The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team faced No. 6 Notre Dame at home this past Sunday in a game that provided the Hoyas with a prime opportunity to battle into a higher spot in the Big East standings. At 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the Big East, a win against Notre Dame would have given the team much-needed momentum going into the final two games of the season, and would have handed Notre Dame their first conference loss.
Unfortunately, the Hoyas were unable to build upon an impressive first half start, and faltered in the last two quarters to lose 9-7 and fall to 5-6 on the year.
With goals from Francis McDonough and Travis Comeau in the first quarter and an additional three from Zac Guy, Zack Angel, and Gerry Reilly in the second, Georgetown jumped to a 5-1 lead by the end of the half.
Head Coach Dave Urick was impressed by their performance early on and saw the team’s potential in those first two quarters. “They played well, you know,” he said. “I think that’s indicative of what they are capable of.”
After the half, though, Notre Dame’s offense went on the attack with six unanswered goals, until Jason McFadden scored for Georgetown to end the spree. The momentum quickly shifted after halftime and the Hoyas began to falter, giving the Irish numerous opportunities for close range shots on goal.
Both teams continued to play tough and physical throughout, despite Notre Dame’s increasing lead. Five penalties on Georgetown in the third and fourth quarters took players out in key moments, adding to the pressure on the defensive half and allowing Notre Dame to capitalize.
“It seemed like we played an awful lot of defense in the third quarter, some of it was man-down defense, so you know that is what it is,” Urick said of the Irish comeback. “I think we got to give Notre Dame credit, they never lost their poise, they showed why they are one of the better teams in the country …They just did what they needed to do, and we just didn’t close the deal. We had opportunities and didn’t get it done.”
As the temperature reached up to 75 degrees with slight humidity, the heat throughout the game took a toll on the players, with less substitution by the coaching staff making hydration and fatigue major issues.
“On a day like today it kind of seemed like we went from spring to summer in one day. Did we go deep enough early enough, you know we didn’t actually play that many more people than we normally would. I’m kind of wondering now if we needed to get some other people out there in different roles,” Urick said. “We’re getting a lot of miles out of just six midfielders, and I think as the weather starts to get warmer we have to take a look at that.”
Victories in the last two games of the season will be essential to keep from ending on a sour note. With more work to be done on taking quality shots and keeping up the energy late into the game, the team will be hard at work preparing matches against Syracuse and Rutgers. With a substantial amount of seniors on this year’s squad, Coach Urick expects many of them to step up and lead the team out strongly.
“This was a chance for us to play our way back into the league standings a little bit. You know the key for us is that we have two more games that we got to deal with, and we got to make sure that we deal with it in a positive way.”