laxThere’s something about being around a beloved sport since childhood that seems to predict a career of athletic excellence. Prince Fielder spent his youth taking in batting practice in Detroit where his father played for the Tigers. Dale Earnhardt Jr. watched his father drive lap after lap on Sundays. Peyton and Eli Manning grew up watching their father under center for the Saints. And a young Brian Casey came to Georgetown every weekend to watch his brother play lacrosse.

Junior midfielder Brian Casey has been coming to the Hilltop since he was 13 years old to watch Georgetown lacrosse take the field. His brother Trevor Casey (COL ’07) was a standout attack for the Hoyas between 2004 and 2007, playing every game of his college career and earning the Eastern College Athletic Conference rookie of the year award in 2004.

Watching his brother lead the Hoyas to victory after victory imbued Casey with a desire to play lacrosse for Georgetown and Head Coach Dave Urick. Today, that early exposure to Urick’s coaching tactics is paying dividends for Casey. Urick has led winning teams in 20 of his 21 seasons at Georgetown, and Casey believes watching his brother’s victorious teams helped him grow as a player.

“Probably the biggest way [Trevor] prepared me was that I was here every weekend watching him play and I just got to know the system a little bit better,” Casey said. “At a young age, I was watching him play just to see what they were doing. I grew up watching them do what they were doing, and it just naturally came to me.”

After scoring only three goals his freshman year, Casey came on strong last spring. He played in all 14 games for the Hoyas and contributed 12 goals, making him one of six Hoyas in double figures for the season. Casey also finished fourth on the team in points, with 20, and third in assists, with eight.

But this year, Casey is already on his way to surpassing last season’s totals —seven games into the season. Casey already has nine goals and 19 points, and has already bested last season’s assist tally. Casey attributes his increased output to more offensive opportunities.

“During the offseason I definitely worked on my finishing a lot more, trying to get one more step on my defenseman, which has definitely helped out a lot more this year.”

Casey’s work during the offseason showed up on the field from the start, as he notched three goals on four shots in a season-opening loss to Maryland. Casey then took a backseat, scoring only twice over Georgetown’s next three games. But with leading scorer senior midfielder Zack Angel suffering from a persistent forearm injury, Casey knows it is his time to step up.

“It’s a lot tougher this year because [last year] we had a lot of guys that carried the ball more. I kind of just got thrown into it when during the games I realized I needed to have the ball a lot more in my stick,” Casey said.

Casey elevated his game just in time for the Hoyas’ first Big East matchup of the season against Providence.

With Angel out of the lineup, Casey took charge, scoring two goals (including the game-winner) and two assists in a 7-6 victory. He followed that performance with another two-goal output in a tough loss to Loyola Maryland.

But in keeping with his humble nature, Casey praised his teammates for aiding his success this year.

“A lot of guys have been making great feeds. [Junior attack] Zac Guy has been making a lot of good feeds, [junior attack] Jason McFadden has been making some good feeds. It’s just made my job a little bit easier,” Casey said.

Coming off a tough loss to Duke, in which a fourth quarter comeback attempt fell just two goals shy, Casey and his teammates will look to snap out of a two-game losing streak this Saturday at Lafayette.

While the Blue and Gray cannot look past this game to a matchup with Villanova next week, Lafayette presents a great opportunity for Georgetown to pick up confidence as the team heads into the remainder of its Big East schedule.

“In the beginning of the year, we always start off saying our goal is to win the Big East,” Casey said. “Those games against Duke and Loyola get us ready for the Big East games, and that’s what we got to look forward to. If we win the Big East, I feel like everything will fall into place.”

Lafayette (2-6, 0-3 Patriot League) is currently on a five-game losing streak and only mustered three goals against Army in their last game. The Hoyas (4-3, 1-0 Big East) can take the opportunity to work on managing the clock better, an area Casey would like to see improvement.

“We just need to possess the ball a little bit more. We’re a little too rushed and a little too hectic once we get the ball,” he said. “It’s a little bit easier for our defense to catch their breath, and it’s a lot better for us if we have the ball because the other team can’t score.”

Casey and the rest of the men’s lacrosse team will travel to Fisher Stadium in Easton, Pa. this Saturday to battle Lafayette. Faceoff is set for 4 p.m.

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