In a clash between two top ten teams, each entering the contest riding a five game win streak, Navy got the revenge they were looking for by upsetting the Georgetown Hoyas by a score of 7-5. Having lost to the Hoyas by one in overtime last season, Navy came out playing some of the most aggressive and confident lacrosse the Hoyas have had to face to date, and it appeared that last years loss was still very much on the mind's of the Mids. Navy was led by the playmaking of Jon Birsner, who ended the game with three assists, and by Graham Gill and Joe Bossi, who each contributed a pair of goals. For the second game in a row, no Hoya scored more than once, while Sean Denihan led the team with three points. Noticeably absent from the Hoya’s line-up was face-off specialist Andy Corno (ranked 1st in the nation with a .710 win %) who, like a seemingly growing number of Hoyas, has been either playing with or sidelined by an injury. This enabled Navy to win a majority of the face-offs ( 9 of 15) and eliminated one of Georgetown’s greatest assets.
Throughout the game, including the first quarter, Georgetown was able to out-shoot the Midshipmen, but it was to no avail as Navy’s goalie Matt Russell tallied 14 saves in the win, with 4 coming in the first 15 minutes. Noting how he was able to see “all outside shots” Russell gave much “credit to [the] defense” for keeping a vast majority of the Hoya offense on the perimeter. Conversely, Navy was able to get close to the cage and took advantage of the close shots by netting 7 goals on only 28 shots. The first of these came from Navy’s Dan Harris only a minute-and-a-half into the game. Georgetown responded a minute later as freshman Garrett Wilson scored off a feed from Denihan. Wilson took the ball spun once and stuck it top-shelf in a textbook move, one of the few scores from just off the crease that Georgetown had all day. Following the Wilson score, Georgetown’s Walid Hajj and Neil Goldman each put shots off the pipe, but were unable to score. Navy took advantage of those breaks and netted two of their own before the quarter ended. The first in the pair came in transition and exhibited some of the best ball movement that was seen all game. As each Midshipman passed to where the defensive slide had just come from, all three attackman had touches before Bossi put the ball in the cage, and gave Navy a lead that they would not lose throughout the game. The final goal of the quarter came from Gill on a man up goal that he threw behind his back.
Georgetown had difficulty penetrating the Navy defense in the first quarter, and the second quarter was host to much of the same, with Georgetown’s first goal of the quarter being the only exception. The goal, which amounted to a one-timer on the crease, was credited to Nick Miaritis, while the assist was earned by Hajj. The Miaritis goal brought the Hoyas to within one, but Navy soon responded with yet another pair of goals to again open up the lead. Billy Looney scored the first as he came out of the box with full steam, caught the ball and didn’t stop all the way to the goal. Navy’s last goal of the half came from Ian Dingman, who, while cutting down the middle took a feed from Birsner, and stretched the Midshipman’s lead to 3. Georgetown’s Goldman would get the last score of the half, off a feed from Denihan, with a hard rip from the perimeter and making great use of a Navy defenseman’s screen on the goalie. The half ended with a 5-3 Navy lead.
Unlike the first and second quarters which both contained a relatively high level of offensive production, the third quarter provided very limited offense, as there was only one goal scored, and it was credited to the visiting Midshipmen. It came nearly halfway into the quarter and was a mirror of the last Navy goal. Birsner’s look from behind set up the Bossi one-timer in front of the goal, giving Birsner his third assist of the game. Despite a number of opportunities, neither team was able to convert in man-up situations, and the quarter came to a close with Navy having increased their lead by one, 6-3.
Despite a slow start to the fourth quarter and the three goal margin that Navy enjoyed, there was never a feeling that Georgetown was out of the game. This became increasingly true as Georgetown sophomore Peter Cannon netted his first of the game with 8:14 left in regulation. It was Navy’s failure to safely clear their end of the field that primarily led to the confusion and the score. Again Georgetown increased the pressure on Navy as Denihan, who had an especially good game delivering the ball to his teammates, delivered a goal on a hard shot from the wing. With 7:09 left, this one goal game was clearly either team’s for the taking. With ample opportunities for each team to notch another goal, it wouldn’t be until there was a 1:54 left that a failed Georgetown clear led to an unassisted goal for Navy’s Gill, effectively ending the contest.
Georgetown vs. Navy