The 2001-02 sports year has given Georgetown many surprises, some pleasant, others not so much. The men’s basketball team entered the season with as much hype as they had when Allen Iverson graced the Hilltop with his presence, but fell short of the NCAA Tournament and declined its NIT bid, ending a 26-year streak of consecutive post-season appearances. The football team took its first step toward becoming a force in the Patriot League, though it failed to win a conference game.

On the other end of the spectrum the lacrosse teams have continued to dominate, although the women’s team has certainly surprised, garnering the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Championships this season despite losing star players Caitlin cLean (COL ’01), Sheehan Stanwick (MSB ’01) and Sarah Oglesby (COL ’01). Meanwhile on the men’s team, senior attack Steve Dusseau has emerged to become one of the best lacrosse players in the nation, scoring nine goals in one game against Bucknell.

Right now the women’s team looks spectacular and is clicking on all gears. After totally dismantling Duke 11-4, only a game against Cornell stands between them and a return trip to the championship against either Princeton or North Carolina, the team that handed the Hoyas their only loss in 2002. A trip to the championship would put the Hoyas there for the second consecutive season. In 2001, Maryland won its seventh consecutive championship at Georgetown’s expense in double overtime. This season, aryland has already bowed out of the tournament and a new champion will be crowned. If the Hoyas continue to play like they have against Duke and the second half against Lafayette, no team should beat them.

The men’s team continues its battle for the championship this weekend against Princeton. Now that Georgetown has ousted anhattan College, albeit barely, the Hoyas will have to work hard to surpass the traditional juggernauts of men’s lacrosse. This Hoya team, however, has the weapons to do it. Between Dusseau’s awesome scoring ability and the defense of juniors Brant Gresham and Kyle Sweeney, Georgetown has a chance against any team they face. That much was proven in this year’s narrow loss at rival Syracuse, who absolutely demolished Georgetown a year ago on Harbin Field.

The track team has been another perennial success story at Georgetown, though their achievements largely go unheralded because Georgetown lacks the necessary facilities on campus to play host to a track and field meet. Despite their intensive travels, the men and women of Georgetown’s track team still met with great success in 2001-02. The men’s 4×800 relay squad of junior Ezra Richards, sophomore Ali Najjar, junior Dylan Welsh and sophomore Jesse O’Connell won the Championship of America title at the renowned Penn Relays and the team as a whole finished second at the Big East Outdoor Championships. Likewise the women finished third at the Big East Outdoor Championships, while senior Tyrona Heath finished fifth in the 800 meters at the NCAA Track Championships.

Sadly, not every sport had a successful season this year and the baseball team fell from posting seven wins in the Big East last season to just two in 2002. Additionally, the Hoyas suffered the humiliation of losing 35-4 to Virginia Tech, enduring the performance of junior outfielder Brad Bauder who went 8 for 8 on the day with four home runs. Bauder said after the game, “I don’t even think I could do that in a PlayStation game.”

As much as I love baseball and support the team, I have to wonder if we really belong in the Big East. These perennial sub-par performances cannot be helping the program, especially when more and more schools have cut failing programs due to budgetary restrictions and Title IX fallout. Perhaps a temporary step back can revitalize the struggling program.

Conversely, the Georgetown football team took a big step up this year to the Patriot League. While they did not win a single conference game, the team showed flares of greatness in running back freshman John Sims and sophomores wide receivers Walter Bowser and Luke McArdle, as well as its young defensive backfield. Next year should be a pivotal one in terms of recruiting for head coach Bob Benson and staff. The Hoyas need to get bigger in a hurry, but once they establish a strong offensive and defensive line, the Hoyas should be able to capitalize on the recruiting pull of a major city like Washington, D.C., to turn the program into a perennial winner.

Finally, the men’s basketball team. After writing more columns than I can remember this year on this team I really don’t have much left to say. Rumors have swirled that freshman Harvey Thomas plans on transferring. These rumors will likely remain just that, however, as the Sports Information Office denied that they or the coaching staff had any knowledge of a potential transfer.

Next year, like this one, should bring some great athletics to the Hilltop. I hope that all of this year’s graduates will return at some point to take in a game, especially during homecoming.

On a final note, I’d like to congratulate all of our graduating senior athletes. Thanks for the memories and good luck with your future endeavors in professional athletics or otherwise.

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