#LMranks: No. 14 Georgetown Hoyas (Women)
|Senior midfielder Sophia Thomas
is coming off another strong season as the Hoyas' leading
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Lacrosse Magazine is counting down its preseason rankings throughout the month of January exclusively on LaxMagazine.com.
Today continues a look at our NCAA Division I Top 20 rankings. For more, visit LaxMagazine.com/LMranks. Follow @LacrosseMag on Twitter and Tweet using the hashtag #LMranks. The countdown will resume Wednesday with profiles of the 13th-ranked teams in NCAA Division I men and women.
Draw Control: 3
* Out of 5
M Sophia Thomas (Sr.)
The 2011 Big East Midfielder of the Year is coming off another banner season in which she led the Hoyas in goals (38) and converted nearly 49 percent of her shots. She was a first-team All-Big East pick. The Maryvale Prep (Md.) product boasted an all-around game that fits in well with Georgetown's riding defense.
Assistant coach Meg Dentler
Dentler, a former CAA Player of the Year at George Mason, will give more attention to the goaltending position, which includes junior starter Barb Black and backup Abby Bisbee. The Hoyas will need to make dramatic improvement in that area, and Dentler has the confidence of head coach Ricky Fried to get the job done.
Having new assistants Dentler and Lauren Morton in the fold gives the Hoyas an infusion of new blood on the sideline. "They bring a fresh perspective and start with a clean slate," Fried says. "The lacrosse piece won't change, but the energy level will."
Fried's signature get-after-it defense that emphasizes riding and gumming up enemy transition. The Hoyas will run two complete midfield units to attempt to keep rivals out of breath and, ideally, out of scoring range.
#LMranks WD1 Preseason Countdown
Record: 9-8 (5-3 Big East)
In a Nutshell: When Georgetown lost to Syracuse, 7-6, in the Big East tournament semifinals, the Hoyas season was over. It was their eighth loss, all to teams that were nationally-ranked during the 2012 season: Florida, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Maryland. Ultimately, the Hoyas defense let them down. The unit allowed 11 goals per game in 2012, which was tied for 41st among Division I programs.
High Point: A 9-8 home win over North Carolina on March 17. The Tar Heels were ranked second in the country at the time, and Georgetown won in comeback fashion, trailing 8-5 with 14 minutes to go. Thomas scored the go-ahead goal with 2:42 left.
Low Point: A 22-11 loss to Syracuse on April 14 at the Carrier Dome. Again a matchup against the nation's second-ranked team, but this one did not go as well as the game with North Carolina. Georgetown allowed the most goals it had all season and was outshot 32-20. "It's a disappointing loss, but give Syracuse credit for executing better than we did," Fried said afterward.
Best Case: Georgetown's veteran midfielders and transition defense helps the Hoyas right the ship in 2013. Ashley Hunter has a breakout year on defense, and if a pair of new defensive starters, Casey McGowan and MJ Coyle, match expectations set by Fried, then the Hoyas have a chance of becoming a top-10 fixture. Black stands strong in cage and if she falters, Bisbee, who had a strong fall, is there to pick up the slack. They're a Big East threat late in the season.
Worst Case: The Hoyas have a season similar to last year, with the Hoyas facing must-win situations in the Big East tournament to qualify for NCAAs
Coach Ricky Fried's comments on...
D Ashley Hunter (Sr.)
"A great 1-v-1 defender. We're looking for a breakout year that will make Ashley a top defender."
M Kelsi Bozel (Sr.)
"Three-year consistent performer. Excellent at both dishing and penetrating."
A Dina Jackson (Sr.)
"Developed a great deal of confidence last year. Great at attacking the goal and distributing the ball."
Rival Coaches Say
"Always a team you have to worry about. They have a deep bench and are always reloading with some of the top recruits in the nation. Georgetown's success may rely on finding a solution at the goalie position and staying healthy, especially through the midfield. They play a very deliberate structured game, which seems to do its job of disrupting the flow of a lot of opposition. They always have a tough ride and defense that is effective at creating chaos."