After two home games against regional opponents to open its season, the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (1-1, 0-0 Big East) will undergo a big change of pace this weekend as it heads down to Dallas, Texas., to take on Dartmouth in the Patriot Cup.
Like the Hoyas, the Big Green (1-1, 0-0 Ivy League) started its 2013 campaign with back-to-back home contests and split that pair in the form of an opening loss followed by a bounce-back win.
After a 13-10 loss to No. 10 Colgate Saturday in Hanover, N.H., Dartmouth rebounded three days later to top the Catamounts of Vermont 13-8 and even up its record. Hanging tight with a top-ranked team like Colgate showed that Dartmouth should at the very least have the chops to improve upon last year’s disappointing season, during which the team went just 1-5 in conference and 5-9 overall.
And while Vermont currently sits at a wholly unimpressive 0-3, the Big Green was able to overcome a 3-1 first-quarter deficit in an eventually lopsided comeback win.
But though Georgetown and Dartmouth have played the same number of games thus far,, the number of competitive minutes put in by each side hardly matches, thanks to theHoyas’ first two matchups both going to overtime. Whether that extra playing time helps the Blue and Gray’s cause Saturday — through added experience, pressure and adversity — or hurts it — through tired legs — may well be a factor in the outcome.
Senior midfielder Nikki Dysenchuk leads Dartmouth in scoring through its first two games with five goals, a mark that was boosted by a hat trick against the Catamounts on Tuesday; no other member of the Big Green has more than three, although an impressive 12 players have scored at least once.
Georgetown, on the other hand, was largely a one-man show in its loss to Lehigh in the Feb. 16th opener, as senior attack Brian Casey scored four goals and added an assist in an 11-10 overtime defeat.
Sunday represented a more balanced effort for the Hoyas, though, with junior attack Jeff Fountain’s hat trick — including the game-winner — leading the way for the Hoyas in a 9-8 win over Navy. Casey and sophomore midfielder Charles McCormick each netted a pair apiece in that fortune-reversing overtime victory, but the statistic that perhaps stands out the most from that first 2013 win was the faceoff percentage of redshirt junior defender Tyler Knarr.
Knarr, who wasn’t given primary faceoff duties in the Blue and Gray’s loss to Lehigh, won 13 of 19 against the Midshipmen, playing a huge role in allowing his side to maintain possession and ultimately generate more offensive opportunities.
“I thought Tyler Knarr was awesome today,” first-year Head Coach Kevin Warne said after Sunday’s win, the first of his Georgetown tenure. “It’s unique facing off with a long stick, but Tyler is quick enough to get the ball out and he did a great job.”
The Big Green lost out on the faceoff battle against Vermont (winning just 10 of 25), soKnarr’s ability to replicate his performance against Navy could very well give Georgetown an advantage in the matchup.
Dartmouth and Georgetown comprise just half of the action scheduled to take place in Dallas this weekend, as intrastate rivals Texas A&M and hosts Southern Methodist are also set to do battle. Proceeds from this year’s Patriot Cup — the fifth edition of the event — will go to the Wounded Warrior Project, a non-profit that “provides programs and services to severely injured service members during the time between active duty and transition to civilian life,” according to its official site.
“The Patriot Cup has grown beyond our expectations in the last five years,” Patriot Cup Co-Chair Tom Fitzsimmons said. “These matchups highlight Dallas as the place to see lacrosse played at its best.”
Warne echoed Fitzsimmons’ ambassadorial spirit.
“I think playing in the Patriot Cup is great for the Georgetown lacrosse program,” he said in another interview with the Patriot Cup website. “It’s an opportunity for our guys to experience a different atmosphere. It also gives us a chance to help grow the sport away from the east coast into a place like Texas.”
The opening faceoff between the Hoyas and Big Green is slated for 1 p.m.