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: Second-Half Shutout Ignites Comeback Against Irish

No. 9 Georgetown (7-3) posted a second-half shutout in an 11-8 victory over struggling Notre Dame (5-5) Sunday afternoon at MultiSport Facility. The Hoyas trailed 8-6 at the break but blanked the Fighting Irish in the second half for their third victory in a row.

“It’s encouraging,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said. “[The fourth quarter] hasn’t been a high-water mark for us so it’s good to see. To shut this team out for a half is significant.”

The Georgetown defense played a terrific second half, forcing 16 Notre Dame turnovers and allowing the Irish to take only 10 second-half shots, with sophomore C.T. Fisher saving all six shots on goal.

Much of the Irish’s offensive struggles were due to sloppy play on their part, however, according to Notre Dame Head Coach Kevin Corrigan.

“We played really well in the first half and stunk in the second half,” Corrigan said. “They’re a good team, but most of our problems were self-inflicted.”

Fisher replaced senior Jack Davis late in the second quarter and stopped seven shots while allowing one goal. Davis had struggled prior to that point, making two saves and allowing seven goals while fighting a lingering back injury. Urick had no reservations about inserting Fisher into the game, and the sophomore proved once again that the Hoyas have two goalies that they can rely on.

“We don’t have a starting goalie and a backup goalie; we have two goalies,” Urick said. “We just kind of play the one that we feel the best about. . C.T.’s done this before.”

Senior midfielder Andrew Brancaccio recorded his third hat-trick of the year, including two man-up goals midway through the third quarter to tie the game up at eight. Brancaccio scored on his trademark rocket from the top of the box to pull the Hoyas back within one with 6:39 to go. On another extra-man opportunity several minutes later Brancaccio leveled the score with a fluky goal when his stick was checked on the shot.

“Thank God that went in, because that would have been a pretty bad turnover,” Brancaccio said. “It just hit off the guy’s stick and went kind of slow. I don’t think [Notre Dame goalie John Kemp] was expecting it to go that slow, and it just trickled in, so . that was a big goal.”

Senior midfielder Scott Kocis and freshman attack Travis Comeau – both of whom scored two goals Sunday – tallied early in the fourth quarter to give the Hoyas a two-goal advantage. Senior attack Craig Dowd (one goal, three assists) then completed the scoring with 9:18 left, and Georgetown held possession for much of the remainder of the game to run the clock out.

Senior Chris Nixon, the Hoyas’ strongest defender, drew the job of covering Notre Dame’s leading scorer Zach Brenneman (17 goals, seven assists entering the contest) and limited the Irish midfielder to one goal and one assist. Nixon forced two turnovers and grabbed a team-high six groundballs, and after the game Nixon’s play drew extensive praise from his coach.

“If there’s a better defenseman than Chris Nixon, I’d like to see him,” Urick said. “The kid’s done a great job for us all year long. He plays up top, he’s played down low, and if the ball’s on the ground it’s near his stick. He’s one of the fastest and he’s one of the most well-conditioned athletes we have. [Nixon] and Chris Schuville just give us so much at that end of the field. It’s pretty impressive.”

Schuville, a senior defensive midfielder who also plays the wing on faceoffs, picked up four groundballs and caused one turnover. His 48 groundballs this season rank second on the team behind junior Brian Tabb, who has won 57.1 percent of his faceoffs and grabbed 58 ground balls this season. Tabb won 10 of 20 draws at the faceoff X against Notre Dame as Georgetown’s primary faceoff man and yesterday was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week.

The victory is another boost to Georgetown’s tournament resumé, but the Hoyas know that work remains to be done. Georgetown visits No. 11 Loyola Maryland on Saturday and there is no time to focus on the Notre Dame victory.

“The atmosphere is next game,” Nixon said. “You know, always got to look at the next game. Keep these wins going so we can be in the postseason.”

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