Head Coach Kevin Warne returns this week for his second year at the helm of the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (1-0, 0-0 Big East), who began their season Wednesday with a 10-4 victory against Mount St. Mary’s (0-2, 0-0 NEC) on Multi-Sport Field.
“We’ve been waiting all year for this game, and to get the first goal, it just reaffirmed that we’ve been doing the right thing,” said junior midfielder Charlie McCormick, who led all scorers with three goals.
The team looks to improve on the success they had last year. They advanced to post-season play for the first time since 2007, earning a spot in the Big East tournament.
“75 percent of my team when I open my mouth now, knows what we’re talking about,” Warne said. “Only 25 percent doesn’t with our freshman. Where last year 100 percent had no idea.”
Familiarity between the coaching staff and the players will be key for the team as they lost eight seniors from last year’s group. 25 players will return, including three second team All-Big East selections from last year’s team—graduate student Tyler Knarr, junior attack Reilly O’Connor, and junior midfielder Charlie McCormick.
“Those [three] are the guys who we’ll lean on early on in the season,” Warne said. The team will need these three upperclassmen to start the year strong as the talented-yet-inexperienced freshman class adjusts to the college game.
“The freshman class is a real athletic class,” Warne said. “[They] have done a real good job so far getting acclimated to college lacrosse, because it’s a lot different than high school.”
Those freshmen will need to step up, especially on defense, where three of last year’s starters have graduated. Preseason All-Big East selection senior John Urbank, who has 39 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers in his career, will anchor the unit for the Hoyas.
Team captain O’Connor will attempt to follow up his breakout sophomore campaign (26 goals, 30 assists) with another productive year. Joining him in the attack will be senior Jeff Fountain, who finished third on the team last year with 24 points.
Graduate student and captain Tyler Knarr will use his expertise in the face-off circle to give the Hoyas as much possession as possible. “Top five [in the nation] on face-offs last year, which is a huge component, just having possession of the ball,” said Warne of Knarr’s play. Knarr will also provide crucial leadership to a team that lost many of its upperclassmen.
In the net, the Hoyas have redshirt junior Jake Healey, who started 13 games last season and won five. His play improved throughout the year as he strung together a series of strong outings to end the season.
The Hoyas, picked to finish fourth in the Big East, have a difficult task ahead, with the addition of a top-five team in Denver to an already deep league. “I think our conference is as good as any conference in the country,” said Warne. “We’re all good teams that can beat each other on any given day.”