A quick start and patient offensive possessions were crucial to the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team’s (1-2) home victory over Hofstra on Saturday. The 13-11 decision marked the Hoyas’ first win of the season and was a noticeable improvement from a tough 9-6 loss to No. 15 Towson (3-1) last weekend.
Georgetown worked on establishing a fast pace throughout its practices last week in an effort to improve on its 6-0 slow start against Towson. Their improvements were evident, as the Hoyas came out strong against Hofstra and built a 4-0 lead through the first 10 minutes of the first quarter.
“I think the guys were excited, because I think they understood [the importance of] when you put in work during the week,” Head Coach Kevin Warne said. “We really harped on getting out to a really strong start.”
From the beginning of the game, the Hoyas composed methodical possessions on offense and had little trouble finding open looks against the Pride defense.
Senior attack and co-captain Reilly O’Connor was first to strike for Georgetown when he scored off an assist from senior attack Bo Stafford at 11:52 in the first quarter. Freshman attack Stephen Quinzi followed two minutes later with a goal of his own.
O’Connor and Quinzi played crucial roles in the Georgetown offense — each had a hat-trick by the end of the game, and O’Connor added one assist.
Hofstra sophomore attack Brier Davis, senior midfielder Mike Malave and junior attack Sam Llinares steered the Pride offense through the first half. Davis put his team on the first half. Davis put his team on the board first and finished with three goals, two of which came in the first half, while Malave notched two of his five total goals in the first 30 minutes. Llinares also added one goal for Hofstra at the outset of the second quarter.
However, the second-quarter comeback was the closest Hofstra would come. Georgetown pulled back ahead to end the half at 7-5 and maintained a lead throughout the rest of the game.
“The guys battled, and [Hofstra is] a heck of a team,” Warne said. “We knew they were going to fight back, and they did. Our guys wavered a little bit, but they talked their way through some things, and they just did what they needed to do today.”
The trio of Davis, Malave and Llinares continued to lead the Pride offense in the second half, but the Hoyas warded off their efforts. Freshman goalie Nick Marrocco anchored the Georgetown defense in the net and had a strong performance with 17 saves, earning him the Big East Defensive Player of the Week honor.
On the offensive end, Georgetown kept its lead through the third quarter largely due to graduate student midfielder Gabriel Mendola’s performance with the faceoffs. Mendola won 4-of-6 faceoffs during the period, generating several offensive possessions that resulted in quick goals. The Pride snuck in two goals during the quarter, but the game went into final period with the Hoyas leading 10-7.
Hofstra threatened Georgetown’s lead throughout the fourth quarter, outscoring Georgetown 4-3 with one goal coming in the form of a goal by Llinares with 38 seconds left in regulation.
Moreover, a faceoff following Llinares’ goal had the potential to keep the momentum rolling in the Pride’s favor, especially since a non-releasable penalty meant Georgetown was a man down on the defensive end. However, Mendola forced a turnover after Hofstra won the faceoff, and Georgetown ran down the clock to hold onto its first win of the season.
Overall, O’Connor credited the win to fluidity and execution on offense.
“I think the unselfishness and the commitment to our game plan that we had in place … really paid off today,” O’Connor said. “We had a great game plan, and I thought we executed really well and made a great start.”
Warne agreed that Georgetown’s offensive effort was crucial to the win.
“I don’t think that [our performance] last week is what we are,” Warne said. “The old coaching cliche is that you are what you emphasize, and we emphasized sharing the ball and being smart.”
From here, the frequency of Georgetown’s games will increase. The team will take to the road for a midweek game Wednesday when it matches up against Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, Md., followed by a game at home against Hobart on Saturday.
As more games loom in the distance, the team is prepared to take on the challenge of improving its on-field performances.
“Are we perfect? No. But are we getting better? Yes. And I think that’s the exciting part, and I’m looking forward to getting to practice on Monday and tinkering with a few things, because now we have shorter weeks,” Warne said.