The Georgetown men’s lacrosse team, ranked No. 18 in the nation, began its season strong with a 13-10 victory over Sacred Heart on Saturday. With the win, the Hoyas came out on top in their second-straight nonconference season opener.

Though the win didn’t come easy, Head Coach Kevin Warne anticipated unpredictable play to start off the season.

“It’s the first game of the season,” Warne said, “so not everything’s going to be perfect.” However, Warne is certainly looking to improve going forward. “I just want the guys to play a bit better. I think we did, in spurts,” he said, “but we’ve got a lot to work on.”

Leading Georgetown’s (1-0) offense were senior attack Daniel Bucaro and junior attack Jake Carraway. Sacred Heart’s game plan focused on preventing Bucaro from scoring, but the versatile team captain demonstrated deft control of the offense as he put up four assists and a hat trick of goals. Carraway contributed five points of his own, and senior attack Robert Clark posted four points on two goals and two assists.

On the defensive end, junior defenseman Stephen Macleod had a standout performance, leaving Sacred Heart junior midfielder Max Tuttle, the 2018 Northeastern Conference Player of the Year, scoreless for the first three quarters. Sophomore defenseman Gibson Smith and senior defensive midfielder Patrick Aslanian both put up solid performances as well. Smith had three caused turnovers, while Aslanian had two caused turnovers and five ground balls.

Although he was not the only new face that contributed to Saturday’s success, sophomore goalie Owen McElroy was another defensive leader, who tallied 16 saves in his first career win. Freshman defenseman Alex Mazzone secured his first career start, while freshman midfielder Declan McDermott and freshman attack Dylan Watson both posted their first career goals.

KIRK ZIESER/THE HOYA | A Georgetown goalie goes up for a save during warm-ups. Sophomore goalie Owen McElroy tallied 16 saves in the win over Sacred Heart.

After the game, Warne was clear on the important role these newer contributors will play this season. “We need that from them,” Warne said.

The game got off to a slow start. Sacred Heart opened the scoring just two minutes into the game, and it was another five minutes until Bucaro scored the equalizer. Soon after, Sacred Heart responded with two goals of their own. The home team had its fair share of possessions, but sloppy stickwork prevented them from capitalizing on them. However, with less than a minute left in the half, Bucaro drew a double team and found Watson on the doorstep. The freshman turned and put the ball in the back of the net for the first time in his college career, bringing Georgetown within one goal at the end of the first quarter.

After the Pioneers threw the ball away on their first possession of the second quarter, the Hoyas were able to tie the game up once again on a Carraway score. Georgetown then took its first lead with just under seven minutes left, but a slashing penalty on the team just a few minutes later gave the Sacred Heart a man advantage, which they capitalized on to tie the game once again. The Hoyas fired back with a goal from Clark, making the score 5-4 in favor of the home team. A strong defensive stand just before the half preserved the Georgetown lead entering into the break.

However, this lead did not last very long. Just two minutes into the third quarter, Sacred Heart took the ball on offense after a bad Georgetown turnover and tied it up again. Although they couldn’t convert in a man advantage situation, Georgetown took the lead again on a Carraway goal, following it with two more from Clark and McDermott to make the score 8-5. Georgetown found the back of the net twice in the quarter’s last 90 seconds to make the score 10-6 after the third.

The teams went back and forth in the final quarter, with each team rebutting an opponent score with one of their own. Sacred Heart struck first, and they scored four times in the frame, but Georgetown’s consistent responses meant that they never brought the game within three goals. The game would end as a 13-10 Georgetown victory.

The Hoyas will look to add another one to the win column on Saturday, Feb. 16, when they face off against Robert Morris University at Cooper Field.

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