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Virginia Lacrosse Preview: Georgetown

Virginia hosts Georgetown for Senior Day as they try to get back on track before heading into the post season.

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Who: No.14 Georgetown Hoyas
When: Saturday, April 18, 1:00
Where: Klöckner Stadium, Charlottesville
How to Watch: Gametracker, Cavaliers Live ($$)

The No.9 Cavaliers play host to nearby neighbors Georgetown this afternoon in their last game before their consolation prize game against Penn in place of the ACC tournament. This is only the third time the teams have met, and all three have been in the post season. Georgetown, tied with Marquette for second place in the Big East standings with a record of 3-1, brings an 8-4 record into Charlottesville after a win last weekend against Villanova. The win against 'Nova guaranteed the Hoyas a spot in the Big East tournament.

Georgetown is led on attack by senior Bo Stafford (23 goals, 20 assists), current Big East Offense Player of the week, Reilly O'Connor (19g, 18a), and Stephen Quinzi (16g, 8a). They move the ball crisply and have strong finishers in Stafford and O'Connor. Last week against Villanova, O'Connor cruised to the tune of five goals and an assist, and Stafford added two goals and four assists to improve his consecutive point scoring streak to 23 games.

As a team, Georgetown averages 12 goals per game and takes about 40 shots per game. The attack accounts for the majority of their scoring, but their midfielders Craig Berge (10g, 14a), Peter Conley (19g, 3a), and Eduardo White (11g, 1a) are all threats to score. On top of that, the Hoyas have five more players that have at least five goals.

Georgetown played exclusively zone defense against Villanova, anchored by Michael Mayer (24 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers), Nic Mahaney (6gbs, 2ct), and long stick midfielder turned close defender Chris Pauzer (10gb, 8ct). They are very active on defense, but got a little sloppy on the clears. As a team, the Hoyas are completing just 83% of their clears.

Goaltender Nick Marrocco has been phenomenal this season, averaging 13.5 saves per game and boasting a 57% save percentage between the pipes. His Virginia counterpart, Matt Barrett, has posted nearly identical numbers with 13.4 saves per game and a 56% save percentage. If both goalies are on point, goals could be hard to come by.

Virginia is led by Greg Coholan who has gone off for a ridiculous 32 goals and eight assists this season. His transition to attack after James Pannell's season ending injury has gone seamlessly, and he's done it all with a team best (with regards to usage) shooting percentage of 44%. Fifth year senior Owen Van Arsdale has had a solid season with 22 goals and 11 assists from his more natural lefty finishing spot, and second year Ryan Lukacovic (13g, 22a) has adapted to the feeder role well.

At the midfield, fourth years Ryan Tucker, and Tyler German have teamed well with second year Zed Williams. Tucker (22g, 11a) has been quiet the past couple games, but the Georgetown usage of zone defense should leave more outside shots open which will benefit the big Cavalier shooters. Williams (18g, 17a) continues to show off his skill set and sits second on the team in points. German has been a pleasant surprise with his increased playing time on the first line, scoring 14 goals and grabbing 35 ground balls from wing play on faceoffs.

Faceoffs...ah, faceoffs. Jason Murphy has improved over the season and is now winning 48% of his attempts. Georgeown's Gabriel Mendola (and his sweet flow) are winning a comparable 48.5%. If Virginia can take advantage at the X, they could get out to a big lead, or at least test Marrocco early and often in cage.

Virginia's defense struggled against the cutters of Duke, but they have been solid despite their inexperience. Davi Sacco continues to impress with his leadership and maturity on the field, and young guys Logan Greco and Scott Hooper are playing well beyond their means. Sacco's 17 caused turnovers lead the team, and LSM Michael Howard has an impressive 11.

Saturday's game marks Senior Day for seven players - Davi Sacco, Ryan Tucker, Thompson Brown, Tanner Ottenbreit, Owen Van Arsdale, Greg Coholan, and Tyler German - as well as managers Sean Knightly and Michael Starsia. Coholan is technically a red shirt junior, so Virginia fans should see him back next season.

Despite no bad losses this season (losses to Nos. 1, 2, 4, and 7), Virginia doesn't have a marquis win. While this wouldn't serve as that, they need to prove the offense isn't as anemic as they looked against UNC and Duke. The latest Inside Lacrosse Bracketology still has the Hoos hosting a home game for the first round of the NCAAs, but you can all but erase that chance with a loss to the Hoyas.