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: GU Tops Mount in Second Half

Following Mount St. Mary’s 14-12 victory at No. 10 Lafayette – the school’s first win against a top-10 opponent – the Mount looked like it might duplicate the feat Wednesday against the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team at MultiSport Facility. But Georgetown (6-3) discovered its scoring touch late, scoring five of the game’s last six goals to squash the Mountaineers’ (5-3) upset hopes and secure an 11-6 victory.

“It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we’d like to. I think their goalie was part of that, but we had plenty of opportunities to get it behind him and just didn’t shoot it as well as we’d like.”

For a Hoya squad that has struggled all season to hold onto late leads, it was particularly encouraging that the Blue and Gray played its best lacrosse in the third and fourth quarters.

“[Closing strong] is something that we’ve been focusing on the last couple weeks,” senior attack Craig Dowd said. “A lot of games have slipped away from us, so that’s something we’ve been practicing in practice, going over some new plays . icing games out.”

Georgetown played well from the start, except the Hoyas could not find the back of the net. After junior Brian Tabb (57.8 percent on faceoffs for the season) won the opening draw, the Blue and Gray maintained possession and were all but lining up to shoot on Mountaineers’ goalie T.C. DiBartolo. After three minutes of possession, senior midfielder Andrew Brancaccio gave Georgetown an early advantage with a powerful shot from outside.

But it would be the only goal of the quarter, as for the next 15 minutes the Hoyas fired only blanks. Despite winning both faceoffs, picking up nine groundballs to Mount St. Mary’s one and outshooting the Mountaineers 14-5, Georgetown held only a 1-0 lead after the first.

Georgetown’s frustration only continued through the second quarter. At halftime the Hoyas had taken 26 shots to Mount St. Mary’s nine but had only a 3-1 advantage to show for it. Georgetown’s three goals in the opening two quarters marked its lowest first-half output of the season.

“It’s a matter of shooting the ball,” senior attack Rickey Mirabito said. “We thought in the first quarter we dominated; we thought we dominated the possession time. In the second quarter we dominated possession time, we were just taking decent shots, not great shots. In the second half we just concentrated on taking better shots and better shot locations.”

The result was a five-goal third quarter, despite several outstanding saves from DiBartolo. The Mountaineers’ junior goalkeeper denied one-on-one opportunities from both Dowd and freshman Brian Casey and kept his team in the game until the Hoyas finally found their footing in the third. Although still heavily outshot – registering six shots to Georgetown’s 16 – Mount St. Mary’s notched four goals of its own to keep the game close, with Georgetown leading 8-5 entering the fourth quarter.

The Hoyas then played the sort of fourth quarter they had not yet shown this season, calmly maintaining possession and controlling the pace of the game. The outcome never really seemed in doubt, and Mount St. Mary’s was unable to mount a furious comeback in the final minutes, as both Harvard and Navy had against Georgetown earlier this season.

Dowd attributed some of the increased composure to last Friday’s experience at Navy, when the Midshipmen scored three goals in the final three minutes to force overtime. Junior midfielder Max Seligmann then provided the overtime heroics to give the Hoyas a 13-12 win and a boost in confidence.

“It’s good to win any overtime game,” Dowd said. “It gives you a lot of confidence, and the guys were really happy.”

Another encouraging sign is the recent emergence of freshman attack Davey Emala, who, after seeing limited playing time for most of the season, has recorded hat tricks in Georgetown’s last two games. He and leading goal scorer Travis Comeau – who scored four goals at Navy but sat out against Mount St. Mary’s with a bone bruise – are just two members of Georgetown’s freshman class that has made a quick impact. Freshman Brennan Bicknese has started five games on defense, and a host of talented young midfielders has provided the Hoyas’ with tremendous depth at the position.

“They’re very talented as a class and . they’re not freshmen anymore, they’re [like] sophomores now,” Mirabito said. “They’re playing like sophomores now and they’re all playing pretty well. So it’s great to have that extra addition there.”

Georgetown will play host to talented but slumping Notre Dame (5-4) in a Big East matchup on Sunday. The Fighting Irish opened the season with a three-game winning streak that included victories over Duke and Loyola (Md.) but has lost a number of close games recently. Notre Dame’s four losses this year have been by a combined six goals, so Sunday’s contest should be a tight one. Faceoff is set for noon at MultiSport Facility.

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