Fall Snapshot: Georgetown Hoyas

(Photo Courtesy of Georgetown Athletics)

Welcome to the Fall Snapshot series. Throughout the fall I will be taking an early look at all 75 DI men’s college lacrosse teams and giving a snapshot of where each is heading into the 2023 season.

Head Coach: Kevin Warne (11th season, 2013-Current)

Georgetown 2022 Record: 15-2 (5-0 Big East)

Key Departures: Dylan Watson (A), Connor Morin (A), Alex Trippi (M), Gibson Smith (D), Alex Mazzone (LSM), Owen McElroy (G)

Key Returners: Graham Bundy, Jr. (A), TJ Haley (A), Declan McDermott (M), Dylan Hess (M), Will Bowen (D), James Reilly (FO)

Transfer Additions: Nicky Solomon (A), Brian Minicus (A), Jacob Kelly (A), Tucker Dordevic (A/M), Danny Hincks (G)

The 2022 season was one of the best in program history for the Georgetown Hoyas. Kevin Warne’s squad went a program-best 15-2 and went undefeated in Big East play for the first time ever. Furthermore, their lone regular season loss came against Princeton 10-8. In addition to the success shown in the win and loss columns, the Hoyas had the best scoring defense, allowing 8.18 goals per game, in college lacrosse and the fifth-best scoring offense (15.06 goals per game).

While the Hoyas were dominant for the majority of the season, the end of their 2022 campaign was anything but dominant. After warding off a Villanova comeback to earn its fourth consecutive Big East title, Georgetown, as the No. 2 seed, hosted Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In that game, the visiting Blue Hens pulled off the 10-9 upset to end the Hoyas terrific season.

As the 2023 season approaches, the expectations for Georgetown remain somewhat similar. They should be the best team in the Big East and should be fighting for the program’s first Championship Weekend appearance since 1999. But there are many question marks surrounding this talented team, and especially so with some of the key figures they lost and the amount of grad transfers that have been brought in.

Burning Questions

Who Replaces McElroy in Cage?

For the past four seasons, Owen McElroy has been the man between the pipes for the Georgetown Hoyas and helped lead them to some of the program’s best seasons ever. This past spring, he made 170 saves with a 61.8% save percentage and once again ended the season with one of the best (2nd in DI) save percentage in college lacrosse. As McElroy has exhausted his eligibility, the hole that his exit leaves is by far the biggest in which the Hoyas need to fill ahead of the 2023 season.

During a three-game stretch (Lehigh, Denver, Providence) in which McElroy was injured, Michael Schrafenberger got the starting nod in cage. A freshman, McElroy proved to be a more than capable backup, making a combined 30 saves with a 54% save percentage during those three games. In all, he saw action in eight games and ended the season with 43 saves and a 59.7% save percentage. Schrafenberger will be in that battle for the starting goalie spot and his likely fiercest competition will come by way of Danny Hincks. A grad transfer from Dartmouth, he made 168 saves with a 52% save percentage while helping lead the Big Green to their best season during his time with the program (4-6, 0-6 Ivy League) this past spring.

In addition to Schrafenberger and Hincks, the Hoyas also have junior Todd Kennedy, Jr., and freshman Luke Schlank on the roster at the goalie position. No matter who gets the job, the task will be much of the same: anchor what has been one of the better defensive units in college lacrosse.

How Will The Transfers Fit Into The Offense?

From its offense that averaged 15.06 goals per game, Georgetown loses its second, third, and fifth-leading scorers with the departures of Dylan Watson (58G/6A), Alex Trippi (27G/25A), and Connor Morin (30G/8A). The three combined for 154 points (115 goals) last spring as primary playmakers at attack and midfield for the Hoyas’ heralded offense.

Tasked with helping to replace and replenish that production is four grad transfers that gave the Hoyas the best transfer haul this year. Attackmen Nicky Solomon (20G/17A) and Jacob Kelly (20G/15A) both come in after strong careers at North Carolina, where they were the team’s second and third-leading scorers this past season. Former Colgate star Brian Minicus is another true attackman now on the Hoyas roster. He led Colgate last spring with 36 goals and 23 assists. However, former Syracuse star Tucker Dordevic is the headliner of the haul. A natural midfielder, he moved down to attack last spring and served as Syracuse’s leading scorer with 59 points off 47 goals and 12 assists.

Each of those five offensive transfers, coupled with the returning players such as Graham Bundy, Jr., and TJ haley, helps create a lethal offense in the nation’s capital. There is talent all around, but how exactly that talent will fit together and what role these new faces take on is a huge area or intrigue surrounding this program at the moment.

What Does The SSDM Stable Look Like?

Last season, Georgetown featured one of the best short-stick defensive midfield duos in college lacrosse with Zach Geddes and Will Godine. Combining for 17 caused turnovers and 73 ground balls last spring, the pair were as good and productive as any duo at the position in college lacrosse.

Geddes and Godine played beside each other in all but one game last season and that contest happened to be the Hoyas’ upset loss against Delaware in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. In that contests, with Godine out, much more was put on two-way middie Dylan Hess as well as Jack Leary and Jack Howe. Delaware took advantage of that and it helped lead to a career day (2G/3A) for Blue Hen midfielder Drew Lenkaitis.

This spring, Godie is going to be the top playmaker of that SSDM group. Hess, Leary, and Howe, among others, are going to have to step up on the back end to provide reliable depth at the position. Exactly how deep or talent that group can be is certainly something to monitor.

Potential Breakout Player

Will Tominovich, Defense, Junior

Tominovich is a known name to the Georgetown faithful. He saw 10 starts at close as a freshman in 2021 and served as one of the Hoyas’ top LSMs this past season. With the exit of Gibson Smith at close, the 2023 campaign could very well be a breakout one of Tominovich at the close defense spot to help replace that lost talent and production.

Freshman Class

Kevin Warne and his staff have been killing in on the recruiting trail and with its 2022 efforts, the Hoyas bring in what I have called one of the most stacked classes of the cycle. Calvert Hall (Md.) midfielder Jordan Wray and Brunswick (Conn.) attackman Henry Caponiti highlight the offensive-heavy class as five-stars, per Inside Lacrosse. Faceoff man Wilson Van Buren (Blessed Trinity, Ga.) proved to be the cherry on top to complete the class, flipping from Dartmouth last October.

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