Chris DiPretoro made his first career start one to remember.
The 5-foot-11, 200-pound freshman attackman racked up his first collegiate hat trick, scoring three goals on four shots in Mount St. Mary's 11-8 victory at Georgetown Tuesday evening.
DiPretoro, who had entered the game with two goals, scored once in the first quarter and twice in the final period – including a bullet from the left alley that tied the score at 8-8 with 4 minutes, 59 seconds left in regulation.
Coach Tom Gravante said DiPretoro, who had been employed as a midfielder, is better suited for attack.
"DiPretoro, the freshman, if you watch his ability to shoot the ball and how he passes, it pops out of his stick," Gravante said. "He's got a great shot, and it's a quick shot. It's deceiving, too, at times."
Said fifth-year senior Mark Hojnoski, who scored a career-high five goals and added an assist against the Hoyas: "He was phenomenal."
DiPretoro got the start because senior midfielder Evan Gormley suffered what Gravante described as a detached tendon in his ankle/foot area during practice. With Gormley considering extended rest or surgery, the Mountaineers (2-2) shifted redshirt junior Bubba Johnson from attack to midfield, where he ran with senior Justin Gosnell and junior Ryan Lamon on the first line.
Johnson posted two assists and now leads the offense in that department with six and ranks second in points with nine.
Hojnoski said Johnson didn't miss a beat at midfield.
"Moving Bubba Johnson to the midfield was a good move," Hojnoski said. "He was really taking advantage of the short-stick matchup when he was getting up there. So it's definitely been a good move as a result of today."