The Georgetown Hoyas have gradually climbed from just being another team in the Big East Conference, to an elite Top 10 contender in the college lacrosse looking to secure a National Championship. Georgetown has gradually been making noise in college lacrosse for a few years now, but 2022 seems like the year the Hoyas have a real shot at winning it all.
Let’s break down what has been taking place in Washington DC over the last few years starting after the 2016 and 2017 lacrosse seasons, where the team finished underneath .500 in back-to-back seasons.
Coming out of the Big East, Georgetown fell victim to living in the shadow of the Denver Pioneers, who were the team to beat in the conference. In 2018, the Hoyas took their first major step to cracking the mold set by Denver. The first major change seen in the 2018 season that carried over into the future seasons, was the preseason scrimmages against the University of Maryland. The mindset of playing the best teams in the nation to open up competitive ball was a major focus shift the team needed. That same year, Georgetown would win the Big East knocking off Denver, and ultimately earn a trip to the NCAA Tournament where they would come up short against Johns Hopkins University in overtime of the first round.
Following a successful 2018 season, Georgetown would create a winning culture that has continued all the way into the 2022 season. Since the 2018, Georgetown has won three straight Big East Championships, made multiple NCAA tournament appearances, and earned a tournament win against Syracuse last year. Needless to say, Georgetown has emerged from Denver’s shadow and have created and cultivated a winning environment that has taken the college lacrosse world by storm this year.
But what made Georgetown so noticeable in 2022? These are the three main factors contributing to Georgetown’s success.
1. Strength of Schedule
When you look at the Georgetown schedule, it is impossible to not notice the strength of their out-of-conference schedule and the success they have had. Out of the eight games played so far, five have been played against ranked opponents. Furthermore, the Hoyas have victories in four of their last five ranked matchups including teams such as Penn, Notre Dame, Johns Hopkins, and Lehigh. With wins against consistent powerhouses to start the season, it was clear that the Hoyas were ready for the season and are looking poised for another Big East championship run but more importantly, a National Championship run.
2. Winning the Stat Board
Taking a deeper dive into the stat lines for the team, it is even more clear why they are finding so much success. Simply put, they are winning every category on the board. The Hoyas have collectively outshot, out-groundballed, and outscored their opponents with conviction. The Hoyas have 116 goals scored with only 68 goals allowed on the year, they have won 290 groundballs compared to opponents 246, But most notably, the Hoyas are getting over 60 percent of their shots on goal compared to an opponent 57 percent. The Hoyas are playing higher quality and more efficient lacrosse compared to their opponents so far, rewarding them with a 7-1 record.
3. Experience and Leadership
When looking at the Hoyas on field/statistical leaders, it is impossible to not notice the experience these players bring. The Hoyas winning culture proved to attract more winners as they gained additions from graduate players like Alex Trippi (North Carolina), Connor Morin (Notre Dame), and Will Bowen (North Carolina). All of these players have been able to come on and make an immediate impact as Trippi is one of the Hoyas leading scorers and Bowen leads the team in caused turnovers on the defensive end.
Graduate transfers aside, the team also boasts senior talent from within as well. Players like senior attackman, Dylan Watson, is leading the team with 27 goals this season and is an in-house product who has made a major impact for the team offensively. Defensively, graduate goalkeeper, Owen McElroy, has been a force between the pipes for the team. A five year Georgetown product, McElroy currently sits with an astounding .629 percent saves average while holding an 8.29 goals against average. These numbers alone are impressive but when considering the competition they have faced thus far, it is even more head turning.
The Hoyas are looking like they will be the team to beat heading into their conference play, but more importantly, in the NCAA tournament. It will be interesting to see if the Hoyas continue to dominate throughout the Big East schedule, or will we see an in-conference team knock them off. Regardless, the Hoyas have more than impressive thus far this year and it should be exciting to see what they do moving forward.