The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team earned their 10th win Saturday, beating the New Jersey Institute of Technology Highlanders. The game was an opportunity for the Hoyas to fine tune their skills in what seemed destined to be a high scoring game and get the whole roster involved as the season nears its end.
The Georgetown offense was rolling smoothly against NJIT, and Georgetown (10-4, 2-2 Big East) posted its highest scoring total since 1999. Thirteen different Hoya players were able to score against the Highlanders (2-12) 23-7 , the most of any of their games this season. Junior attackman Jake Carraway led the offense with four goals and two assists for six points. Senior attackman Robert Clark, freshman attackman Dylan Watson and sophomore midfielder Kevin Petrillo each also produced at least three points for the Hoyas.
A number of players contributed points for the first time this season: freshman midfielder Peter Thompson, senior midfielder Derek Altobello, junior midfielder Cullen Morgan, freshman attackman Mason Bonnie and junior attackman Justin Meichner. Notably absent was senior attackman Daniel Bucaro, who was allowed to sit this game out as the coaches let him rest to prepare for the heavier stretch at the end of the regular season.
At the face-off X, freshman faceoff specialist James Reilly won 15 of 23 (.652) draws, while junior faceoff specialist Alex Bean won 8 of 11 (.727) faceoffs, helping the Hoyas start possessions on a regular basis in positions where they are able to execute the plays which they have practiced. On defense, senior defenseman Drew Abate and sophomore defenseman Joe LiCalzi each caused two turnovers. Between the pipes, sophomore goaltender Owen McElroy played the first half and registered four saves. Freshman goaltender Chris Brandau and junior goaltender Jack Stephenson split the last two quarters. Brandau notched three saves and Stephenson four.
The contest against the Highlanders was hardly a challenge for the Hoyas, but it was nonetheless a good opportunity to play good team lacrosse and get the whole roster involved. The opportunity to get four players involved in the scoring on a regular basis throughout the afternoon provided good practice for the final stretch of the season, where the team will need strong performances from all of its players, not just the stars.
The past few weeks have seen the Hoyas put aside some of their early season struggles at the face-off X as well as failing to clear the ball following forced turnovers, as the team rounds into form preparing for a hopeful playoff run.
Georgetown closes out its regular season next week with a Big East matchup against St. John’s. A win for the Hoyas is crucial, as a loss would greatly diminish their chances at making the Big East tournament. While Georgetown should be favored to win this game based on the conference standings, a victory is far from guaranteed.
The Hoyas have to limit their confidence, as Head Coach Kevin Warne said earlier in the year that
“It’s college lacrosse. So anybody can beat anybody on a given day,” Warne said following Georgetown’s 13-10 home victory over Drexel on March 16, which now proves haunting in an essential game for the Hoyas as they take on the Red Storm.
The St. John’s team defeated a High Point squad in February that is now ranked 11th nationally, proving them capable of defeating opponents at or beyond the Hoyas’ level. The Hoyas will need to overcome their past impediments, including failed clears or an overreliance on Bucaro and Carraway for scoring, if they want to avoid a similar fate against St. John’s.
The game against St. John’s, which will be the last home stand for this senior class, will be played on Cooper Field on Saturday, April 27.