Georgetown men’s lacrosse downs Utah thanks to eight unanswered goals

March 20, 2022

Georgetown lacrosse against Johns Hopkins earlier this season. Photo by John Picker

The last time Georgetown took to Cooper Field, they suffered an upset loss to no. 18 Princeton. Now, two weeks later, the Hoyas were back at home to battle an unranked Utah team who had major victories over no. 17 Vermont and no. 8 Jacksonville. The crowd roared for the opening faceoff as the fifth-ranked Georgetown Hoyas returned to the friendly confines of Cooper Field. More than 1,500 fans packed in for what they hoped would be a return to form for head coach Kevin Warne’s squad, for any indication that the game against Princeton was a hiccup in what would otherwise be another excellent season on the Hilltop.

The final score — Georgetown 16, Utah 6 — demonstrated that the Hoyas accomplished this task with a degree of comfortability, unusual for a team with such a loaded schedule. Supported by both a positive turnover margin and more faceoff wins, the Hoyas held Utah down all day to secure the victory at home. 

“We just needed to come and get a win on the home turf,” said junior midfielder Graham Bundy, Jr. “Our schedule is packed with tough opponents so we’re blessed to come out here and take a win with us.”

For the first few minutes, Georgetown was on the back foot, as graduate goalkeeper Owen McElroy had to make two saves before a successful clear attempt. Following a shot by graduate attacker Alex Trippi that hit the iron, Georgetown started to get back into the game. The teams traded shots before senior midfielder Declan McDermott scored his 12th goal of the season to give the Hoyas a 1-0 lead with just over nine minutes left in the first quarter. Only 45 seconds later, senior attacker Dylan Watson scored his 19th to expand the Hoya lead to 2-0, and only 40 seconds after that, Trippi’s third shot attempt of the day avoided the crossbar and found the back of the net to push the lead to 3-0. Utah’s MJ McMahon finally got the Utes on the board late in the first quarter, scoring his seventh goal of the year with 2:16 left to make it a 3-1 game. 

The start of the second quarter mirrored the start of the game, as Utah attempted the first two shots on goal before Georgetown successfully cleared the ball and scored a goal. Bundy Jr. scored his 16th goal with an assist from sophomore midfielder Dylan Hess to bump Georgetown’s lead to 4-1, but then both sides combined for a ten-minute scoring drought that saw fourteen shots fail to hit their target. 

Following a double-offsides penalty that saw Georgetown down to only four men against six, however, Utah finally got a goal back when sophomore attacker Jordan Hyde buried his shot in the bottom right corner to cut the lead to 4-2. “We messed up on that [double-offsides],” Warne said after the game, “but we were more concerned about [Utah] going on runs, scoring two or three in a row. So a good job by our guys — especially Owen [McElroy] in goal — to make sure that didn’t happen.”

The mental error and subsequent goal seemed to fire up Georgetown, who locked in and reminded everyone why they’re the No. 5 team in the country. It started only a minute later, when McDermott scored his second goal of the day to get Georgetown back up three goals again. Then senior defenseman Alex Mazzone scored the goal of the game, using his long stick to generate tons of lefty torque that powered the ball from just outside the attack area past the head of Utah’s junior goalkeeper Zach Johns to expand the Hoyas’ lead to 6-2 with only 1:26 left in the half. But the Hoyas weren’t done. With 18 seconds left in the second quarter, Trippi scored his second of the day as he flicked the ball into the right corner as he fell to the turf to push Georgetown’s lead to 7-2 — the third goal in less than two minutes to carry some much-needed momentum into halftime.

Out of the half, Georgetown kept their foot on the gas, scoring within the first minute as Dylan Watson became the third Hoya to score two goals in the game — reaching 20 goals on the season. Watson completed the hat-trick only 40 seconds later, finding the back of the net with an assist from McDermott. Even with the Hoyas up 9-2, they kept pushing for more, and Bundy Jr. became the fourth Hoya to score two goals in the game when he buried one in the back of the net unassisted to get the Hoyas into double-digits. Another faceoff victory helped the Hoyas stay on the offensive, and they scored their seventh unanswered goal when Trippi completed his hat-trick to extend the lead to 11-2 only 40 seconds after Bundy’s goal. 

The Hoyas managed one more goal (Dylan Hess, his second of the day) before Utah finally broke their cold streak, scoring with 6:59 left in the third quarter to shrink the lead back to single digits. Another goal by Hyde from inside the circle trimmed the lead to only eight, but a pair of Hoya goals within the last two minutes of the quarter ballooned the lead back to 10. 

Senior midfielder Peter Thompson scored his first goal of the season with 1:35 left, and following a huge faceoff win, the Hoyas looked to score once more. With just over a minute left in the third quarter, Georgetown’s offense took their time in setting up their final scoring attempt. Graduate attacker Connor Morin isolated behind the Utah net, letting the seconds tick away before starting his move with 35 seconds left. As the defense shifted to help, he found McDermott down the middle of the field on the edge of the attack area. Instead of taking the contested shot, McDermott rocketed the ball into the awaiting stick of a cutting Cade MacLeod, and the junior attacker scored his first goal of the season by sneaking the ball on a bounce through Johns’ legs. 

In the fourth quarter, a goal by Utah’s junior midfielder Ruben Santana reduced the lead to 14-5, but Watson scored his fourth and Bundy Jr. secured his hat-trick to put the game away. A garbage-time goal from Utah seemed to raise Warne’s ire slightly, but the Hoyas nonetheless secured a comfortable 16-6 victory against a tough Utes team that had a knack for knocking off ranked opponents. 

“They’re dangerous as heck, so I give our midfielders credit. Our guys had to play really unselfish to get a hold of them,” Warne remarked. “The style they play is a lot different than what we’ve seen and I thought our guys did a good job in preparation.”

Georgetown, now boasting a 6-1 record, will be on the road next Saturday to take on the Lehigh Mountain Hawks — who just upset ninth-ranked Army-West Point in New York today. The Hoyas will have to stay locked in to defeat Lehigh on the road, but the momentum of two consecutive victories will surely help. 

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