Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

MEN’S LACROSSE | Hoyas’ Fourth-Quarter Run Too Little Too Late, Fall to Top-Ranked Hopkins Despite Improved Showing

Georgetown began to find its form in its match against No. 9 Johns Hopkins but ultimately could not pull away with the win against a potent Blue Jay offense.

Coming off of a disconcerting 8-goal loss in their season opener to unranked Loyola Maryland (1-1), the Georgetown University men’s lacrosse team sought to solidify its identity in a matchup with No. 9 Johns Hopkins.

Uncertainty surrounded the Hoyas’ ability to extend their five-year streak of consecutive Big East titles and NCAA tournament appearances after graduating the majority of their starters from last season. Heading into the heavyweight home matchup, Georgetown needed to show that it could continue to compete at that top level of play.

The refashioned Hoyas (0-2) alleviated many of these concerns in front of a packed crowd on an overcast Cooper Field on Feb. 10, taking the top-ranked Blue Jays (2-1) down to the wire with a solid showing across the board. Though they ultimately fell 11-9, the team’s performance left much room for optimism for their budding 2024 campaign.

Despite losing top senior defenseman Will Tominovich to an upper-body injury before the game, the Georgetown D was effectively able to rally around first-year goalkeeper Anderson Moore, who made his second career start, and senior defenseman Seamus Foley, who marked his first with 2 crucial turnovers on the day.

Together, along with support from first-year Ty Banks and graduate transfer Wesley Chairs, a three-time defensive MVP at Mercer, the Hoyas limited a star-studded Hopkins offense to only 2 goals after 15 minutes of play. 

This opened the door for senior attackman TJ Haley to strike after scoring the opening Georgetown goal, assisting Joe Cesare on a buzzer-beater for the sophomore’s first career point to close out the first. Cesare, who saw action in only 2 games last season, could be crucial in adding depth to the Hoyas’ starting six. 

The second quarter featured much of the same back-and-forth action. Hopkins scored just thirty seconds in, but senior attackman Aidan Carroll fired back with one of his own, tying the game at 3 all. Moore continued his strong start to the game, keeping Georgetown even with multiple acrobatic saves, including two right on the crease.

Following another Hopkins score, highly touted graduate student and Princeton transfer Alexander Vardaro came through with an assertive response, flashing his speed and lacrosse IQ after streaking down the heart of the Blue Jays’ defense and absorbing a big hit for his second goal of the season. 

After two near misses from Haley and sophomore attacker Jordan Wray, the Jays netted another two goals shortly after the Hoyas failed to convert, extending their run to 4 unanswered goals and putting Hopkins up 8-4 with 9 minutes left in the third. 

Georgetown, feeling the game slipping away from them and in desperate need of an answer, turned to the reliable trio of Haley, Carroll and graduate team captain Graham Bundy Jr., the Big East preseason offensive player of the year who set the program record for most points in a season by a midfielder in 2022. 

After yet another pipe by Wray, Haley smartly dished out his second of three assists on the afternoon to facilitate Carroll’s second goal and cut the deficit to three. Bundy Jr. immediately responded with a goal of his own, a top-corner snipe that got the antsy home crowd back on their feet and cheering. 

Unfortunately, the resilient Georgetown squad continued to struggle with Hopkins’ offensive firepower, conceding another two goals to close out the third. 

In the fourth quarter, Georgetown showed what a cohesive and formidable team they could be, outscoring Hopkins 3-1 with a nice split dodge goal from Carroll and two in the final minute from Bundy Jr. 

In a post-game interview, Bundy Jr. complimented the team for rallying together to overcome their previous loss to Loyola.

“We did a good job bouncing back and trying to stick to our game plan. A lot of guys stepped in who needed to step in with injuries,” Bundy Jr. said in a postgame interview. “Hopkins is just one of those teams who are going to take advantage of those situations, and unfortunately, it ended in a two-goal loss for us.”

Bundy Jr. also emphasized his optimism moving forward, viewing this narrow loss as a solid foundation to build on. 

“The theme we need to work on is just getting to know each other better. We lost a lot coming into the season, and getting more familiar with everyone and starting each week with a fresh mentality is how we’re going to approach this next game,” Bundy said. 

Carroll’s hat trick continues a promising trend as he now has 5 points on the year after accounting for 17 points in his previous three seasons combined. Bundy Jr.’s performance was also a welcome sight, as his hat trick and impressive 8 ground balls on the day mark a considerable improvement upon his no-score showing versus Loyola Maryland.

However, this strong finish by the Hoyas was too little, too late, as the scoreboard on Cooper read 11-9 JHU as the final buzzer sounded.  

Moore drastically improved upon his subpar showing a week prior, finishing with a .500 save percentage to go with 5 ground balls while also making numerous athletic plays outside of the net to help clear the ball for the Hoyas. With the departure of last year’s starting keeper Danny Hincks (GRD ‘23), a strong campaign by the Hoyas hinges on Moore’s continued success. 

Another bright spot was senior short-stick defensive midfielder Dylan Hess. Selected to the preseason all-Big East team, Hess flashed his ability to go toe-to-toe with some of the best midfielders in the nation. With offensive gameplans in lacrosse often designed to exploit matchups against short-stick midfielders, having Hess in that position disrupts how opposing teams design their attack.

Georgetown will take a road trip to No. 19 Penn (0-0) on Feb. 17, where the team hopes to extend its upward momentum.

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