A beautiful day at MultiSport facility finished on a sour note as men’s lacrosse team (5-6, 1-3 Big East) squandered a 5-1 halftime lead over Notre Dame (9-1, 4-0 Big East) in a tough 9-7 loss.
The scoring started only two minutes into the game when Jason McFadden found senior midfielder Francis McDonough who potted the goal.
After a series of sloppy possessions by both squads, including a streak of three consecutive Notre Dame turnovers, the Irish’s Eric Keppeler knotted the score at one apiece with 6:16 remaining in the first.
But the Hoyas controlled the ensuing faceoff and quickly capitalized as Travis Comeau received a beautiful pass from Zac Guy and found the back, left corner of the net. This goal rounded out the first period scoring as GU entered the second frame with a 2-1 lead.
The start of the second period saw The Hoyas continue to press Notre Dame and keep the momentum going. After goalie Matt Winter withstood a slew of Irish shots, the Hoyas quickly got one back in transition. In their first offensive possession of the second period, Guy found a crease behind the goalie to score at the 11:45 mark. Angel took advantage of this same exact weakness in the ND defense a minute later to put Georgetown up 4-1.
The Irish looked to stem the tide when they earned a man advantage halfway through the second period. They got a great look coming out of the timeout, but were unable to capitalize as the shot sailed high and wide.
Another Irish turnover allowed Gerry Reilly to find the back of the net for Georgetown and the Hoyas went up 5-1. That would cap the scoring in the first half.
“They played well. That’s indicative of what they’re capable of,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said of his team’s play in the first half.
If the first half was a benchmark for how well the Hoyas can play, though, the second half was a reminder of just how inconsistent the team can be.
Notre Dame stormed back in the third period, as the Irish broke their long scoring drought at 9:23 to pull within three goals. Another goal just over a minute later allowed ND to capture the momentum, and with less than one second left, a costly Georgetown turnover led to a breakaway goal for Notre Dame.
The score may have been 5-4 Georgetown, but the momentum was firmly on Notre Dame’s side. Rather than stymying their rally, however, Georgetown continued to look lost as the Irish opened up a 7-5 lead. The two teams exchanged late goals, but the damage was done, and Notre Dame held on for a 9-7 victory.
While this result certainly stung for the Hoyas — especially for the older members of the team who are nearing graduation — Urick remained cautiously optimistic.
“The key for us is that we have two more games that we have to deal with,” he said. “And we have to take care of them in a positive way.”
The Hoyas return to action next Saturday, when they travel to Syracuse to take on the Orange at 3 p.m. You can catch the action on ESPNU.