The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (1-6) slipped into its second three-game skid of the season after falling to No. 11 Duke (6-3) in a 20-6 decision Saturday. The Blue Devils built up several unanswered scoring runs during the game — including a four-goal streak from the beginning of the first quarter — that proved insurmountable for the Hoyas, who struggled to maintain possession of the ball for long stretches of the game.
The Blue Devils were extremely efficient on offense; though they took just as many shots during the game as the Hoyas, they finished on nearly two-thirds of their attempts for a staggering 20 goals. Duke also created more possession opportunities at the faceoff X — Duke junior midfielder Kyle Rowe went 19-of-23 in faceoffs, and the Blue Devils won 21-of-28 total.
Georgetown, by contrast, struggled to find any sort of momentum throughout the game. The Hoyas finished out the first half with just two goals, compared to the Blue Devils’ 13.
“[Duke is] a really talented team,” senior defender and co-captain Nic Mahaney said. “I think they executed a lot of what they wanted to do, and we kind of struggled to find our groove, and it just didn’t go our way. A couple plays here and there kind of led to them just pulling away.”
Duke’s most notable scoring run — which also marked Georgetown’s largest deficit during the game — came between the second and third quarters, when the Blue Devils scored eight unanswered goals over a span of 15 minutes to go up 17-2. Junior midfielder Devon Lewis finally stopped the bleeding at the 7:40 mark in the third quarter with a goal off an assist from graduate student midfielder and co-captain Joe Bucci.
The Hoyas managed to put up four more goals through the end of the game, but it was too little, too late — Duke’s unstoppable efforts on attack from the opening faceoff ended up clinching the decisive 14-goal victory.
Warne believed that the Hoyas were sometimes a few steps too slow in their efforts to decelerate the Blue Devil offense.
“I think we reacted a lot instead of anticipated on Saturday, and that’s something that we need to stress to our guys — to think a pass or two ahead all over the field [and] think about the situation that could occur,” Warne said.
Georgetown only has one game left before it begins Big East play — a DMV matchup with No. 17 Loyola (4-3, 2-1 Patriot League) Wednesday afternoon. The Greyhounds are a perennial rival — last season’s competition ended in a close 13-12 victory for the Hoyas, and the year before that ended in a tough 10-9 final-minute loss — but the Hoyas feel an additional sense of urgency as they move closer to their conference schedule with just one prior 11-6 win this season to then-No. 8 Hofstra (4-3).
Loyola will enter Wednesday’s matchup coming off a second straight loss at the hands of No. 14 Navy (4-2) on Saturday, which ended in a close 10-9 decision. Another loss would put the Greyhounds at .500 entering the bulk of their conference schedule.
“I think Loyola is really good, and they’re coming off a loss on Saturday as well. … They’ve had our number for a couple years, and we got it back last year, so I’m sure they’ll be ready to go for a little payback from last year. But again, I’m sure they’re trying to improve on a lot of things they need to improve on as they go into their conference play, just as we are,” Warne said.
Though Georgetown has several aspects of its game to consider after its loss to Duke, the team is focusing on basic skills.
“We’ll be focused in particular on ground balls, defense and just going back to our fundamentals that we’ve been working on all fall and for the past couple of years,” Mahaney said.
Warne added that Georgetown is working on sealing up the gaps in its reaction times on the field by working on communication and mutual trust.
“Communication is a two-way street. It’s talking and listening, but a lot of it has to do with trust, because if you trust your teammate that he’s going to get you to a proper spot or he has your back — I think that goes a long way,” Warne said.
Opening faceoff against Loyola is scheduled for 3 p.m. at Cooper Field.