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

Hoyas Defeat Minutemen on Senior Day

Even a rainy Saturday morning at the Multi-Sport Facility couldn’t dampen Senior Day festivities for the No. 5 Georgetown team.

After honoring their 16 seniors before the game, the Hoyas took a four-goal lead against No. 8 UMass, but then went 20 minutes without scoring and needed a strong defensive front to stave off a second-half Minuteman rally before emerging with an 8-6 win.

Georgetown returned to the win column after it had its eight-game win streak snapped April 15 by Loyola. The win over UMass also improved the Hoyas’ hold on second place in the ECAC with a 9-2 overall record and 4-1 conference mark. (They trail Penn State, which is 5-1 in league play.) The Minutemen (8-3, 3-2), who had been tied with Georgetown for second in the conference, dropped to fourth place in the league.

Fittingly, seniors supplied many of the most important contributions to the Hoyas’ win. On offense, midfielder and co-captain Pete Cannon scored twice, while on the other end of the field, defender Reyn Garnett helped shut down Massachusetts star attacker Sean Morris for the better part of three quarters. In the second half, it was fifth-year goaltender Rich D’Andrea who made some of the most notable contributions: a series of stunning saves that preserved the Hoyas’ slim lead and sealed the win.

While both teams have two conference games remaining on their schedule, Saturday’s contest could prove pivotal in determining the league champion. In the ECAC’s six-year history, the winner of the UMass-Georgetown game has won or shared the championship five times, including the last two years.

“We really had to come in here, play hard, try and get after a win,” Garnett said. “If we lose this game, who knows about the postseason? There’s the ECAC title, which we want to win every year. This was a big win for us.”

Early in the game, Georgetown’s prospects for a win looked good, as the Hoyas jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Junior midfielder Chase Gahan opened the scoring with a man-up tally, and Pete Cannon and freshman attacker Jake Samperton each added a goal in the period.

Massachusetts bounced back with a pair of goals in the second quarter before Georgetown’s midfield unit began to find the back of the net more frequently.

After the Minutemen scored a man-up goal at the 5:59 mark, junior Garrett Wilson responded just 34 seconds later to restore the Hoyas’ two-goal lead. Several minutes after that, Pete Cannon added his second goal of the game.

Junior faceoff specialist Christian Trunz, who won 11 of 17 faceoffs on the day, followed just ten seconds later by picking up a ground ball and scoring his first career goal on a fast break to give Georgetown a 6-2 lead at the half.

“Our goal was to really shut them down in the first eight or 10 minutes of the game, and I thought we did a tremendous job today,” D’Andrea said of the Hoyas’ first-half performance. But with Morris, a 2005 Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, and six other 10-goal scorers on the roster, the Minutemen were likely to mount an offensive charge of their own. As it did a week ago against Loyola, the third quarter presented a significant challenge for Georgetown.

Morris, who was leading the nation in scoring with 45 points heading into Saturday’s game, scored a hat trick in the span of six and a half minutes, leaving the Hoyas up by just one with seven minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Garnett checked the UMass all-American. “I was on his gloves, picking up his hands,” he said. “Most guys, their shots don’t go in. Unfortunately, his went in.”

Head Coach Dave Urick pointed out the difficulty of the assignment. “[Morris] had a heck of a player,” he said. “You’re not going to shut him down; you just hope he doesn’t have a career day against you.”

Later in the third, junior defenseman Jerry Lambe switched with Garnett to cover Morris, and the Hoyas’ defense shut down the inuteman offense for the remainder of the game.

“That’s huge,” sophomore attacker Brendan Cannon said. “I think Sean Morris is the best player in the country, hands down. He had a good day today, but towards the end, Jerry stepped up and shut him down, which is not an easy thing to do.”

Urick noted that his team’s rivalry with UMass has produced several close games over the last several years – with all six meetings decided by a combined total of 11 goals. “It doesn’t surprise me that it ended up this [close]. I thought it might be a little higher scoring, but I think the goalies had a fair amount to do with that,” Urick said.

D’Andrea made his third start in goal in place of injured sophomore Miles Kass, who is still week-to-week while recovering from a right-leg injury. D’Andrea made 15 saves on 21 shots, including several big stops on fourth quarter shots that came within inches of the goal line.

“It was tough back there in the third quarter,” D’Andrea said. “At that point in the game, we just had to regroup, get our head in it. And that was probably one of the longer fourth quarters I’ve played. But I was really glad that we came through it and everyone came together.”

Urick was full of praise for his goaltender’s performance.

“[Rich] is a great athlete. Just happens to be a goalie, as well, I guess,” Urick said. “He would rather be out there running around playing midfield, but one thing that he puts first and foremost is the welfare of what we’re all about as a team. He’s starting to like it [in goal] a little bit more now, I think.”

Fifth-year senior Dave Paolisso scored the clinching goal at 2:25 in the final period, his team-leading 17th of the season, but more than 20 minutes had passed since the Hoyas’ last goal, one from Cannon with 10:39 left in the third quarter.

“Our defense is what carried us today,” Brendan Cannon said. “If we weren’t making those saves and shutting down some of their key guys during that 20 minute drought, we would have been in trouble.”

Following the win, he that he was happy to help earn a victory for his brother on Senior Day. “It was nice. I didn’t help him that much. He had a couple of nice goals,” he said.

Pete Cannon was happy to score, but much more content with a defensive stand to win the game. “I’m just happy for [D’Andrea]. He’s had his ups and downs, so for him to get a win like this, I’m really happy for him,” he said.

The Hoyas are back on the road for their final two games of the season, both ECAC contests. Following Fairfield’s defeat of Loyola last weekend, Georgetown controls its own destiny in regard to winning the league.

Saturday, the Hoyas will take on Rutgers before finishing their campaign with league-leading Penn State the following week.

“We can still win the league if we win out, so that’s certainly something to shoot for,” Urick said. “This is a very competitive lacrosse league. It’s one of the best leagues in the game right now. To win it is an accomplishment.”

The game is set for 1 p.m.

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