Advertisement
Sports

Georgetown at Mount St. Mary's men's lacrosse: Three things to watch

Mount St. Mary's is clinging to a slight 16-15 lead in this series, but Georgetown has won 15 of the past 16 meetings, including last year's 10-4 victory on Feb. 12. The Mountaineers are winless in two games at home, and the Hoyas are seeking their first win on the road after falling, 14-12, to No. 3 and 2014 NCAA tournament finalist Notre Dame in their season opener.

Georgetown (1-2) scored its first victory with a 13-11 win against Hofstra on Saturday. The offense is fueled by an attack trio of senior Bo Stafford (team leader in goals with seven and points with 11), freshman Stephen Quinzi (six goals and one assist) and senior Reilly O'Connor (4, 2). That group accounted for eight goals and four assists in the win against Hofstra.

Advertisement

Mount St. Mary's (1-2) has dropped two straight since opening the season with an 11-8 victory at VMI. Freshman goalkeeper Matt Vierheller, who will make his second consecutive start, turned aside 17 shots in the team's 7-4 loss to then-No. 17 Towson on Friday. The 17 saves were the most by a goalie since April 14, 2014 when Chris Klaiber stopped 19 shots in a 17-2 loss to Johns Hopkins.

Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

Advertisement

1) The other freshman goalie. Vierheller isn't the only freshman protecting the net. The Hoyas will start Nick Marrocco, who made 17 saves in the win against Hofstra. Marrocco, who was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Week for his performance, ranks 21st in Division I with 11.3 saves per game, but Mountaineers coach Tom Gravante said he wants to see his offense turn up the heat on Marrocco.

"What happens to that young man tomorrow is going to be on him, but it's also going to be up to our team to recognize that and to try to beat him down," Gravante said. "I would say that we want to keep the pressure on him until they pull him and go with another guy."

2) The other faceoff guys. Mount St. Mary's will play without senior Mike Celmer, who is  recovering from a concussion. Senior Nick Haley, who has won 36.7 percent (11 of 30) of his draws, will likely take most of the faceoffs. But Gravante said the team could also turn to junior Evan Gormley and a pair of long-stick midfielders in redshirt sophomore Tommy Lyons and junior Brent Tsang against Georgetown fifth-year senior and Harvard transfer Gabriel Mendola (54.7 percent, winning 41 of 75 faceoffs).

"It's going to be a key to battle this young man and win our share of faceoffs because we've struggled," Gravante said. "It's just Nick Haley, who's our No. 1 guy, and a couple other guys that we're going to throw in there to give Nick Haley a breather."

3) The other offense. The Hoyas rank a modest 26th in the country in offense at 10.3 goals per game, but their man-up unit has been stronger. The extra-man offense ranks fourth with a 63.6 percent conversion rate (7 of 11), and Gravante knows encouraging that unit against a Mountaineers man-down defense that has killed just 7 of 13 opportunities is a situation best avoided.

"We're going to be really patient and mature and make sure that we're fundamentally sound tomorrow and not putting the ball on the deck or passing the ball where guys have to pick it off the turf or catch it around their knees or their ankles," he said. "Our guys have to be fundamentally strong tomorrow. I just figure that the longer we have it, the less they have it, and that can keep the ball out of their end and reduce the number of penalties."


Advertisement