January 28, 2014

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#LMRanks: No. 10 Georgetown Hoyas (WD1)

by Laurel Pfahler | LaxMagazine.com| Twitter

Goalie Barb Black could be a key for Georgetown after a solid fall. (TD Paulius)

Vitals

2013 Record: 13-6 (6-2 Big East)
Coach: Ricky Fried (10th year)
Record at Georgetown: 106-58

Power Ratings

Offense: 3
Defense: 4
Goalkeeping: 3
Draw Control: 4

Top Returner

A Caroline Tarzian (Jr.)
A third team All-American last year, Tarzian is a tough one-on-one matchup for opponents, as she excels at dodging defenders. She led the Hoyas with 36 goals and 50 points last year but also is a threat feeding the ball. Tarzian, who joined Team USA in 2012, brings some added confidence to Ricky Fried's system and better familiarity and knowledge that should benefit the Hoyas in her junior season.

X-Factor

GK Barb Black (Sr.)
Black ranked 34th nationally for her 9.99 goals against average last season, but only 86th in save percentage (3.50). With some added competition from freshman Maddy Fisher, she stepped up her game this fall and could be ready for a breakout season.

"She is steady and consistent," Fried said. "I think she's going to get pushed a little more this year, which I think is going to be a real positive for us because competition brings out the best in people. She had a great fall, her best fall so far, so she'll be coming in with a lot of confidence and we're looking for a great year from her. If she plays well, we will have a great chance to go far."

What's New?

Although Loyola remains on the schedule, the changes in the Big East stripped Georgetown of games against traditional rivals Syracuse and Notre Dame, but that should help the Hoyas' chances of winning their first title since 2010. Syracuse, Loyola and Notre Dame were a combined 19-5 in the Big East last year. Temple and Marquette join the conference in their place, which is now down to eight teams.

Telling Number

43.5
The Hoyas shooting percentage is something they would like to see improved this season. In 2013, they averaged almost eight more shots per game than their opponent but had lower percentages in overall shooting, shots-on-goal and free positions.

Enemy Lines

What Rival Coaches Say

"Solid 2013 performance in Big East and NCAA Tournament. Tarzian and Freedman lead the Hoyas into a competitive 2014 Big East Conference."

"After winning a gold medal, Fried has this team believing their ride. "

"Ricky Fried is a very good coach, but hasn't always had the personnel to get the job done. Lauren Schwalje should shoulder the offensive load if she can avoid the sophomore slump. They have a good ball-control strategy that can wear opposing defenses down."

"Another former Big East powerhouse is looking to take it to the finals this season. Head coach Ricky Fried has a stacked squad led by a big senior class."

"Have a lot of talent back and had a productive fall ball."

"Tons of depth keeps their middie lines rested and fast, and their high-pressure ride can give teams headaches."
"Ricky will have this team primed and ready to go."

"Strong returning players but a tough slate to get through, although this year it looks easier for them in league."
"Seems like the same team every year, but with Syracuse out of the Big East it could give them a chance to get the AQ."
"Scrappy, and they get a lot out of everyone."
"Talented and fast. If they can improve their shooting percentage, they could have a strong year."

"Very talented roster."

"They're ride is always very good. I think that will be a challenge because it's different than any team we play. You have to be composed. Turnovers are a key component. You have to be smart with it because it will play into their hands."

"I think they are a really well-coached team. We look at them as one of the best teams on our schedule. They are experienced; they have a lot of great seniors they are going to rely on. They are very tactical and disciplined, and I think they will go pretty far."

2013 Recap

In a Nutshell: After back-to-back 9-8 finishes, the Hoyas enjoyed their best season since 2010, matching that squad's 13-6 record with all six losses coming against ranked opponents. They were rewarded for their regular-season success with a sixth seed and first-round bye in the NCAA tournament, but Virginia upset them 10-8 in the second round.

High Point: Georgetown opened its season on a 9-2 run to match the previous two seasons' win totals by April 12 with a 13-7 decision over Marquette. Just before that game, the Hoyas had beaten No. 15 Loyola, 14-11, and during that early stretch they earned five other wins against ranked opponents.

Low Point: Georgetown was 1-3 in its last four games, including six- and seven-point losses to Syracuse in the regular-season finale and Big East final. The early exit in the NCAA tournament was a disappointment for a team that had such high hopes after obtaining the sixth seed in their return to the tournament after a two-year absence.

2014 Preview

Best Case: The Hoyas improve their shooting with the return of four of their top five scorers from last year, and the pressure defense is too much for opponents to overcome. Georgetown wins its first Big East championship since 2010 and advances beyond the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in more than five years.

Worst Case: The lack of experienced depth in the midfield proves to be too big of a weakness, as the Hoyas' defense creates plenty of turnovers but can't consistently transition it to the attack. They still win the Big East, but struggle in games against ranked opponents and make an early exit in the NCAA tournament.

Self-Examination— Ricky Fried on...

Caroline Tarzian: "She has always had the physical tools, but I think she has really developed her game stick-work wise. She's become a threat both feeding and dodging, which is really helpful. I think she's a tough one-on-one matchup for a lot of teams consistently."

Kelyn Freedman: "She's a super athlete. She's going to contribute on both ends of the field, she's taking the draws for us and she's really excelled at that, but I think the biggest thing for her is her athletic IQ and her indefinite understanding of what we're trying to do on both ends of the field. She's a great leader by example and one of the most fit players on our team."

Adrianne Devine: "She's probably our most consistent defender on-ball and off-ball. She's a smart player, anticipates well and communicates well and the thing we're looking for from her is staying focused and playing at the same level every day. She plays at a high level and is exceptional, so we are looking for good things from her."


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