The Hoyas’ seniors were the center of attention from start to finish Saturday at the Multi-Sport Facility. Before the first faceoff, they were honored in a ceremony with their parents, and in the fourth quarter, it was the seniors who ensured victory for Georgetown.

Seniors Brendan Cannon, Andrew Baird and Dan D’Agnes scored four goals in the final 10 minutes to lead Georgetown (8-3, 4-1 ECAC) to a 12-8 win over Massachusetts (5-6, 3-2). Cannon finished with four goals and Baird added three, while senior midfielder Dan Vinson won 15-of-21 faceoffs on the day.

“I think it was a good thing that the upperclassmen stepped up, because now the younger kids will see that, and next week they’ll be the ones to step up,” Cannon said.

The Hoyas were coming off an 11-9 loss to Loyola a week ago, which snapped a six-game winning streak and all but ensured the Greyhounds the conference title. Loyola wrapped up a share of the league crown and automatic bid to the NCAA tournament with a 13-4 win over Fairfield Saturday.

In the first half, Georgetown held decided advantages in time of possession and shots, outshooting the Minutemen 37-8. Most of the Hoyas’ attempts, however, were far wide or high and presented little challenge to junior goalkeeper Doc Schneider.

Georgetown finished the half on a three-goal run to take a 4-2 lead at halftime.

The final goal of the half was perhaps the best. In an unsettled situation, Georgetown gained possession just inside its half of the field. Cannon received a pass and quickly fed Baird about 15 yards from the goal. Baird, with his back to the goal and Schneider out of his net pushing Baird to the ground, spun an underhanded shot into the empty net and drew a penalty on Schneider.

The other three first-half goals for the Hoyas came from in close, as a result of drives to the net.

The Hoyas outscored the Minutemen four goals to two in the third quarter to build a comfortable 8-4 lead. Cannon put two in the net in the period, and sophomore long-stick defender Barney Ehrmann scored his second of the season. UMass scored its fourth goal on an extra-man opportunity as freshman attacker Zach Rodgers snuck a low shot into the corner of the net as the buzzer sounded.

“We had a self-inflicted wound in the second half when we went two-men down with a penalty that was totally unnecessary. That gave them a little bit of life and gave them a situation where they got back within a goal,” Head Coach Dave Urick said of Rodgers’ score. “Hopefully we can learn from that.”

The Minutemen provided a bit of drama, as they used a 4-0 run over eight minutes to pull the game within one with 10 minutes left in the fourth quarter. But Georgetown won the next faceoff, and Cannon took matters into his own hands. He pulled the ball behind the net, took some time off of the clock and then scored on a drive from the corner.

“I usually don’t think when I go to the goal, I just go. I run as fast as I can and try to get around the guy,” Cannon said. “He gave me the top side, and I just kept running and took a shot.”

Baird and D’Agnes added goals before Cannon put home his fourth of the day to stretch the margin to five goals.

The Hoyas had a distinct advantage in shots on the day, riffling 61 to the Minutemen’s 28. Schneider was up to the task for UMass, recording a career-high 20 saves.

“[Schneider] took a team to the national championship game as a freshman, so he’s always been one of the best goalies in Division I,” said Cannon, who is good friends with Schneider and spoke with him the night before the game. “We might have given him three or four easy saves, but he made some really impressive saves.”

After the game, Urick spoke highly of the seniors on the team. Urick, who will lose six regular starters to graduation, talked more about the unsung heroes on the team.

“This year we have a lot of seniors, and everyone has a different role. Sometimes that role is on a Saturday afternoon, and sometimes it’s on Monday through Friday when we’re preparing,” Urick said.

Urick added that the heart and soul of the program is the guys who commit themselves to the team for four years and rarely get playing time during the games.

With the celebrations done for now, the Hoyas will focus on their remaining two games – road dates with Rutgers and Penn State. The games will have a significant impact on whether or not the Hoyas receive an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament and their potential seed.

“The automatic bid is not likely to come our way, so we still have to play our way in. Today we took one step, and there’s a couple more steps to take before we can assume we’re in this thing,” Urick said.

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.