MEN'S LACROSSE | Late Rally Comes Up Short Against Duke
Published: Monday, March 26, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 16:03
Despite a strong start from junior attack Travis Comeau, who was quiet in last week’s loss to Loyola, the Hoyas couldn’t find their offensive rhythm and were badly outshot by the Blue Devils for much of the contest.
“It was very typical with these two teams, very similar to last year’s. It was a hard-fought, very physical game,” Head Coach Dave Urick said. “A good game between two tough, physical teams. They’ve got some really big guys.”
Georgetown started well enough, with Comeau answering an early goal from Duke and then scoring another to even the score at 2-2. Senior midfielder Francis McDonough assisted Comeau’s second goal and then scored one of his own in the final minute of the first quarter to tie the game at three.
But the Blue Devils tightened up considerably in the second quarter, taking advantage of three penalties that went against the Hoyas, winning four of five faceoffs and dramatically out-shooting Georgetown, 11-2.
All told, Duke scored five straight goals in the second quarter and took an 8-3 lead into the intermission. But it was the unforced errors that irked Urick most.
“We threw it away a few times in the first half, which was a little bit disappointing. Against them you want to take a little bit better care of the ball and not turn it over unnecessarily. We’re going to do that on our own,” Urick said. “We don’t want to throw it over the guy’s head if we can avoid it.”
But even after the break, Georgetown couldn’t get anything going, allowing two more Duke goals. By the time senior midfielder Zack Angel scored with 11:15 left in the third quarter, the Blue Devils had scored seven straight goals and held the Hoyas scoreless for more than 14 minutes.
After Angel broke the streak, however, the Blue and Gray began to show some signs of life. Duke responded immediately with a goal of its own, but junior attack Zac Guy and senior midfielder Brian Will both scored in the third quarter. Despite that help, Georgetown still trailed by seven when the fourth quarter began.
Comeau, who had scored two goals earlier in the game, completed a hat trick when he scored off an assist from junior attack Brian Casey. Comeau has been key in several of Georgetown’s wins this season, and creating opportunities for him remains a goal.
“We’ve just got to make sure we get Travis some looks. Travis depends on other guys getting him the ball when he’s in a position to shoot it,” Urick said. “And it’s a two-way street, so hopefully we can build on that too.”
After Comeau’s goal, Angel, McDonough, Will and junior midfielder Dan McKinney proceeded to score in a furious rally. The defense also clamped down, as senior goalie Matt Winter recorded his eighth save of the game in the final period.
Fatigue became a factor for the Hoyas late in the game, though, as they were toward the end of the busiest stretch of their season.
“This is the fifth game in two weeks. It was a question of how much they have in the tank in the fourth quarter,” Urick said. “But guys like [senior midfielder] Gerry Reilly; they’re ironmen. Let’s put it this way: Gerry Reilly will sleep pretty well tonight.”
But despite the exhaustion, Georgetown pushed through. And although the rally came up short, Urick found a silver lining that was appropriate for a rainy day.
“I think we might have taken a few steps forward today as a team. That’ll only prove itself out over the next few weeks, but I’m pretty sure that if we build on this, we’ll be moving in the right direction,” Urick said.
The Hoyas will have a chance to gauge that growth when they travel to Easton, Pa., Saturday to take on Lafayette. Faceoff is set for 4 p.m.