Loyola at Georgetown: Three things to watch

Georgetown owns a 29-6 advantage in this series, but Loyola is enjoying a five-game winning streak. The No. 15 Greyhounds (5-2) have won three of the last four contests, including Saturday’s 13-7 victory over Air Force at the Whitman Sampler Mile High Classic in Denver. Senior attackman Mike Sawyer is questionable, but freshman Zach Herreweyers scored three goals in Sawyer’s place against the Falcons. The Hoyas (3-3) snapped a two-game losing skid with a 16-8 rout of previously undefeated Providence last Saturday. Sophomore attackman Reilly O’Connor paced the team with nine points on five goals and four assists. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome at Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night.

1) Georgetown without Brian Casey. The Hoyas walloped the Friars despite playing the final three quarters without senior attackman Brian Casey, who sought treatment on his left leg in the first period. Casey, who leads the offense in goals with 11 and ranks second in points with 16, may have been missed, but senior Travis Comeau filled in with a season-high four goals and two assists. Loyola coach Charley Toomey said the team has prepared as if Casey will return for Wednesday night’s game. “We have a lot of respect for Casey. We’ve seen him over the course of time.” Toomey said. “I was shocked at how unselfish they were without him in there – similar to us with Michael stepping away. Sometimes kids step up, and that’s exactly what Georgetown did on Saturday. They got a great win for their program against an undefeated team. So we’re challenged with going over there, and we know we’re going to see a team that’s full of confidence, and that’s what we need to bring to the table.”

2) Georgetown with Jake Haley. The Hoyas opened the season with freshman Alex Joyce in the cage, but after two games, the starting goalie job has been turned over to redshirt sophomore Jake Haley. Haley is 2-2 and has a 9.75 goals-against average, but he also has a .519 save percentage in his first year as the full-time starter. Toomey said he has watched Haley develop a confidence in the net. “When you’re dealing with first-year starters, what happens is they continue to get better and better as they see more shots,” Toomey said. “What we’ve seen on tape is that he’s got excellent hands, he’s quick to get down, and he makes some spectacular saves that keeps Georgetown in the game at times. We know we’ve got our hands full. If we don’t come out and play well and play with energy and shoot the ball well, he could be a game-changer.”

3) Georgetown with Tyler Knarr. The Hoyas have won 60.2 percent (80-of-133) of their faceoffs courtesy of redshirt junior Tyler Knarr. He has won 66.3 percent (65-of-98) of his draws while using a pole. It will be up to sophomore Blake Burkhart (59.2 percent on 58-of-98) and junior Brendan Donovan (50 percent on 33-of-66) to tie up Knarr, who leads Georgetown in ground balls with 43. “I’m shocked at how quickly he can get the ball out,” Toomey said. “And not only get it out, but pick it up and create offense. He’s really developed into not only a long pole, but a true threat with the ball in his stick coming from the X. We have a lot of respect for him as a pole, but obviously, now we have to add that faceoff ability to that.”

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad