After the Georgetown men's lacrosse team had scored two goals to cut into a three-goal deficit midway through the fourth quarter, Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante turned to his players on the sideline and yelled, "This is just like the Towson game."
Gravante's concern was warranted. As in that 10-8 loss to the Tigers on March 3, the visiting Mountaineers failed to protect a fourth-quarter lead and fell, 9-8, to the Hoyas at Multi-Sport Field on Wednesday night.
Mount St. Mary's fell to 2-3 and was left wondering what could've been for the second time in three games.
"Moral victories are nothing," junior faceoff specialist Jon Marsalese said. "We know we can run with the big dogs, and we want to run with them. We showed we can, and we should've won against Towson and we should've won against Georgetown."
In the loss to the Tigers, the Mountaineers took an 8-7 lead with 9:03 left in the fourth quarter but surrendered three unanswered goals. Against the Hoyas, Mount St. Mary's had an 8-5 advantage before Georgetown scored all four goals in the fourth quarter.
The Hoyas (3-1) dominated possession in the period, courtesy of sophomore Chris May, who out-dueled Marsalese and won all five faceoffs. May won six of eight draws overall, while Marsalese won 12 of 21.
"He was timing the whistle up really well, and I wasn't able to adjust and he got the best of me," said Marsalese, who had won 12 of 16 faceoffs through the first three quarters. "I'm going to work a lot harder. I've got to adjust better."
Georgetown's run began with a goal from junior attackman Zac Guy just 70 seconds into the fourth quarter. Three minutes later, they converted on their second extra-man opportunity when senior midfielder Zack Angel accepted a skip pass from Guy (two goals, two assists) and blasted a shot past sophomore goalkeeper Chris Klaiber (career-best 14 saves) from the right point.
The Hoyas tied the score when junior attackman Travis Comeau took a feed from junior attackman Jason McFadden (Calvert Hall) and beat Klaiber from the left alley with 7:29 remaining in the quarter. Forty-six seconds later, junior midfielder Brian Casey curled around the right post and tucked a shot under the crossbar to give the Hoyas their first lead since the second quarter.
The Mountaineers' best chance to send the game into overtime came with less than three minutes to go. But Georgetown junior defenseman Chris Nourse intercepted a lazy pass that junior attackman Andrew Scalley (Archbishop Spalding) tried to skip over the defense from behind the net. Mount St. Mary's never got another shot.
Gravante said he didn't regret reminding the players about the Towson loss.
"I said that to inspire them," he said. "We had a second opportunity here to make things right. They let that one slip away, and I wanted to remind them so that they would bear down. But we didn't win a single faceoff in the fourth quarter. We can't win a ballgame like that, especially when the other team has the momentum. We have to stop the bleeding. It was a game that I hoped we would be on top, but the bottom line is, we make too many mistakes coming down the pipeline and under pressure. We need to grow out of that."