Sometimes, it’s just your day.
In what marked the conference opener for both teams Saturday, sophomore attack Reilly O’Connor could do no wrong for Georgetown (3-3, 1-0 Big East) against Providence (5-1, 0-1 Big East), lighting up the Friars to the tune of four goals and six assists in a 16-8 steamrolling atMultiSport Facility.
Senior attack and fellow Canadian Travis Comeau — who came into the weekend with a disappointing one goal through five contests — added four goals and two dimes of his own, as the Hoyas bested their previous season-high goal total by six in a dominant performance from the hosts on both sides of the ball.
“We did some different things, and we allowed our guys to really use their strengths. I think that’s the best thing about today,” Head Coach Kevin Warne said. “We used our strengths, [and] we got back to a little old-school Georgetown lacrosse — being physical, playing tough defense, scrapping on the ground.”
Indeed, the Georgetown defense showed a renewed vigor against Providence, as the eight goals allowed tied for the team’s lowest mark of the season. That stinginess was especially impressive coming at the behest of the Friars, who came into the game averaging 13.4 goals per game and having scored in double digits in each of their previous five games.
In addition to Warne’s preparation for their opponents’ transition game, a major reason for the visitors’ inability to rattle the cage was the fact that they were allowed very little of the ball Saturday, thanks to redshirt junior defender Tyler Knarr.
Perhaps from a lacrosse purists’ perspective, Knarr had at least as impressive a day as O’Connor and Comeau, winning 17 of 25 faceoffs to keep Georgetown in possession for a large majority of the game.
Warne couldn’t say enough about Knarr’s performance afterwards.
“What you love about Tyler is that he’s competitive. He comes off the field [and says,] ‘Hey, coach, I’ll get it next time,’” Warne said. “He’s such a joy to coach, does all the right things on and off the field, and I think today was just a result of his hard work and his preparation.”
It was Knarr’s stellar performance from the spot that gave his teammates up front the opportunity to shine, and they took full advantage.
O’Connor recorded a hat trick and two of his assists in the opening half, while Comeau got three of his goals after the break in an almost stunning display of balance. The undisputed highlight goal of the day for the Blue and Gray, unsurprisingly, was set up by a flashy interchange between the two that made it 10-5 in the beginning of the third quarter.
After the ball was collected behind the Providence net, it was passed to Comeau, who sent a beautiful behind-the-back pass to O’Connor. The sophomore quickly turned it over to defender Brennan Bicknese, and the senior rattled it home to send the Hilltop crowd into a frenzy.
“We’re both Canadian, so we had a little fun today,” O’Connor said. “We both had very good games, and it was a phenomenal play [by Comeau].”
And the result of that great tandem performance on the day was a big-time win for Georgetown, which stopped its two-game slide to open its conference slate with aplomb.
Now, with a more hardened mentality and a better understanding of what they do well as a unit on the field, the Hoyas are ready to start doing some Big East damage.
“We’d lost the last two, but we were 0-0 in the Big East, so it was kind of a fresh start for us,” O’Connor said. “We needed a win today, and we got it.”