Last Saturday, Cooper Field was the battle ground for a match up between two top 20 teams. The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team came in as underdogs after a strong start to the season against the No. 7 Towson Tigers. Towson ended the Hoyas’ undefeated season with a 14-8 road victory.
The Hoyas (3-1) remained within two goals of the Tigers (4-0) throughout the first three quarters, but in the beginning of the fourth, the Tigers gained momentum, ultimately resulting in the Hoyas’ first loss of the season and a fall from No. 17 to No. 19 in the rankings.
Georgetown’s senior attack and points leader, Dan Bucaro, led the game with three goals and an assist. Bucaro opened scoring and, with his first goal, cemented himself in Georgetown lacrosse history as the eighth player to reach 100 career goals.
The Hoya offense continuously dodged through the Towson defense, but was unable to get past the strong performance of Towson goalie Tyler Canto, who tallied 14 saves, ending the game with a save rate of 64 percent.
On the defensive end, sophomore goalie Owen McElroy made 11 stops on 25 shots, which marked his third consecutive game with double-digit saves. Sophomore defenseman Gibson Smith led the team with six ground balls and two caused turnovers.
Towson’s senior attack, Brendan Sunday, was a handful for the Hoya defense, tallying nine points on the day with four goals and five assists. One of the biggest Achilles’ heels for the Hoyas was at the faceoff, as Towson’s specialist won 19 out of 23 faceoffs.
The Blue and Gray neared closing the scoring gap twice, at once in the third quarter to 7-5, but Canto produced big stops at crucial moments. The Hoyas faced a difficult fourth quarter as Towson sealed the game by scoring four consecutive goals in the first nine minutes of the frame. Bucaro and junior attack Jake Carraway added goals late in the game, but were unable to convert a contentious run into a victory.
The team was able to regain momentum in an 13-11 win against Mount St. Mary’s (0-4) on Tuesday in their first road game of the season Feb. 26. Carraway performed a standout game, leading the team with four goals and two assists, registering six points on the day.
Veteran leadership led the way for the Hoyas, with Bucaro and junior midfielder Massimo Bucci both scoring hat tricks. Senior midfielder Lucas Wittenberg aided the offense by posting three assists for the second straight game in a row. Senior defensive midfielder Tucker Gillman, who moved from the goalie position his freshman year, netted his first career goal a minute into the second half.
Freshman goalie Chris Brandau ended the game in the cage with his first career victory. Entering for McElroy in the beginning of the third quarter with the game tied 9-9, Brandau allowed only two goals and solidified the Hoya’s victory. Another freshman, short stick defensive midfielder Zachary Geddes, continued the strong transition play he had shown in the first three games. He led the team with eight ground balls, while Smith had three caused turnovers and registered six ground balls for the Hoyas.
The Mountaineers posed a pertinent threat to the Hoyas as the two teams traded goals consistently until the third quarter. Georgetown finally took control of the game in the fourth, edging their hosts 4-1 in that period. Bucaro and Carraway put the nail in the coffin with two goals to send the Hoyas home with the win.
Georgetown travels to Long Island, N.Y., this weekend to face Coach Kevin Warne’s alma mater, Hofstra, on March 2 at 3 p.m.