The Georgetown Hoyas men’s lacrosse team (4-0, 3-0 Big East) defeated the Marquette Golden Eagles (0-3, 0-3 Big East) on Saturday by a score of 20-13. After fighting to a draw in the first half, head coach Kevin Warne’s team used a decisive third quarter run to seize a comfortable closing margin. In the victory, graduate attackman Jake Carraway continued his record-breaking season with 3 goals and 2 assists. Junior attackman Griffin Fleming led the Golden Eagles, tallying 2 goals and 3 assists.
Coming into the game having lost their last four matchups against Marquette, the Hoyas were looking to break that streak and continue their dominant play to start the season. Despite opening up an early 3-1 lead, however, the Hoyas faced a far more difficult test than their first two Big East matchups (won by a combined score of 35-2). The Golden Eagles struck back, scoring four straight and holding Georgetown scoreless over the final 7:18 of the first quarter to take a 5-3 lead.
Seeking to regain control, the Hoyas promptly rattled off three goals in just over four minutes to regain the lead at 6-5. A key part of that stretch was getting their major contributors going, with Carraway and graduate attackman Nicky Petkevich each recording their first goals of the day during that sequence. Georgetown was unable to pull away however, with the teams locked in a back and forth affair to close the half tied at eight apiece.
This first half stretch, undoubtedly the team’s worst showing so far this season, resulted from a slow start on both ends. Offensively, the 8 first half turnovers (including 5 in the first quarter) disrupted the Hoyas’ rhythm. On defense, the absence of senior defenseman Gibson Smith, who is expected to miss several more weeks with an injury, contributed to a defense that proved vulnerable early. Also problematic was the early showing of senior goalie Owen McElroy, who gave up 5 goals against just 1 save in the first quarter.
Georgetown’s talent came through in the third quarter, however, as they were able to adjust and take a comfortable lead. Over the course of a period in which they outscored the Golden Eagles 9-2, the Hoyas adopted a balanced offense and had 6 different goal scorers. After Marquette opened the second half scoring with a goal from senior midfielder Connor McClelland, Carraway and sophomore midfielder Graham Bundy Jr. opened what would prove to be an 8-1 stretch.
Although Marquette freshman attackman Devon Cowan was able to interrupt the run and narrow the lead to 12-10 with 8:25 remaining, the Golden Eagles were simply unable to put together any extended response. The combination of dynamic offense and a decisive possession advantage also helped revitalize the Georgetown defense, which held Marquette to merely 5 second half goals.
The Hoyas’ possession advantage was the result of a banner day from junior faceoff man James Reilly. Facing a new rule this year changing faceoff stances, Reilly had been solid so far, entering the day having 61.5% of his draws (good for 15th in NCAA D1). However, he set a program record on Saturday for faceoff wins in a game, taking 26 of 30 faceoffs and driving Georgetown as they pulled away.
With the game firmly in hand, the fourth quarter was a messy affair as the Hoyas tested their depth in the closing sequences. Sophomore goalie Noah Klein played for over 4 minutes, allowing 3 goals to 2 saves. Reilly also received a well-earned break with sophomore Carson Milburn, senior Cade Heverly, and freshman John Dixon all taking draws to seal off a dominating day at the faceoff dot. Tallies from Bundy and junior midfielder Declan McDermott completed hat tricks for each of them, as the Hoyas scored the most goals of the season.
The Hoyas’ new additions continued to stand out on both ends, especially for a squad that missed fall practices due to the pandemic. Petkevich, the transfer from Colgate, tallied 3 goals and 2 assists as he continues to establish himself as a seasoned running mate for Carraway. A top flight recruiting class is also delivering early returns. Freshman Will Tominovich got his second start in place of the injured Smith, while freshman midfielder Dylan Hess led the Hoyas with 4 goals (as well as 1 assist). At attack, freshman TJ Haley is on a torrid pace as a passer, adding 1 goal and 5 assists to give him 16 assists in 4 games. Their continued growth will be crucial as Warne’s squad seeks to prove themselves as legitimate national contenders.
Georgetown will face an even tougher test next week as they play No. 11 Denver (5-2. 3-0 Big East) in a key conference matchup. The game is set to start at 2:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, March 13, and livestats will be available via guhoyas.com. For coverage of men’s lacrosse and all Georgetown sports, follow @GUVoiceSports on Twitter.