With Bobby Gribbin firmly entrenched atop the Georgetown Prep lacrosse depth chart at faceoff specialist last season, Chris Hampton focused on what he could control. As Gribbin won 78 percent of his faceoff chances on the way to earning All-Met Player of the Year honors, Hampton stayed ready, watched and listened.
“I just backed up Bobby every way I could,” Hampton said. “It was hard, frustrating for a little bit, but I tried to learn from him as much as possible.”
The approach has paid dividends this season. With Gribbin now at the University of Maryland, Hampton has emerged as the team’s primary option on faceoffs and has won 68 percent of his opportunities.
The senior captain continued to showcase his value Saturday in seventh-ranked Georgetown Prep’s 12-3 win at Langley. Hampton won 12 of 15 faceoff chances and added two goals as the Little Hoyas dominated possession in the public-private matchup and snapped a two-game losing streak.
Georgetown Prep (11-4) struggled to get its offense going early and fell behind when Langley senior Sean Ahearn opened the scoring with a man-up goal midway through the first quarter. But Hampton won the ensuing faceoff, and senior Chad Strittmatter finished the possession with a goal. Hampton, a Denver recruit, won the next chance as well and scored 13 seconds later.
The Little Hoyas never trailed the three-time defending Virginia state champs again, heaping it on in the second quarter with more help from Hampton and freshman Jack Olson, who won both his faceoff attempts. The visitors scored five times before Langley could manage its first second-quarter shot.
“That’s the faceoff world,” said Georgetown Prep Coach Kevin Giblin. “Sometimes you have a guy’s number and sometimes they have your number. [Hampton] did a really good job today.”
Langley (9-2) struggled on faceoffs without senior Spencer Gorham. The team’s top faceoff specialist injured his knee in Thursday’s 14-11 win over Marshall and is expected to miss about a week.
Langley Coach Earl Brewer rotated through several different faceoff options Saturday with little success. “I tried every trick in the book,” the veteran coach said.
But the strong start ensured that the Saxons, who lost to the Little Hoyas last season by the same score, left the meeting with plenty of good feelings as they get ready to defend their state title again. Senior goalie Andrew Spivey made 15 saves and Ahearn paced the offense with two goals and an assist.
“I love playing them because it’s great experience for us, but the rest of the way, I think we can go,” Brewer said. “I think we can win the rest of our games, and that’s what we’re going to try to do.”