MEN'S LACROSSE | Fountain Nets 2 in Win
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014
Updated: Friday, February 21, 2014 02:02
Despite the snowy weather and a fourth-quarter comeback from the opposition, Georgetown’s men’s lacrosse team (2-0) overcame the odds to seal a 9-8 overtime victory against Navy (1-1) last Saturday, winning the Boyle Cup for the fourth consecutive season.
The game proved to be a textbook matchup between the Hoyas and the Midshipmen. Four of the past six meetings between the teams have gone into overtime — including Saturday’s game — and the last three games ended in a 9-8 victory for the Hoyas. Senior attack Jeff Fountain scored the overtime game-winning goal against Navy for the second season in a row.
After falling behind 2-1 early, the Hoyas went on a 5-1 run in the second quarter to make the score 6-3 at halftime. Each team scored a goal apiece in the third quarter to maintain the three-goal gap.
“I thought we did some good things because we got up early ,and we did what we wanted to do coming into the game,” Head Coach Kevin Warne said.
However, the Midshipmen retaliated with a two-goal run at the beginning of the fourth quarter to initiate their comeback. After a Fountain goal made the score 8-6, the Midshipmen scored two consecutive goals and tied the game at 8 with just under a minute of play left in regulation.
With 2:08 remaining in overtime, Fountain rolled into the cage to score his second goal of the day and more importantly, the game winner.
“When Navy came back, we didn’t fold,” Warne said. “We got stronger and just really started to focus on what we needed to do.”
Freshman attack Peter Conley, junior midfielder Charlie McCormick, freshman midfielder Devon Lewis and junior attack Bo Stafford also scored for the Hoyas. Co-captain and redshirt senior defenseman Tyler Knarr once again displayed his acumen at the faceoff, winning 12 out of 19 battles during the game.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Jake Haley made 15 saves during the game and his performance earned him Big East Defensive Player of the Week.
“Jake has done a good job,” Warne said. “[Assistant Coach Brian Phipps] has done an awesome job of tweaking Jake’s game to play with his strengths, and I think we’re starting to see that in the cage … the biggest thing [in that position] is being consistent.”
With the win, the Hoyas improve to 2-0 on the season; it is the first time the team has won its first two games since 2007. Georgetown has enjoyed success this season, especially against Navy, because of its focus on important fundamentals, according to Warne.
“In those crazy games when teams come back, it’s all about doing the little things over and over,” Warne said. “Eventually they’ll show their true colors.”
Next up for Georgetown is a road game against the Towson Tigers (1-2) this Saturday. It will be the first matchup between the two teams since Georgetown’s 15-8 victory in the first round of the 2004 NCAA tournament.
Towson entered the 2014 season with the NCAA’s No. 23 RPI (ratings percentage index) and has already faced elite competitors. After an 11-8 win in its season opener against High Point, Towson dropped two consecutive games — losing to No. 8 Johns Hopkins, 15-8 and No. 10 Loyola Maryland, 20-4. The Tigers will take the field Saturday as somewhat of a wild card, hungry for a win against another challenging local rival.
Towson is fairly well-balanced; though it lost two talented returning offensive players to injuries right before their season opener against High Point, several skilled and reliable freshmen stepped up and recorded points to secure the Towson win.
For Georgetown, the transition from playing against a tough but predictable opponent last week to an unfamiliar foe will present some unique challenges.
Warne knows that the Tigers will pose a test for his team.
“Towson will probably be the most athletic team that we’ve played to date, so they present some problems offensively and defensively,” Warne said. “We’re going to have to tweak what we need do to have success, but at the end of the day, what matters is what our guys do on the field. If we’re able to catch and throw the ball, take smart shots, defend well, clear the ball well and face off well, then our chances increase greatly.”
With the regular season in full swing, Warne is more adamant than ever that his players keep focusing on their strengths and style of play. Warne emphasizes the importance of the examples that his upperclassmen set for the rest of the team.
“It’s all about your mindset and how you’re able to compartmentalize everything, from school to flipping the switch to lacrosse [and vice versa] … and I think our older guys are doing a good job of that,” Warne said. “Take care of the moment, and if you do that, you don’t have to worry about outside influences or the clutter that is around you. Just worry about what’s in front of you and you’ll be okay.”