Gavin, a graduate of St. Paul's School for Girls, and Kirr, a Bryn Mawr alumnus, competed throughout high school in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference and have become two of the most dominant attackers in the Big East. In Tuesday night's showdown between the league's only remaining unbeaten teams, Kirr's Hoyas edged the Greyhounds, 15-13, and took over sole possession of first place.
"She's my girl," Kirr said about Gavin. "Over Thanksgiving, we hang out. She's awesome. We get into it during the game, but it's all fun."
The No. 17 Hoyas (8-5 overall, 6-0 league) have beaten third-ranked Loyola (12-1, 4-1) three consecutive times dating to last season. The last time Georgetown defeated a team ranked in the top 10 was May 1, 2010, at No. 9 Syracuse, which gave the Hoyas the Big East regular-season championship. The Hoyas have won six consecutive games.
Gavin led Loyola with three goals, one assist and four draw controls, while Meg Decker (Mount de Sales) also had three goals. Kirr was one of five players for Georgetown with two goals. The Hoyas won 16 of 30 draws.
"It was a tough game between two tough Big East opponents," Loyola coach Jen Adams said. "Georgetown has been on a run, and I think coming off our break week, we were prepared. It was kind of a game of offense today, and hopefully we'll have the opportunity to see Georgetown again. I think our teams match up very well."
Georgetown led 9-8 at the half by controlling the draws and maintaining the majority of possessions. However, Taryn VanThof scored twice in the opening five minutes of the second half to give Loyola an 11-10 lead. Freshman Hannah Franklin (McDonogh) tied the score for Georgetown on a free position with 17:36 remaining.
The Hoyas took control on goals by Kelsi Bozel (Notre Dame Prep) and Jacqueline Giles (Mount Hebron) four minutes apart for a 13-11 lead with 12:26 left. Gavin's third goal pulled the Greyhounds within a goal one minute later, but Georgetown's Kathleen Dwyer answered with 5:14 remaining.
Franklin added an insurance goal with 3:34 left, and the Hoyas held on for the victory.
"It's always fun to play Georgetown because they're one of our biggest rivals," Gavin said. "Tonight, it just didn't work out in our favor. Coming up against [Kirr], she's a great player. Playing attack on opposite ends of the field, I can respect her as an opponent."
The Greyhounds opened a 3-1 advantage on a goal by Abby Rehfuss with 18:24 left in the first half. The Hoyas responded by scoring four consecutive goals, including one each by Mary Beth Brophy and Kirr in a span of 21 seconds, to take a 5-3 lead with 11:23 remaining. The Hoyas maintained the lead into halftime.
"I thought we responded very well today against a talented team," said Georgetown coach Ricky Fried, who graduated from UMBC. "I think we played a smart game on the offensive end of the field."