MEN'S LACROSSE | Stars Seeking Help Against Midshipmen
Published: Friday, February 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 22, 2013 02:02
A fourth-quarter collapse necessitated a late equalizer from herculean senior attack Brian Casey last Saturday, but, in the end, an overtime game-winner from visiting Lafayette broke the hearts of the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team (0-1, 0-0 Big East) and left it still seeking its first win of the season.
Perhaps more importantly, last weekend’s collapse meant that first-year Head Coach Kevin Warne was left looking for the first victory of his career. Warne will now have one more shot to get over that hump at home Sunday against Navy (2-1, 0-0 Patriot League) before the Hoyas hit the road for a three-game away stretch.
“Personally [my first win] will come when it comes, but for our guys it’s important not to focus on the wins but on the process of how we’re going to get a win,” Warne said. “I think we saw some encouraging signs on Saturday and will look to improve on some things for Sunday. The best thing is everything is correctable.”
One thing that needs some correction is the one-dimensionality of the Blue and Gray’s offense, as sinking the Midshipmen is a task that can’t rest on the shoulders of Casey alone.
The Maryland native posted four goals and an assist against the Leopards, in the process accounting at least partially for half of the Hoyas’ total tallies on the day. Sophomore attack Reilly O’Connor added a goal and three assists in his own right to make a case as the potential Robin to Casey’s Batman, but when that kind of tandem effort still isn’t enough to get the job done, it becomes obvious that bigger contributions from other sources will be essential going forward.
Even so, Warne viewed Casey’s gutsy — if largely solo — performance last weekend as more of a positive for the team than anything else.
“I see it as encouraging. You want your senior leaders to step up and set the tone in the beginning of the year for the rest of the season,” Warne said.
Outside of Casey, though, that was hardly the case Saturday.
Senior attacker Travis Comeau, a preseason all-Big East selection prior to the 2012 campaign, started on the bench against Lafayette and was virtually invisible throughout; senior midfielder Dan McKinney — who got a preseason all-Big East nod this year — had one goal on five shots; and senior defenseman Chris Nourse didn’t force a single Leopards turnover despite ranking third in the conference in the category last season.
All told, Georgetown’s third-, fourth- and fifth-highest point men in 2012 (seniors McKinney, Jason McFadden and Zac Guy, respectively) combined for two goals and three assists between them.
The good news, of course, is how upperclassmen-heavy this Hoya squad evidently is all over the field. The lone place where youth predominates is in the cage, where freshman keeper Alex Joyce allowed 11 goals on 21 Lafayette shots Saturday.
Navy, meanwhile, hung 20 on Virginia Military Institute in the two teams’ season-opener Feb. 9, marking the program’s highest individual-game goal total since 2004. VMI has been outright dominated in its two games since then, however, and that same Navy explosiveness hasn’t resurfaced in its most recent outings — an 11-7 home win over Detroit and a 10-9 road loss to Fairfield Tuesday.
Whether Navy’s offensive firepower was the result simply of a weak opponent, then, still remains to be seen. But that doesn’t mean Georgetown’s defensive unit can afford to take any chances Sunday, according to Warne.
“I think they’re really good offensively and very aggressive defensively,” he said of the Midshipmen. “Their attack has been playing together for three years, so they know each other pretty well and they do a good job within their system.”
The bottom line, then? Warne and Co. will have to show up in a big way Sunday if they’re hoping to get rid of that goose egg in their record in front of their home fans.
“Navy is a team that always plays with a lot of toughness,” Warne said. “They’re going to play for a full 60 minutes.”
The opening faceoff is set for noon Sunday at MultiSport Facility.