Men’s lacrosse to face first Big East opponent

The men’s lacrosse team has a chance to improve to 3-3 this season as it faces off against the Georgetown Hoyas Friday at 11 a.m. CDT in our nation’s capital.

The Golden Eagles enter the game on nearly two weeks rest, with their most recent game coming at the end of the team’s three-game road trip over spring break. Marquette has not had a break from formal competition this long since the regular season started and will not have another stretch like this for the rest of the year. Redshirt sophomore midfielder Connor Hewett said the time off will provide the team with more rest than rust.

When we were traveling all over the place for spring break, everyone got pretty tired at the end of the trip, and it was good to come back, relax and get the team together,” Hewett said.

Coach Joe Amplo likened the men’s lacrosse team’s upcoming game against Georgetown to the men’s basketball team’s game against Butler last weekend. He said, like the basketball team, his players are going up against a future conference opponent, since the men’s lacrosse team is playing this season as an independent.

Here is the first opportunity you have to establish who you are to that team,” Amplo said. “When it really meant everything to those kids, here is Marquette’s chance to say, ‘This is who we are.’”

Amplo said the long term impact of the upcoming game against Georgetown will be twofold.

Here is our chance, from a lacrosse standpoint, to show ourselves how important competing in the Big East is,” Amplo said. “And then, secondary to that, to show Georgetown how important winning a game against a Big East opponent is to us.”

Freshman defender Anthony Ciammaichella drew more parallels between the men’s basketball and men’s lacrosse teams, as both are slated to play in Washington, D.C. on back-to-back days. He added that he hopes the upcoming game spurs a rivalry.

I just want to start things off right and beat them,” Ciammaichella said. “If we do, I feel like we could start a rivalry in the Big East and, since Georgetown is one of the better teams in the Big East, that would be great.”

Georgetown’s most recent game was a 19-7 loss at Duke (ranked No. 12 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and No. 13 in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Coaches poll at the time), which dropped the team’s record to 3-5.

The Hoyas earned wins over Navy, Dartmouth and Providence, while their other four losses came at the hands of Lafayette, Harvard, Mount St. Mary’s and Loyola (ranked No. 9 in the Inside Lacrosse poll and No. 6 in the USILA Coaches poll at the time). The combined record of the three teams Georgetown has beaten is only 10-13, while the combined record of the five teams that triumphed over the Hoyas is 24-22.

Statistically, Georgetown’s offense does not have a clear cut leader. Reilly O’Connor, a sophomore attackman for the Hoyas, has a team-high 25 points this season, but 10 of those points came in one 4-goal, 6-assist game. Junior attackman Jeff Fountain is on O’Connor’s heels with 19 points, while senior hybrid midfielder and attackman Brian Casey amassed 16 points in the team’s first six games, but missed the last two games due to injury.