WASHINGTON - Graduate student midfielder Joe Bucci (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca) tied a career-high with five goals on Senior Night, but it was not enough for the Georgetown University men’s lacrosse team (2-11, 1-3 BIG EAST) to overcome University of Virginia (7-7, 0-4 ACC) in an 8-7 loss in front of a sellout crowd at Cooper Field.
Bucci, one of the Hoyas four graduating players honored prior to the game, paced the offense in his last career home game, as three of his five goals tied the score against a Cavalier team playing for an opportunity to make the postseason. It would not be enough, as the Blue & Gray ran out of time.
“Joe Bucci has been a rock,” Head Coach Kevin Warne said following the game. “He’s been here for five years and tonight he put the team on his back and said, hey, this is my night, I’m going to do my part. He was fantastic in a lot of areas, not just the five goals and I was really proud of him. He really left his mark.”
Sophomore Nick Marrocco (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) made 15 saves and allowed just eight goals in the loss, while sophomore faceoff specialist Peter Tagliaferri (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) went 7-for-14 at the faceoff X with four ground balls.
The Hoyas and Cavaliers played scoreless lacrosse for more than 12 minutes to open the evening, before Virginia broke through at the 2:17 mark in the first quarter, as Zed Williams scored an unassisted goal for the 1-0 UVA lead.
Georgetown answered with 22 seconds remaining in the first frame as Bucci scored on the assist from freshman attack Daniel Bucaro (East Setauket, N.Y./Ward Melville). UVA scored quickly in transition off the ensuing faceoff to take a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.
Bucci added his second goal of the game, blasting the shot past the goalie at the 11:21 mark in the second quarter to tie the score at two apiece. Virginia answered less than one minute later to regain a 3-2 edge. The Cavaliers tacked on goals at the 4:32 mark and one final goal with one second left in the half to take a 5-2 lead into the break.
Bucci scored his third goal of the game on an assist from junior midfielder Devon Lewis (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) with 12:33 to go in the third quarter, before junior midfielder Greg Galligan (Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y./St. Anthony’s) scored his first goal of the season on the assist from senior midfielder Corey Parke (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford) to bring the Hoyas within one goal, at 5-4. Meanwhile the GU defense held UVA scoreless through the third to go into the final quarter trailing by one.
The Hoyas tied the score at the 12:23 mark in the fourth on Bucci’s fourth goal of the game and third game-tying goal. The Cavaliers did not waste time regaining the lead, scoring less than one minute later to take a 6-5 advantage. The Cavaliers added a man-up goal with 9:48 to go in the game to extend the lead back to two goals.
Bucci scored his fifth goal on junior midfielder Eduardo White’s (Littleton, Colo./Kent Denver) assist to bring the Hoyas within one, at 7-6, but the Cavaliers continued to find an answer, as Zed Williams scored his third goal of the game with 4:06 remaining in the game, making the score 8-6.
With time winding down, sophomore attack Craig Berge (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa) caught a deflection on a full field clear and scored with four seconds remaining in the game. Tagliaferri won the final faceoff, but the Hoyas did not have enough time to create a scoring opportunity, falling 8-7 to UVA in front of the sellout crowd and the CBS Sports Network audience.
Georgetown will conclude the regular season next Saturday when they travel to Queens, N.Y. to take on BIG EAST rival St. John’s. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.
NOTES: Bucci, defenseman Curt Brooks, (North Potomac, Md./Wootton), midfielder Nic Mahaney (Portland, Maine/Deerfield) and Parke were all honored prior to the game on Senior Night. The senior class of Brooks, Mahaney and Parke represent the first class that has played its entire career for Head Coach Kevin Warne.