The Loyola men's lacrosse team had all the answers, while its opponent was left with questions.
Imposing their will on both ends of the field, the No. 7 Greyhounds suffocated No. 9 and visiting Georgetown, 11-6, before an announced 1,644 at Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday.
In winning its fifth consecutive game for the first time since 2007, Loyola (8-2) was thorough and precise in picking apart a Hoyas team (7-4) that had entered the contest with a three-game winning streak.
The Greyhounds limited Georgetown's starting midfield of seniors Andrew Brancaccio and Scott Kocis and junior Max Seligmann to two goals and one assist, and the Hoyas produced their lowest output since a 9-5 loss to Duke on March 21, 2009.
"I think all week in practice, we really addressed what their strengths were," said Loyola senior defenseman Kyle Cottrell, who held freshman attackman Travis Comeau to one goal and one assist. "They were going to go with their guns — Brancaccio with the big right hand, Kocis big right hand on the dodge. Our guys just did what they had to do and got it done. We just wanted to take their strengths away."
Offensively, the Greyhounds broke a 4-4 tie at halftime on the strength of a 4-0 run over a span of 3 minutes, 16 seconds in the third quarter.
Senior attackman Collin Finnerty and junior attackman Matt Langan got it started, and junior midfielder Eric Lusby capped the burst with two goals in an 84-second span.
Loyola has outscored its opponents 29-13, in third quarters this season. Georgetown did not score in a quarter for the first time this season.
"We just come out of the locker room with a ton of energy," said Finnerty, who finished with three goals and has posted at least three points in eight contests this season. "We go in there and talk it out. Coach [Charley] Toomey gets us fired up with a speech, and the guys get together. The energy from the team, the crowd is unbelievable. … I think we just feed off of that."
The Greyhounds also dominated between the lines, winning 15 of 20 faceoffs, collecting 45 ground balls to the Hoyas' 33, and clearing the ball a perfect 24 of 24 times.
"We asked our whole team to go after ground balls and not let a Georgetown team come into our house and outhustle us," Toomey said. "And I thought our guys really dug in defensively. When that ball was on the ground, we wanted it and we went after it."
Senior attackman Cooper MacDonnell led all scorers with four points on three goals and one assist. Junior goalkeeper Jake Hagelin made 14 saves, turning aside 13 or more shots in four consecutive games.
Junior attackman Rickey Mirabito posted two goals and one assist for the Hoyas, who lost to Loyola for the third straight time and for the fourth time in the past five meetings. Coach Dave Urick said the team was forced to play too much defense because of the huge difference in faceoffs.
"That puts you in a position where you're putting a lot more pressure on your defense than you'd like to," he said. "Then the offense tends to get a little impatient and takes some ill-advised shots. And I think their goalkeeper is one of the better ones we've seen. We didn't have a lot of real good scoring opportunities, but some of the ones that we did, he turned away some pretty good shots as well."
Notes: Loyola achieved season highs in ground balls (45) and clearing percentage (100 percent on 24 of 24 clears). The percentage of faceoff wins (75 percent on 15 of 20 draws) is the second highest of the season. … Loyola senior defenseman Steve Dircks finished with six ground balls, breaking a previous career high of five. Senior defenseman Steve Layne tied a career best with five ground balls, and he caused two turnovers.