GUHOYAS
Senior goalie Nick Marrocco is the NCAA leader in career saves among active players.

From his early days growing up, Nick Marrocco lived and breathed lacrosse. His two older sisters, Alexie and Erica, both played while his dad, Joe, was an avid sports fan.

Since those early days, Marrocco has grown significantly as a player. The little kid who started out as an attack playing for Duxbury Youth Lacrosse in Massachusetts has since become a storied goalkeeper for the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team. On his journey, he tended net in a high school championship game at Harvard Stadium, and he stood tall in a Big East championship game at Villanova Stadium.

He now nears the end of his Division I career with the fourth most saves in Georgetown Lacrosse History.

Last Saturday, Marrocco started in goal for the Hoyas as the team took on the NJIT Highlanders. As usual, his family flanked him, including both sisters, and his dad, who in four years of college play has yet to miss a single game or scrimmage.

For Marrocco, who has started in 55 out of the Hoyas’ past 57 games and appeared in all 57, Saturday’s contest was nothing new. However, the atmosphere was special because it was his final career start at Cooper Field. Saturday was senior day at Georgetown, and the men’s lacrosse program honored Marrocco alongside his 12 senior classmates.

The team will lose 13 members when the class of 2018 graduates, the same 13 who joined the squad back in the fall of 2014. Considering the high turnover rate in Division I athletics, Marrocco was impressed at the longevity of his fellow seniors.

“It’s pretty crazy that we had the same guys come in that are still here,” Marrocco said. “That doesn’t happen often, usually one or two guys will leave or quit, but since freshman year we’ve all been really into it. We have a good group of guys, and we’ve felt a really strong bond together.”

Over the course of his last 57 games, Marrocco has played 3,178 minutes during which he has corralled a record-breaking 613 saves. He is one of just four Hoyas ever to reach the 600 save mark, and the first player in the Big East to achieve the milestone since 2013. He will continue to add to his tally before he hangs up his jersey for good now that the Hoyas have officially clinched a spot in the Big East tournament for the first time since Marrocco helped bring them there in 2015 as a freshman.

As a freshman, Marrocco made an immediate difference in goal on the Hilltop for Head Coach Kevin Warne. He anchored the defense, helping Georgetown to 10 wins for the first time since 2007, and as a result was presented with the team’s Gewirz Defensive Player of the Year award, one of many accolades in his first year as a Hoya. He was named to the All-Big East First Team after being named Big East Defensive Player of the week twice and USILA Defensive Player of the Week once.

Marrocco’s 206 saves during his 2015 season places him sixth in Georgetown’s history for single season saves since 1980. His .560 save percentage led the Big East and placed 14th in NCAA Division I. He saved an average 13.29 shots per game, ranking second in the Big East and third in the country. Even when his squad couldn’t achieve regular season victory against a strong Denver team, Marrocco stood tall in goal saving a career high 22 balls.

As he matured at Georgetown, his stats continued to speak for themselves. As a sophomore, Marrocco entered as a preseason All-Big East player. He earned Big East Defensive Player of the Week twice. He also moved forward in the Big East rankings, this time placing first with 11.57 saves per game. Demonstrating his selflessness on the field, Marrocco not only pulled his weight in goal as a sophomore, he also led the team in ground balls, with 31.

As a junior, despite the team’s second consecutive losing season, Marrocco managed to gather 131 saves for a .504 save percentage. He was named Big East Defensive Player of the Week yet again after holding Hobart to just six goals with 14 saves against the Statesmen, their least amount of points against the Hoyas since 2003.

This season, Marrocco continues to impress. Despite falling to Denver in a phenomenal defensive showing, Marrocco held the Pioneers to just six goals, their lowest total in Head Coach Bill Tierney’s tenure at the university.

Fully aware of the frustration and pain that is partnered with the past two less than perfect seasons, Marrocco hopes to help his final season last as long as possible.

“The last two years we didn’t finish on the best note, so going into this year we really were striving to make the Big East” Marrocco said. “Definitely as a senior, it’s a little scary thinking that my career is coming to an end, so every game you’re really appreciating being on the field, and every practice as well.

So far, Marrocco has done everything he can do to extend the season. He has 111 saves for a .524 save percentage, and he has 30 ground balls. He has earned five Big East accolades as well, including being named to the Honor Roll twice, and Defensive Player of the Week three times.

But the regular-season awards are just the beginning. Having secured a bid to the Big East tournament, Marrocco has the opportunity to once more be named to the All-Tournament Team, just as he was in 2015. If this year’s appearance is a part of a winning campaign, the experience will outshine Marrocco’s fond memories of the tournament his freshman year.

When asked about his favorite lacrosse memory, As for his favorite lacrosse memory, Marrocco immediately said he has too many to count, but almost just as quickly he came up with an example.

“One of my favorite memories?” Marrocco repeated. “Freshman year. Big East tournament. Playing Marquette in the semi-finals at Villanova. That was a really awesome moment, not only just because I was a freshman, and playing in such a big game, but also the environment there was really cool. And we handled Marquette that game, so that was a really memorable moment for me.”

Hopefully for Marrocco, postseason play will provide him with moments even more memorable than 2015. The Hoyas have one game left in regulation before they once more take to Villanova Stadium on May 3.

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One Comment

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