In its season opener, following a revitalizing off-season, Georgetown men’s lacrosse suffered a 9-3 loss to the High Point Panthers on the road Tuesday afternoon.
Despite the final score, the gameplay on the field was highly competitive, especially during the first half.
At the faceoff X, junior midfielder Riley Mann won the majority of his battles, going 10-of-15 on faceoffs and giving the Hoyas
(0-1) a number of scoring opportunities. However, the Georgetown offense struggled to put the ball past High Point sophomore goalkeeper Tim Troutner Jr., who notched 14 saves for the Panthers (1-0).
The game was a slow-paced defensive battle, featuring 17 possessions for Georgetown and 21 for High Point. In a low-possession game, scoring efficiency and goalkeeping can greatly affect the game’s final outcome.
“There’s a big difference between shooting and scoring, and their goalie played really well in the first half,” Georgetown Head Coach Kevin Warne said. “I think that we got good looks, we faced-off well, [the shots] just didn’t drop.”
High Point, on the other hand, came out firing in the first quarter with two early goals. The Hoyas bounced back at 2:18 in the first quarter with an assist from sophomore midfielder Patrick Aslanian to sophomore attack Daniel Bucaro to bring the score to 2-1. Later in the second quarter, junior midfielder Craig Berge scored off of an assist from Bucaro to tie things up going into the half.
With his first goal of the 2017 season under his belt, Bucaro is already on his way to building on an exceptional freshman season, during which he scored 31 total points and was named Big East Freshman of the Year.
The Hoya defense looked sound in the first half, holding the Panthers’ offense to just two goals. In the cage, junior goalkeeper Nick Marrocco pulled in three saves in the second quarter alone and six saves overall.
“Our defense did a good job overall,” Warne said. “When you go 10-of-15 facing off and hold a team to single digits, you hope to come out with more wins than losses.”
Despite the solid defensive play in the first half, the tide shifted in the final two quarters as the Panthers scored seven unanswered goals to secure their victory.
Recognizing how early it is in the season, Coach Warne sees the loss as a valuable learning experience and as an opportunity to build upon what they did well.
“I think the best thing is that we’re playing right away,” Warne said. “I don’t want the guys to dwell on it — I told the guys last night, ‘It’s over, move on. You’re not going to get that game back.’”
The Hoyas have little time to dwell on the loss as they return to action this Saturday to face off against the No. 4 ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish. As part of the Patriot Cup in Frisco, Texas, the game will be held on the practice facilities of the Dallas Cowboys and broadcasted on ESPNU.
According to Warne, the Georgetown players are ready for their chance to prove themselves on the national stage. Warne emphasized maintaining a balance between improving on Tuesday’s mistakes and studying the game plan during the week before the game against Notre Dame.
“You’ve got to find that happy medium so guys have confidence, they know the plan, they know the opponent, but they also learn from past experiences to improve on them so they don’t happen twice,” Warne said.
Opening faceoff against the Fighting Irish is set for Saturday at 2 p.m.
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