Emerging from a decisive 14-5 win against Providence, the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team fell flat in Durham, N.C., this past weekend against No. 4 Duke. With their record standing at 3-3, the Hoyas had a chance to lift themselves above .500 and earn the first quality win for their tournament resume, but they again lost a late lead to a top-tier opponent.
The Blue and Gray got off to a strong start, dominating Duke in the first quarter. Sophomore attack Davey Emala set the tone early, scoring a goal in the first 30 seconds of the game. Minutes later, sophomore midfielder Dan McKinney found the back of the net with a side-arm rocket from the top of the box.
Firing on all cylinders, the Hoyas found themselves with a commanding 6-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Blue Devils answered with two quick goals in the second quarter, but the Blue and Gray wasted no time in retaking control. Emala netted his third goal of the first half to end Duke’s run, and sophomore attack Travis Comeau added another on an assist from senior attack Ryan Shuler to extend the lead back to five.
The squad entered halftime with a 9-5 lead, having outhustled the Blue Devils throughout the first half. But, as has been the case all season against top teams, the Hoyas failed to finish what they started.
Duke opened the second half with a 3-0 run and had cut the Hoyas’ lead to 10-9 by the end of the third quarter. The Blue Devils dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Blue and Gray, 5-2, and finishing off a 14-12 comeback win.
On the bright side, Emala continued his outstanding play, scoring four goals along with an assist. Named to the Big East honor roll this week, he leads the nation in goals per game with an average of 3.29. Graduate student attack Rickey Mirabito, who was named to the Big East honor roll last week, also had a big game with two goals and an assist.
But as a team, the Hoyas now find themselves with a big hill to climb and at 3-4, their margin for error is shrinking. The Blue and Gray will return to action when they face Navy at 7 p.m. on Friday night at MultiSport Facility.