WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's lacrosse team (0-0, 0-0 BIG EAST) will open its 2015 season indoors at No. 2 Notre Dame's (0-0, 0-0 ACC) Loftus Sports Center on Saturday with the opening face-off scheduled for noon. It will be the 15th meeting in series history, as both programs have seven wins.
The Hoyas will open their third season under Head Coach Kevin Warne. GU was selected second in the preseason BIG EAST Coaches Poll, released earlier this month, behind preseason No. 1 Denver. The Blue & Gray return seven starters from one year ago and welcome the nation's No. 20 recruiting class according to Inside Lacrosse.
ATTACK: Senior captain Reilly O'Connor (Brooklin, Ontario/The Hill Academy) and senior Bo Stafford (Greenwich, Conn./Brunswick) return as starters to an otherwise young position group. O'Connor, a 2013 All-BIG EAST selection, had 15 goals and 12 assists last season, while Stafford had 13 goals and a team-leading 18 assists. The two upperclassmen will be joined by freshman Stephen Quinzi (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford), who has been impressive during the fall and through the team's first two scrimmages.
Junior Connor Gallegos (Manassas, Va./Episcopal), sophomores Julian Schwab (Englewood, Colo./Cherry Creek) and John van de Veerdonk (Putnam Valley, N.Y./Putnam Valley) and freshmen Matt Behrens (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville) and Zeke Morrill (Baltimore, Md./Gilman/Deerfield) will add depth to the position group.
MIDFIELD: Sophomore Peter Conley (Mamaroneck, N.Y./Mamaroneck) had a breakout freshman season, leading the squad with 37 points with a team-leading 24 goals to become the first Hoya freshman to earn First Team All-BIG EAST honors. He'll be joined in the midfield by senior captain Charlie McCormick (Bronxville, N.Y./Bronxville), a 2013 All-BIG EAST Second Team selection, who finished with 13 goals and five assists last season. The team will also benefit from the return of senior captain Joe Bucci (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca). The versatile middie, was lost during the second game of the 2014 season.
Sophomore Devon Lewis (Orlando, Fla./Lake Highland Prep) returns after a strong rookie year, where he was third on the team with 15 goals. Seniors Anthony Heaton (Essex Fells, N.J./Delbarton), Mitch Hugdahl (Eden Prairie, Minn./Eden Prairie) , junior Corey Parke (Pittsford, N.Y./Pittsford) and sophomores Sean Grimm (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) and Eduardo White (Littleton, Colo./Kent Denver) will also be competing for minutes during the 2015 season.
Freshman Craig Berge (Massapequa, N.Y./Massapequa), the No. 5 ranked recruit in the nation, will look to make an immediate impact on the team's midfield group, while classmate Ryan Hursey (Finksburg, Md./Westminster) has also shown his ability in the team's two preseason scrimmages.
DEFENSIVE MIDDIES/LSM: Senior William Flatley (Berwyn, Pa./Conestoga) and sophomore Nick Carpenter (Oakton, Va./Paul IV) shared short stick defensive middie shifts last season and will be back in similar roles. Sophomore Drew Higgins (Summit, N.J./Delbarton) and freshman Greg Galligan (Oyster Bay Cove, N.Y./Saint Anthony's) will also push for playing time. Long stick middie Curt Brooks (North Potomac, Md./Wootton) played in 13 games last year and will be joined by graduate student Bryson Craft (Newtown Square, Pa./Episcopal Academy[Lehigh]), a Lehigh transfer.
CLOSE DEFENSE: Senior Bryson Greene (Towson, Md./McDonogh) is the most experienced of GU's defenders, starting 10 games in 2014 and finishing second on the team with 14 caused turnovers. Warne started three freshmen on defense a year ago, with sophomores Ed Blatz Jr. (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City), Charlie Ford (San Carlos, Calif./St. Ignatius) and Michael Mayer (Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's) all return having received valuable game experience in 2014.
Georgetown's four freshmen defenders, including Kieran Jenkins (Millersville, Md./Severna Park), Riley Mann (Naperville, Ill./Benet Academy), Connor Moran (Monkton, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) and Alex Robinson (Silver Spring, Md./Bullis) will all push for playing time throughout the season.
GOALIES: Freshman Nick Marrocco (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) has been impressive since setting foot on campus back in September and will start for the Hoyas in their season-opener. Junior Alex Vicas (Washington, D.C./St. Albans) will serve as Marrocco's backup, having played in one game as a sophomore.
FACE-OFF SPECIALISTS: Graduate student Gabriel Mendola (Ithaca, N.Y./Ithaca[Harvard]), a Harvard transfer, went 122-for-223 at the face-off X with the Crimson last season. Freshman Peter Tagliaferri (Danville, Calif./San Ramon Valley) will also push for reps at the face-off X.
ABOUT NOTRE DAME: The Fighting Irish, last year's national runner-up, return nearly 80-percent of last season's point production Junior attackman Matt Kavanagh, registered ND records for points (75) and assists (33) and senior captain Conor Doyle tallied 31 goals and 19 assists last season. Notre Dame's close defense boasts preseason All-Americans, and returning starters, Matt Landis, a junior, and Garrett Epple, a sophomore. Senior Conor Kelly and sophomore Shane Doss are back after sharing goalkeeping responsibilities last year.