Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MEN’S LACROSSE | After 2 Losses, Harvard Provides Next Challenge

This Saturday, the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (2-2) will host Harvard (2-2) in Georgetown’s first home game since its season-opening win against Mount St. Mary’s.

Georgetown will be looking to utilize the home-field advantage after dropping two consecutive road games to Towson and Hofstra. Both games were decided by one goal and marked by long scoring droughts for the Hoyas that ultimately nulled their comeback efforts.

Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Warne hopes that the Hoyas can start to set the pace against their opponents, especially after observing the control that Towson and Hofstra established in the early stages of the two defeats.

“We just have to do a better job with our decision-making and be a little bit more poised,” Warne said. “We need to have more game sense to understand what the tempo is during the game.”

In anticipation of the game against Harvard, Warne called for his players to make some adjustments in order to have more success on offense and less strain on defense.

“If we’ve played defense for a while, let’s not rush [on offense],” Warne said. “Let’s take our time and give our defense a little bit of a break, and now we can attack and do what we need to do on the offensive end.”

Georgetown will play Harvard Saturday for the fifth time in program history. All five games have taken place in the last five seasons, with the Hoyas being undefeated against the Crimson at home. Last season’s matchup at Harvard was fairly even-paced with back-and-forth scoring from both teams; however, it ultimately resulted in an 8-6 loss for the Hoyas.

Harvard will take the field on Saturday currently winless on the road, which follows a predictable pattern. So far during Head Coach Chris Wojcik’s four-year tenure, he has notched a 10-2 record at home, but just a 24-24 overall record.

However, the attributes of Harvard’s 2014 roster do not necessarily parallel those of past seasons, and this year it could perform better away from home as a result. Last season, the Crimson had a young team and the ninth most difficult schedule in the country, ending the season with a 6-8 overall record and a 2-4 record in the Ivy League. However, the challenges of last year built the foundation for a team that will be a tough opponent this year.

For Harvard, the young and raw talent of the 2013 team will be replaced by more refined experience. For Georgetown, returning team leaders will be playing alongside new underclassmen that have already begun to build up stock as regular contributors.

Warne acknowledged that Harvard and Georgetown will both have team dynamics that are unique from those of previous seasons.

“I would say that we’re both good teams,” Warne said. “Obviously we’ll play to our strengths and Harvard will play to their strengths. It’s March, so you’re still trying to find your identity, and every team has a different identity every year.”

Although it is still quite early in the season for the Crimson, they have already displayed acumen on the offensive side of the field. Under the guidance of Wojcik, a coach with years of experience as an offensive coordinator for several esteemed lacrosse programs, the Crimson outshot all of their opponents this season. Harvard has strong leaders on both attack and midfield that work to establish a lead early in the game when given the opportunity. This gives Georgetown even more of an incentive to control the pace early on.

Warne cautioned that Harvard’s abbreviated preseason will not affect the intensity it brings to the field.

“Some people have the [impression] that because [teams in] the Ivy League start later for practice they’re behind,” Warne said. “But Harvard is really talented. They have a lot of good players … and they’ll be ready to go coming down here on Saturday.”

Although establishing game tempo is important, it is just part of Georgetown’s larger goal, which is demonstrating consistency. After playing in games that have been characterized by unanswered scoring runs from opponents and offensive incoherence, Warne wants to focus on fine-tuning the basics and decreasing unforced errors. He emphasized that taking care of fundamentals Saturday will move the Blue and Gray closer to achieving both their short-term and long-term goals.

“We’re going to make sure that we just stick to our plan: playing hard, playing tough and making the game really simple,” Warne said. “We’re going to concentrate on the little things, and when we do that, the consistency will come over the 60 minutes, and I think that will give us the best opportunity to win.”

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