Ever since their season opening loss to then-No. 3 Maryland, no one has been able to stop the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team. The Hoyas continued their success this past Saturday by defeating then- No. 8 Navy, 9-5, at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium. The victory gave the Hoyas four wins against the five ranked opponents they have played this season.
Georgetown improved to 7-1 overall and jumped in the national polls this week after the win. The Hoyas went from No. 5 to No. 3 in the USILA/STX coaches’ poll, matching their highest ever. Their No. 2 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse poll is the best in team history.
“We continue to play very good defense,” Hoya Head Coach Dave Urick said of his team’s seven-game winning streak. “We’re not tearing up the pea patch offensively, but we’re scoring enough.”
The game was just as significant for Navy. The Midshipmen fell to 7-2 on the season. They also dropped to No. 11 in the coaches’ poll after the loss.
The first half of the game pitted the Hoyas and the Midshipmen in a close contest. At the end of the half, Georgetown clung to a slight 3-2 lead.
Midfielder Dave Paolisso and junior attackman Trevor Casey struck first for the Hoyas, giving the squad a 2-0 first quarter lead. Navy answered back in the second quarter with tallies from senior midfielder Steve Looney and senior attackman Jon Birsner. Georgetown, however, would receive a goal from sophomore attackman Brendan Cannon with 20 seconds left for the one-point advantage, heading into halftime.
The Hoyas benefited from strong defense in the contest. Coming into the match-up, Georgetown had allowed 7.4 goals a game. The Hoyas were able to hold the Midshipmen below this average behind the impenetrable goal play of keeper Rich D’Andrea.
Filling in between the pipes because of a knee injury to sophomore starter Miles Kass, senior D’Andrea made 11 saves on the Midshipmen’s 16 shots on goal and also grabbed six ground balls. His efforts in the net earned him the honor of ECAC Defensive Player of the Week.
“I didn’t expect it,” D’Andrea said of the award. “I was just focused on trying to get a win.”
The third quarter belonged completely to the Hoya offense. Navy only scored one goal to Georgetown’s five as the Hoyas entered the final quarter with a commanding 8-3 lead.
Sophomore attackman Andrew Baird led the way in the Hoyas second half surge. He scored three times in the half to put the Hoyas up 9-3. Baird’s three goals gave him his second hat trick in the team’s past two games.
“Our offense is really moving the ball well,” Baird said. “Brendan [Cannon] gave me good looks, and I was just lucky enough to put them in the right spot.”
Navy added two more goals from the stick of junior attackman Ian Dingman. Coming with less than two minutes to play, however, the goals proved to be too little too late as Georgetown held on for the comfortable 9-5 win.
The two teams matched up fairly evenly in the ground ball and face-off catagories. Georgetown picked up 37 ground balls to Navy’s 36, while the Midshipmen won by a narrow advantage in face-offs, winning nine of the game’s 17 opportunities.
Georgetown next tests its streak in a visit to league opponent Fairfield (4-4, 2-1 ECAC) this Saturday, April 8.
“Fairfield’s a very good team, and we’re excited to play them,” Baird said. “As long as we keep playing well as a team, I think we’re going to keep this thing going.”