April 4, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Entering a series of games in which they would play five-straight against conference opponents and need to win virtually every one to ensure a chance to win the ECAC Lacrosse League, seniors on the Georgetown men's lacrosse team said Saturday's game against Fairfield was as a must win.
In that case, it was only fitting that three of the team's seniors - Dan Vinson (Pleasant Hill, Calif./DeLaSalle), Dan D'Agnes (Manhasset, N.Y./Chaminade) and Jake Samperton (Bethesda, Md./Landon) - helped lead the team to a crucial 11-8 win over the Stags in front of 1,225 fans at the Multi-Sport Field Saturday afternoon. It was the second-straight win and third in the last four games for the Hoyas, who improved to 5-5 overall and 1-2 in the ECAC, while Fairfield falls to 6-3 overall and 3-1 in the league.
Vinson had a career day at the face-off X, winning 17-of-21 opportunities and collecting a team-high 12 ground balls. The 17 wins were a career-high and the most for a Georgetown player since Christiaan Trunz won 19 against Rutgers on April 28, 2007. On the offensive side, Samperton scored two goals and had one assist, while D'Agnes added two scores and the Hoyas broke open a close game with three goals in the third and fourth quarter to take a 10-5 lead en route to the win.
The Hoyas led 6-4 at the break and took a 7-4 lead midway through the third quarter, but a score from Fairfield's John Snellman with 5:52 left to play narrowed the gap to two goals. Junior Ben Hostetler (Ellicott City, Md./River Hill) picked up a ground ball and scored in transition to give the Hoyas an 8-5 lead with 1:25 to play.
Leading by three in the fourth, D'Agnes scored a pair of crucial goals, increasing the Hoya lead to five. On the first, he came on the field and entered play taking a pass from freshman Zack Angel (Park Hall, Md./St. Mary's Ryken) off the left side of the goal and his shot beat Fairfield goalie Charlie Cipriano at 10:33, making it 9-5. D'Agnes responded at the 8:07 mark, scoring from nearly the same spot as Georgetown took a 10-5 lead. Fairfield pulled to within 10-6 on a goal from Nick Baglio with 5:43 to play, but after Vinson won the next face-off, the Hoyas milked the clock in possession. Junior Eric Reinhardt (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) scored with 1:37 to play to make it 11-6, virtually sealing the win.
Unlike previous games this season where the team has started off slowly, the Hoyas won the opening face-off and raced downfield and scored eight seconds into the game. Vinson won the first of his 17 attempts and fed junior Craig Dowd (East Northport, N.Y./Northport) near the crease, who passed to a wide open Rickey Mirabito (Binghamton, N.Y./Chenango Forks), who scored his team-leading 18th goal of the year.
Tied at one, Samperton scored his first goal of the game with 9:07 to play in the quarter, spinning around a defender and rifling a shot past Cipriano. The Stags tied the game late in the second on a goal from Chris Ajemian, but the Hoyas once again took the lead with Samperton finding junior Scott Kocis (Huntington, N.Y./ Huntington), whose low shot went past Cipriano, giving the Hoyas a 3-2 lead going into the second quarter.
Fairfield scored a pair of goals in the first five minutes of the second quarter, one from Baglio and the other from Ryan Mulford, and took a 4-3 lead. It did not last for long, as Samperton took the ball after a restart, dodged past a defender and beat Cipriano to the right with 8:17 before the half and tying the game. The Hoyas scored two more goals before the half for a 6-4 lead. Dowd fed sophomore Stu Shannon (Detroit, Mich./Detroit Country Day) for a shot from 20 yards out with 6:53 to play and then Mirabito scored after taking the ball following a restart and used a one-handed shot to beat Cipriano.
Georgetown held a 43-27 advantage in shots, a 44-23 advantage in ground balls and won 18-of-22 face-off attempts. Vinson won 17 of those face-off attempts and had a team-high 12 ground balls.
Eight different players scored goals and nine different players had at least one point, led by Samperton with three points (2g, 1a). D'Agnes and Mirabito each scored two goals, Dowd added two assists and Kocis, Shannon, Angel, Hostetler and Reinhardt scored one goal apiece. Junior goalie Jack Davis (Glen Ridge, N.J./Glen Ridge) made nine saves, while Chris Taylor (Mercer Island, Wash./Mercer Island) had seven ground balls and Stevie Bauer (Red Bank, N.J./Peddie School) collected five and caused six turnovers.
Georgetown remains at home next week, hosting Loyola (5-5, 1-2) in a crucial ECAC matchup at the Multi-Sport Field. Face-off is slated for 1 p.m. and the game will be shown live on MASN. Live video and statistics of the game can be found on the Gerogetown Athletics website, www.guhoyas.com.