THE RUNDOWN: Sports Stories for March 22

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CLAIRE SOISSON/THE HOYA

Women’s Basketball Commentary

Last year, the Georgetown women’s basketball team (16-14, 9-9 Big East) only won four games, finishing with a disappointing 4-27 record in Head Coach Natasha Adair’s inaugural season. This year, it took the Hoyas less than a month to surpass their win total from last season. Georgetown was victorious in five of its first six games — a fitting start to a season that would see the Hoyas repeatedly exceed expectations.

Georgetown opened the season with a 7-3 record in nonconference play, which included two victories in Burlington, Vt., on the way to claiming the TD Bank Classic Championship in a decisive 22-point win over St. Francis Brooklyn (7-22, 4-14 NEC). In the previous season, Georgetown had gone just 2-10 in nonconference play — a discouraging start to a year that contained a nine-game losing streak.

Georgetown began its Big East schedule this season riding the momentum of a convincing 82-46 victory against Towson (7-24, 3-15 CAA). However, the Hoyas were unable to convert that momentum into early conference wins. In its first eight games, Georgetown was able to beat only Creighton (17-18, 8-10 Big East) and Providence (5-24, 1-17 Big East) — leaving the team with a 2-6 Big East record that put it near the bottom of the conference standings.

STANLEY DAI/THE HOYA

STANLEY DAI/THE HOYA

Men’s Lacrosse

The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (1-6) slipped into its second three-game skid of the season after falling to No. 11 Duke (6-3) in a 20-6 decision Saturday. The Blue Devils built up several unanswered scoring runs during the game — including a four-goal streak from the beginning of the first quarter — that proved insurmountable for the Hoyas, who struggled to maintain possession of the ball for long stretches of the game.

The Blue Devils were extremely efficient on offense; though they took just as many shots during the game as the Hoyas, they finished on nearly two-thirds of their attempts for a staggering 20 goals. Duke also created more possession opportunities at the faceoff X — Duke junior midfielder Kyle Rowe went 19-of-23 in faceoffs, and the Blue Devils won 21-of-28 total.

Georgetown, by contrast, struggled to find any sort of momentum throughout the game. The Hoyas finished out the first half with just two goals, compared to the Blue Devils’ 13.

STANLEY DAI/THE HOYA

STANLEY DAI/THE HOYA

Women’s Lacrosse

The Georgetown women’s lacrosse team (2-6) fell to No. 19 Johns Hopkins (7-2) in a 10-4 finish on Saturday. This marked the 12th consecutive and 18th overall matchup between the two teams, which are tied with nine wins apiece. As one of the final games in the nonconference stretch of the Hoyas’ season, this contest provided an opportunity for the Hoyas to prepare for upcoming conference play.

Heading into the matchup, both Georgetown and Johns Hopkins were coming off road victories, against George Mason (3-2) and Vanderbilt (4-4), respectively. In the two days of preparation prior to this matchup, the Hoyas focused on increasing their overall competitiveness in order to take on a team as strong as the Blue Jays.

Tennis

After competing in a host of matches in Southern California over spring break, the Georgetown men’s and women’s tennis teams returned to both nonconference and conference play. The men’s squad (5-6, 1-1 Big East) downed both George Mason (5-8, 0-3 Atlantic 10) and Xavier (7-3, 0-1 Big East), while the women’s team (7-4, 0-3 Big East) also beat George Mason (3-11, 0-5 Atlantic 10) but fell to No. 70 Xavier (9-4, 1-0 Big East).

“These guys are growing up,” Head Coach Gordie Ernst said of the men’s team’s recent successes. “I’m watching them now and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is a different team from three months ago.’”

Softball

The Georgetown softball team (5-18) played in the George Mason Cherry Blossom Classic in Fairfax, Va., this weekend, losing to Cornell (0-8) and Canisius (4-16). The Hoyas went into this weekend’s doubleheader with a record of 5-16, after a tough series of matchups at the Arizona State Louisville Slugger Invitational.

The Hoyas played two games at the Cherry Blossom Classic; the first was a 4-1 loss to Canisius, the second was a 6-5 loss to Cornell. The three games that were supposed to follow these contests were either postponed or cancelled. In Georgetown’s first game of the tournament against Canisius, the Hoyas started off strong, scoring a run in the second inning. Georgetown junior catcher Gabriela Elvina walked on her first at bat. After a single from junior infielder Alessandra Gargicevich-Almeida, Elvina scored the first run of the game to give Georgetown the 1-0 lead.

Baseball

After a dramatic walk-off win Thursday, the Georgetown baseball team (10-10) dropped the next three games of a four-game series to Princeton (5-7) this past weekend.

Georgetown won the first game 4-3 in 10 innings, largely to the credit of sophomore shortstop Chase Bushor. Bushor clinched the victory for the Hoyas with a game-winning RBI single in the 10th inning. With a pitch count of 2-2, Bushor hit a fastball into right-center-field to drive in the winning run.

“I just wanted to win the game, honestly,” Bushor said. “I was happy to come out with a win there.”

More Than a Game

Each year, March Madness captivates the attention of an entire nation. Whether Cinderella 15 seeds like Middle Tennessee State (25-10, 13-5 Conference USA) shock fans by upsetting a tournament favorite, Michigan State (29-6, 13-5 Big 10), or Ivy League champions Yale (23-7, 13-1 Ivy League) knock off Baylor (22-12, 10-8 Big 12), people always pay attention to the NCAA tournament. After just two days, there were no perfect brackets left on ESPN, and many fans saw some of their projected Final Four teams fall out of the tournament. While big-name teams draw attention to March Madness, it is often the small-conference or lesser-known teams and their paths to the tournament that provide the most riveting story lines.

The Beautiful Game

There are just eight weeks’ worth of games left in this chaotic season and still the Premier League shows no signs of returning to normalcy. Leicester City is five points clear on top of the table. Tottenham Hotspur, which has not won the league since 1962, is in second place and looks as though it will be the only team capable of knocking the Foxes off the top spot. Arsenal is currently in its usual third place and playing decently, although it has an 11-point difference to make up. Manchester City is in fourth, an incredible 15 points out of first place, and faces stiff competition from West Ham United and Manchester United for the precious final Champions League spot. With less than two months to go in this wonderful season, I would like to spend this week predicting the top four teams based off the current standings.

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