FILE PHOTO: CHRIS GRIVAS/THE HOYA Junior attack Brian Casey earned his fourth hat trick of the season, with all three of his goals coming in the fourth quarter.
Junior attack Brian Casey earned his fourth hat trick of the season, with all three of his goals coming in the fourth quarter.

The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (6-6, 2-3 Big East) spoiled senior day for No. 14 Syracuse (7-6, 3-2 Big East) this past Saturday, winning by a score of 10-8 thanks to a strong second half of play. The win pulled the Hoyas back to .500 on the year and gives the team a shot to avoid its first losing season in Head Coach Dave Urick’s tenure.

A hotly contested first quarter foreshadowed a game that was close throughout. After an early Syracuse goal, junior attack Travis Comeau netted the first of his two goals on the afternoon to force a 1-1 tie. The Orange regained the lead with just under four minutes remaining in the quarter, but junior midfielder Dan McKinney scored at the 1:15 mark to tie things at two apiece.

Georgetown senior goalie Matt Winter had four saves in a quiet second quarter for both teams. Winter did, however, let one goal get through late in the period, which allowed Syracuse to take a 3-2 lead into the intermission.

But whatever Urick told the Blue and Gray during his halftime speech certainly seemed to work, as the Hoyas dominated the third quarter, outscoring the Orange, 4-1.

McKinney took advantage of a man-up situation just under six minutes into the quarter and connected on his second goal of the afternoon to kickstart Georgetown’s attack. A quick Syracuse goal gave the hosts a brief 4-3 advantage, but the Hoyas erupted from there, scoring four unanswered goals, including three straight to close out the third quarter.

Midfielder Zack Angel started the run, firing one low to beat the Syracuse keeper. The goal had to have been a confidence booster for the senior, who has been limited this season while battling a forearm injury.

Less than 90 seconds later, sophomore attack Jeff Fountain fired at the upper corner of the net, taking advantage of Syracuse’s poor defensive slide to put Georgetown up, 5-4. A little over two minutes after Fountain’s tally, junior defenseman Brennan Bicknese extended Georgetown’s lead with the team’s first goal by a long pole all season.

“[Georgetown] went ahead and made us play catch-up,” Syracuse Head Coach John Desko said. “I thought they did a good job of that, and their goalie made some pretty big saves in the cage for them.”

Indeed, Winter — who was named Big East defensive player of the week — recorded four clutch saves in the fourth quarter.

Junior midfielder Brian Casey also stepped up big for the Blue and Gray in the final period, scoring their fourth goal in a row just 49 seconds into the period, giving his team a 7-4 lead.

Two consecutive Syracuse goals brought up memories of the Georgetown collapse against Notre Dame, but three more unanswered tallies by Georgetown dispelled any thoughts of a repeat performance. Syracuse would score twice more, but Winter came up huge in net to preserve the 10-8 victory.

Casey was critical for the Hoyas on the day as he tallied his fourth hat trick of the season, with all three of his goals coming in the final quarter.

Senior midfielder Brian Tabb, was also key to the win, winning 7-of-8 faceoffs in the fourth quarter to keep the Hoyas in possession.

The victory marked Georgetown’s second-ever men’s lacrosse win at the Carrier Dome and its first since 2006. More importantly, the game showed how well this team can perform when it plays in sync and to its potential. The Hoyas proved themselves highly capable of beating top opponents when they can put it all together.

The Blue and Gray will try to carry their momentum into Friday’s season finale, when the squad will host Big East opponent Rutgers (6-8, 1-4 Big East). The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at MultiSport Field.

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