In a must-win matchup for the Georgetown Hoyas to get their season back on track, it was Notre Dame who dominated from whistle to whistle. Amid the snow falling on Cooper Field on Feb. 25, it was clear that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish were one of the best teams in the country, and Georgetown could not keep up.
The Georgetown Hoyas (0-3) fell to No. 2 Notre Dame (3-0) in a 15-8 defensive showcase by the Fighting Irish. The Hoyas, ranked as high as No. 3 coming into the season, are now having their worst start to the season since their 2017 campaign, when they also fell in their first three games and ended up 4-10.
Notre Dame made a fast and surgical start, shooting three times and scoring the first two goals of the game within three minutes of the opening whistle. Graduate midfielder Declan McDermott responded with a strike goal of his own, giving the Hoyas much-needed life early on. McDermott has had an illustrious career on the Hilltop, and with his goal against the Irish, he brought his career goal tally to 105. Despite this initial competition, a Notre Dame win on the draw and a man-up opportunity for the Irish swung the momentum right back away from the Hoyas, and the game would never be within a point for the rest of the afternoon.
By the end of the first half, Georgetown trailed Notre Dame 9-3, in large part due to a 17-7 shot on goal differential in favor of the visiting team that outweighed both an 8-4 save differential and an 18-15 ground ball differential in favor of the Hoyas. Even with these advantages, the Hoyas struggled to maintain momentum.
Standout senior midfielder Graham Bundy Jr. accounted for Georgetown’s other two first-half goals. Last year, Bundy Jr. set a program record for most points scored by a midfielder in a single season. He is a two-time First Team All-American and was named co-captain of the U.S. National Team over the summer of 2022, and he sits in second on the team in points scored after finishing the game against Notre Dame with 3 total goals. In terms of offensive production, he trails only Tucker Dordevic, the All-Star graduate transfer from Syracuse.
This season, Dordevic has produced 8 goals in upset losses to No. 15 Johns Hopkins (3-2) and No. 10 Penn (1-1), providing much needed offensive support to an offense that is still trying to figure itself out. Against Notre Dame, however, Dordevic had an uncharacteristically quiet showing. He had one assist in the first half and an impressive time-and-room goal to open Georgetown’s scoring in the second, but that comprised the totality of his scoring production for the day. His shooting percentage was his lowest since his senior season in a game that was also against Notre Dame, and he will look to return to his consistently-elite level of play in the team’s next contest.
As the second half continued, it became increasingly clear that the Fighting Irish were bound for victory with their stifling defense. They built upon their first-half lead with four goals, putting them up 13-5 at the end of the third quarter. In the final quarter, thanks in part to late goals by Bundy Jr., junior defensive midfielder Dylan Hess and first-year speedster and midfielder Patrick Crogan, Georgetown outscored Notre Dame 3-2. But it was too little, too late, and the Hoyas suffered their third straight loss.
The Hoyas are hoping to earn their first win of the season when they travel to New Jersey to take on the No. 5 Princeton Tigers (2-1) on March 4 in their third straight ranked game of the season. The Tigers will look to bounce back after their 5-11 loss to the No. 4 University of Maryland Terrapins (3-1).
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