Women’s Basketball Season Comes to an End
Friars Fall to Georgetown University in First Round of Big East Tournament
Liam Tormey ’22
The Friars women’s basketball season came to an end on March 4 after a 68-55 defeat to Georgetown University in the opening round of the Big East Women’s Tournament.
After being down by one at halftime, the Hoyas jumped out to a 22-0 run in the third quarter. The Friars were unable to bounce back, and their season was over.
Emily Archibald ’25 scored a career-high 21 points in the contest, shooting 7-9 from the floor and 6-8 from three-point territory. Janai Crooms ’23 added 18 points, five rebounds, five assists, two steals, and one block for the Friars, but the Hoyas were able to hold on.
The Friars finished the season 11-19, 6-14 in Big East play, and ended the year on a five-game losing streak. They were 6-11 at Alumni Hall and 5-7 away from home.
Crooms completed her first year for the Friars after transferring to her home state from Michigan State University. She averaged 13.8 points with an average of 34.7 minutes per game in her first year as a Friar. Crooms also recorded six double-doubles – a team-best – and was the only player in the Big East ranked inside the top-15 in scoring and also ranked inside the top-10 in rebounding, assists, blocked shots, offensive rebounds, and defensive rebounds.
The Cranston, Rhode Island native, who is the first female to have her number retired at St. Andrew’s School, shot 43.6 percent from the field and 38.6 percent from behind the three-point arc. Along with Kylee Sheppard ’25, Crooms was awarded All-Big East Honorable Mention accolades.
Sheppard was a unanimous selection to the Big East All-Freshman Team. She only played in 19 games and started in 18 of them after missing 10 games in the beginning of her rookie season due to injuries. By the end of the year, Sheppard finished third in the team in scoring with 9.6 points per game 2.1 assists per game while second in steals averaging 1.6.
Alyssa Geary ’22 and Mary Baskerville ’22 both completed their senior season for the Friars. Geary started in all 30 games, averaging 26.4 minutes per game and 9.5 points per game. The senior shot 37.7 percent from the field while adding 4.2 rebounds a game.
Per her instagram, Geary will be using her extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 and transferring to Indiana University. She played 118 games for the Friars, a total of 2655 minutes and 854 points.
Baskerville played in 23 of the Friars’ 30 games this season. She averaged 19.0 minutes per game and finished the year averaging 7.0 points and 5.5 rebounds. There is no word yet on the future of Baskerville and what she will plan to do with the extra year of eligibility.
Next year, with the return of Crooms and an entire year of Sheppard in the lineup, the Friars will have potential. They will need to make up for size with Geary leaving, but a young team under the leadership of Jim Crowley will continue to grow in the 2022-23 season.
PCI: Who Will Win the Men’s NCAA Soccer National Championship
The University of Virginia
The University of Virginia Cavaliers this year alone have won NCAA Championships in men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse. To end 2019, they will also take home more championship hardware in men’s soccer.
The Cavaliers ended the regular season ranked No. 2 in the country, and defeated the No. 1 team in the country, Clemson University, to take home the Atlantic Coast Conference Championship. The Cavaliers finished the regular season with a 17-1-1 record and won their first ACC Championship since 2009. This is a unique feat for a Cavalier team that has a deep tradition of winning. The Cavaliers have now made the NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer Tournament, also known as the College Cup, 39 years straight and have won seven times. Their most recent victory came in 2014. At the helm of this storied program is George Gelnovatch, who has been in Charlottesville since 1996 when he took over for Bruce Arena. Virginia won the College Cup in 2009, which was the last time they won the ACC. The last time they won 17 or more games was also back in 2009. So, it begs the question, could history repeat itself?
The main reason why the Cavaliers are destined to capture their eighth championship in program history is because of their Rating Percentage Index. The Cavaliers are No. 1 in RPI this year, which takes into account strength of schedule and other external factors. Virginia has capitalized on these opportunities so far this season. They are 8-0 against teams ranked inside the top 25, including a perfect 4-0 mark against teams inside the top 10. They have also knocked off the No. 1 team in the country twice in Clemson and University of Maryland. They hold impressive wins such as No. 2 Duke University, No. 21 Notre Dame University, No. 18 James Madison University and No. 7 Wake Forest University.
The Cavaliers also faced some adversity in the ACC Championship game. They trailed 1-0 at half and scored three goals in the second half to seal the deal. This past game was only the second time all season that Virginia had trailed at the break.
The Cavaliers were bounced in the third round of the NCAA Tournament last year by the University of Notre Dame. This year will be different. This Cavaliers team is most experienced and holds a school record of players who received All-ACC Honors with seven.
The team also recorded 14 clean sheets this year. Six of those clean sheets came against top 25 ranked teams as well, which could prove beneficial down the stretch in the NCAA Tournament. Out of all the teams to make the NCAA Tournament, the University of Virginia has the best chance to bring home another trophy to Charlottesville.
– Thomas Zinzarella ’21
There are a number of teams heading into the NCAA men’s soccer tournament with the goal to win it all. Because there will only be one team holding the trophy high in just a couple of weeks, I am going with the Big East champions from Georgetown University as my pick for the winners of the NCAA tournament.
To back my pick up, let’s first look at Georgetown’s successful season. The team finished overall with a 15-1-3 record, resulting in a .868 winning percentage. In conference play alone, Georgetown went 7-0-2, finishing with a .889 winning percentage. In the Big East tournament just this past week, the Hoyas defeated tough teams from Butler and Providence College.
In the final match-up against the PC Friars, Georgetown was originally down 1-0 after the first half. Jacob Montes changed the pace of the game by battling hard in the penalty box and drawing a foul. Dante Polvara finished the job by finding the back of the net with the penalty kick. After that, the gates opened up and Georgetown scored another two unanswered goals before the final buzzer. This marks Georgetown’s third consecutive Big East Championship title, the only school to do so besides St. John’s University and Seton Hall University.
First, you have to acknowledge the depth of the talent throughout this year’s roster. Throughout the Big East tournament there were several players for Georgetown that stood out. Three of the Big East awards were given to Georgetown players, Montes, Dylan Nealis, and Giannis Nikopolidis. Showing their strength throughout the field, the players were rewarded for the midfield, defense, and goalie positions.
Now the Hoyas have earned their tenth NCAA tournament bid, this time as the No. 3 seed. Experience helps any team play at their best level, and the Hoyas are no strangers to the pressure of the national tournament. The team has gone as far as the finals once, quarterfinals twice, and the Round of 16, six different times. Their No. 3 seed this year ties the highest rank Georgetown has received since their runner-up performance in 2012.
It definitely will not be an easy road trip to the championship, first the Hoyas will face the winner of the Univesity of Pittsburg versus Lehigh University game on Nov. 24. Their biggest competition, however, might be University of Virginia who was assigned the No. 1 seed for the tournament. Virginia also clinched their conference title by defeating Clemson University, 3–1, a very similar game to the Georgetown/PC game. Although the regular season and conference play helps teams prepare, it all comes down to how each team shows up to play in the upcoming weeks. I believe Georgetown is ready to finally clinch the NCAA championship title.
– Eileen Flynn ’20