc gave the Hoyas plenty of chances to score, despite a valiant effort by Tigers freshman defender Liz Bannantine (4 GB, 6 CT) and senior goalie Annie Woehling, who had seven saves and two caused turnovers.

While Princeton's offense looked sharper the second half, and made better use of sophomore attacker Erin McMunn (2g), the Tigers never hit their stride. They never managed any runs, or found any kind of passing chemistry. None of Princeton's goals were assisted.

"In the first half, we didn't get a lot of looks on offense. Our shot selection was pretty poor. Second half, we got it together and got a few opportunities, but we were pretty disappointed in our level of competition overall," Princeton coach Chris Sailer said. "Georgetown came out hard, and we sat back."

Georgetown next travels to Stanford on March 5. The Cardinal averaged 14 goals per game in its first two games, but Fried is confident the Hoyas' system can work against any opponent.

"Our biggest thing is we want to make sure we're giving up the shots that we want to give up. Princeton's a dominant hand team, so we wanted to take away that and force them to go left-handed," Fried said. "They score a couple of left-handed goals, but we're willing to sacrifice that for the overall point of the game."

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