The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (3-4, 1-0 Big East) emerged from halftime a stronger team on Wednesday night, outshooting and outscoring defending champion and No. 9 Loyola (6-2, 2-0 ECAC) after the break at MultiSportFacility. Unfortunately for the Hoyas, the first half counted too, and the Blue and Gray were unable to climb back from a seven-goal deficit en route to a 13-8 defeat.
In the 36th meeting of Georgetown’s longest-running lacrosse rivalry, the Hoyas were done in by a costly second quarter and dropped their sixth consecutive game to the Greyhounds.
Following sophomore midfielder Charles McCormick’s opening goal, which gave the Blue and Gray a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, the visitors put together a devastating 8-0 run that stretched across three quarters.
Though Georgetown had its shots, it was plagued by Loyola’s ability to convert quick turnarounds for points following missed shots and turnovers.
“Loyola is very good in the transition game,” Head Coach Kevin Warne said. “That’s definitely something we’ve emphasized at practice the last couple of days. We couldn’t execute what we needed to do, and they jumped up on us.”
Riding the strong performance of redshirt junior defender Tyler Knarr, the Hoyas were 8-of-10 on faceoffs and held a 16-14 advantage in ground balls heading into halftime. The Greyhounds had 15 shots to the host’s 12 at that juncture, yet it was the visitors who held a commanding 7-1 at the break.
“It’s a shame because we got another good night out of Tyler Knarr, facing off 16-for-24 — that’s really good,” Warne said. “Obviously I wasn’t happy with the first-half effort. … We start staring at some shots, guys get behind us and they have easy breaks for easy offensive opportunities.
The second half proved to be a tighter competition, however, as the Hoyas closed the game on a 4-1 run. With fewer turnovers and a 17-15 shots advantage, the Blue and Gray held tough down the stretch, providing a few highlights to take with them in the loss.
“It wasn’t any miraculous speech — I just told our guys we needed to play harder,” Warne said of the second-half improvement. “We win the second half and that’s good for us to build on, but obviously it’s a 60-minute game not a 30-minute game. If it was [just] the thirty minutes in the second half, I’d be a lot happier.”
Sophomore attacker Reilly O’Connor, who was named to the Big East weekly honor roll after a 10-point performance against Providence last Saturday, led the Hoyas with two goals and an assist on Wednesday. Junior attacker Jeff Fountain added two goals on shots.
Attacker Zach Herreweyers paved the way for the Greyhounds with four goals, while Justin Ward added a goal and four assists for the visitors.
Warne identified several areas of improvement for the Hoyas — turnovers and transition offense — as his side prepares for the second half of its schedule. With any luck, Wednesday’s turnaround will prove to be a microcosm of what’s to come.
“We need to harp on the fundamentals and get back to the drawing board a little bit there,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of catching the ball in the goal and getting out a little bit. It kind of looks like we’re a little bit tired right now, and I think we don’t have as many guys as Loyola does that can get on the field and get out, because it’s a 60-yard sprint every time.”
Before taking on the remainder of its Big East slate, Georgetown must travel to Durham for a weekend matchup with No. 12 Duke (6-4). The Blue Devils defeated Loyola 9-8 on March 8.
“I think you’re going see a lot of the same things,” Warne said of the upcoming opponent. “Athletically, I think Loyola is really good … and I think on Saturday we’ll see more of the same.”
Opening faceoff against Duke is set for 1 p.m. on Saturday at Koskinen Field in Durham, N.C.