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

GU Tops Rutgers in ECAC

Take a glance at Georgetown’s 10-2 record (5-1 ECAC), or check out its No. 5 ranking in the USILA and Inside Lacrosse polls, and you might think that they would walk all over unranked Rutgers (5-8, 2-4).

Yet, as the Hoyas proved in a hard-fought 9-8 win at Rutgers on Saturday afternoon, their rankings are not a good indicator of their performance on any given day. Despite jumping out to a three goal lead during the game, Georgetown was forced to fight off a fourth-quarter rally by Rutgers before ensuring its ninth straight season with at least 10 victories.

Georgetown’s win sets up a deciding match with No. 15 Penn State next week for the conference crown. The Hoyas and Nittany Lions each stand at 5-1 after their respective wins this weekend. Rutgers, meanwhile, falls to 2-4 in the ECAC and 5-8 overall with the loss.

As it has been for most of the year, balanced scoring was the key to the Hoyas’ attack on Saturday. Fifth-year senior midfielder Dave Paolisso netted two goals, increasing his team-leading total to 20. He also assisted on the Hoyas’ first goal of the game, a score tallied by junior attackman Trevor Casey just 40 seconds into the contest.

Casey would later add another goal to start the second half, but he and Paolisso were the only Hoyas to score more than once, as five others chipped in to the offensive effort.

Sophomore attacker Brendan Cannon picked up three assists in the game and his older brother Pete, a senior midfielder and co-captain, finished with a goal and an assist on the day. Head Coach Dave Urick highlighted the important plays made by several of the Hoyas’ role players, including senior midfielder Brian Hehir, junior defender Matt Heiderman and junior midfielder Chase Gahan. “They don’t play a lot,” Urick said. “But they all contribute. Their contributions are huge. Brian made a big play for us in this game when he intercepted a pass on man down and Heiderman and Gahan also saw time on special teams.”

The Hoyas were unable to translate the balanced output into a lead that they could hold for very long, however. After going up 2-1 in the first quarter and 4-1 by the 10:26 mark in the second, they were simply unable to stave off a rally by the Scarlet Knights before the break.

Rutgers scored its second goal of the game with just under six minutes remaining in the half, and then took advantage of several Georgetown defensive breakdowns to tie the game in the final 63 seconds. Commenting on the back-and-forth tempo, Urick said, “We just couldn’t get away from them. To their credit, they hung in there, and we didn’t take advantage of some opportunities, and we ended up with a dogfight.”

The last minute of the half was particularly puzzling for Urick as the Hoyas’ defense seemed unable to pick up a ground ball. After turning the ball over shortly after the faceoff, the Hoyas’ usually staunch defense missed a ground ball despite jarring it loose from the stick of a Rutgers attacker, leading to the Rutgers tying goal.

“We’ve had a problem all year with loose balls in our end. For some reason, we just don’t get it up and get it out,” Urick said. “We just seem to give up some garbage goals. You do some good things defensively, and getting it on the ground is only half the job. Those kind of things come back to haunt you. We’ve worked on it, it’s just one of those things that has [Assistant Coach Matt Rienzo] pretty frustrated.”

Urick added that his defensive players were very frustrated with the play, saying, “We need to just focus a little bit more and turn up the intensity.”

In a departure from their recent struggles during the third quarter of games, the Hoyas played a very solid period and outscored Rutgers 3-1. Pete Cannon added another tally to start the fourth quarter, giving the Hoyas an 8-5 lead that they hoped would be enough to outlast their hosts. Rutgers freshman attacker Mike Dugan scored his third goal of the contest just 14 seconds later, however, bringing the Knights within two and helping him earn ECAC rookie of the week honors. But the Hoyas’ sophomore midfielder Matt McBride scored at 11:41 of the fourth, and his goal would prove to be the winner.

The Scarlet Knights added two more goals in the fourth, with freshman midfielder Jeff Rommel netting his third goal of the game, but they could not fully overcome the deficit and dropped their fourth straight contest.

In goal for the Hoyas, fifth-year senior Rich D’Andrea continued his stint between the pipes as a stand-in for injured sophomore Miles Kass, who the Hoyas hope will return to starting in goal this week. As he did the previous week against UMass, D’Andrea took advantage of his experience and superior athleticism to make several important plays for the Georgetown defense, despite saving only seven of the 15 shots he faced.

As for the possible return of Kass from a leg injury, Urick said, “He’s a lot closer now than he has been. We’re going to take a hard, long look at him this week. It’s kind of tough, though. Rich is 4-0 [since coming on for Kass at the beginning of April]. It’s possible [that Rich finishes the season]. I wouldn’t rule it out, that’s for sure.”

The Hoyas are also resting senior defenseman John Trapp for Saturday’s contest in Happy Valley, where he could make some important contributions to the Georgetown faceoff unit.

“I think we’re going to have a big challenge for ourselves facing off” against Penn State senior midfielder Greg Gurenlian, who has won 62 percent of his draws on the season. “[He] is going to be a handful for us. We’ve got to be able to hopefully get our share of the faceoffs, but we’re going to have to be able to deal with it if we don’t. We’ll have to play good defense and hopefully get some turnovers.”

Game time against the Nittany Lions on Saturday is set for 1 p.m.

Donate to The Hoya

Your donation will support the student journalists of Georgetown University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hoya