Fresh off of arguably its biggest win of the season, the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (6-6, 2-3 Big East) will play host to Rutgers (6-8, 1-4 Big East) tonight in its season finale with a winning season on the line.

The Hoyas’ offense seems to be firing on all cylinders coming into the matchup with the Scarlet Knights, as the team scored eight second-half goals in their come-from-behind victory over Syracuse last Saturday.

Senior captain and midfielder Gerry Reilly attributed the offensive eruption to good possessions and smart shot selection.

“I think it was really just a matter of getting shots on cage,” Reilly said. “We had some guys really step up, like [sophomore attack] Jeff Fountain at attack and [junior] Dan McKinney [in] the midfield. [Junior attack and midfielder] Brian Casey has been consistent for us all year, and he really stepped up in the fourth quarter [against the Orange]. I think the offense had some great possessions, and when different guys step up, it takes some of the pressure off and opens up more opportunities.”

Casey notched yet another hat trick against Syracuse in what has been his best season on the Hilltop so far. Even more impressive is that all three of his goals came in the fourth quarter and secured the victory for Georgetown.

He wasn’t the only one who had a big game for the Hoyas, though. Senior midfielder Zack Angel added to his team-leading goal total, scoring the first of four unanswered Georgetown goals in the second half. Finding the net against Rutgers should not be a problem for the Hoyas’ balanced attack, as the Scarlet Knights’ porous defense allows 10.5 goals per game.

Head Coach Dave Urick said that he does not fear an offensive letdown from his team now that time has quelled the adrenaline rush from the Syracuse game.

“This gives us an opportunity to have a winning season. That’s very important, and our guys want to achieve that,” Urick said. “I’ve been impressed with how they’ve conducted themselves this week. Even with no chance for the postseason, they have come out and worked very hard and had the right attitude.”

In his 21 seasons at Georgetown, Urick has never coached a team to a losing record. A win tonight would preserve that impressive streak, but Urick knows that it will be tough against the dangerous attack Rutgers will put on the field.

“We just have to be aware of some of their prolific goal scorers,” Urick said. “They have some guys that carry the load for them, scoring-wise, and we need to make sure to match up with them.”

Indeed, Rutgers has three players with goal totals higher than any Georgetown player, including five tallying double figures. Senior midfielder Will Mangan and redshirt sophomore attack Scott Klimchaklead the Scarlet Knights attack with 27 and 24 goals, respectively.

Reilly is confident, however, that the Hoyas’ defense will be up to the challenge.

“I think the defense is finally coming together as a cohesive unit,” he said. We’ve put together a great week of practice thus far, and we just need to continue to put the right foot forward. I have no doubt that this group will continue to get better each day and ultimately come to play Friday night.”

Reilly also spoke highly of senior goalie Matt Winter, whose 12 saves against Syracuse — including four in the fourth quarter — kept the Hoyas going all the way to the victory.

“I can’t say enough about Matt’s ability to step up for us in big games,” Reilly said. “He has kept us in a lot of games. Playing in front of a goalie like Matt really helps the confidence of the entire defense.”

This will be the 15th consecutive season in which Rutgers and Georgetown have met each other on the lacrosse field, with the Blue and Gray winning the last 14 of those matchups. That will be another streak on the line under the lights on Friday at MultiSport Facility.

Head Coach Dave Urick and the rest of the coaching staff will honor the team’s 16 seniors in an on-field Senior Night ceremony at 6:45 p.m. Opening faceoff is set for 7:06 p.m.

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