Charles Nailen/The Hoya Scott Schroeder will not be tending the goal for the men’s team this year.

The first line of offense. The last line of defense. Either way you look at it, the goaltender is a critical position on any team.

The Georgetown men’s and women’s lacrosse teams both face similar situations this spring, beginning the season with some new faces in the net.

The men’s team is still undecided as to who will man the goal, as sophomore Rich D’Andrea and junior Andrew Owen are still fighting for the starting spot.

“We thought coming out of the fall that one of the two might have an edge. Obviously we’re going to sort this out over the last weekend and this weekend. Andrew is every bit in the mix as Rich is,” Head Coach Dave Urick said.

The coaches, as well as the veteran players, are very confident in the abilities of both goaltenders. “It’s going to be a tough decision for the coaches, but we’re going to rally around whoever it is and he’ll do just fine,” senior midfielder Trevor Walker said. Fellow senior midfielder Kyle Sweeney agreed. “We don’t know who it’s going to be, but the two goalies are supportive of each other; whoever gets the starting job, we’ll be equally supportive.

Each candidate brings something different to the field, which contributes to the difficulty Urick and his staff will face when making a decision. “Andrew’s a student of the game,” Urick said. “He really understands what we’re doing as a team defensively.”

The coach has equal praise for D’Andrea. “Rich is just such an athlete, he could be one of the fastest guys on the team,” Urick said. With D’Andrea, however, Coach Urick explained that the coaching staff may be presented with a unique possibility. “If he wasn’t the guy that rose to the top and was our starting goalie, we’d seriously think about playing him at another position.”

On the other hand, while Urick has never rotated between goalies during the season, this may prove to be a possibility this year. “I’ve never really had any seasons where I’ve played two different goalies . I also wouldn’t rule out the idea of playing both these guys throughout the year, depending on who you think is hot and you think might be effective coming off the bench.”

The Hoyas will be replacing the familiar face of former captain Scott Schroeder, who graduated last year. Schroeder anchored the team for 44 games, including the past three seasons as a starter, earning him a place on the ECAC first-team as a junior and Third-Team All-American as a senior.

Although Schroeder’s presence in the net will be missed, the confidence from D’Andrea and Owen’s teammates does not fade. “As much as I love Scott Schroeder, and he was the best goalie I ever played with, we’re 100 percent confident,” Sweeney said.

The women’s team is faced with a similar situation in goal, losing the strength of last year’s goaltender, Chandler Vicchio. Since she started all 19 games last season, the Hoyas look to regroup in the net just as the men’s team will.

Hoping to fill her shoes are sophomore Sarah Robinson and freshman Dosha Stright. Robinson will be this season’s starting goalie, but the team will also rely on Stright to tackle some of the playing time.

“Sarah has come a long way since her freshman year and has made significant improvements in her overall play and her leadership. She will certainly be relied upon as a sort of supporter of the defense, along with key leaders of the defense,” Assistant Coach Bowen Holden said.

Having two young, athletic goalkeepers represents a positive future for the program. “Dosha is very athletic and is working hard to adjust to Division I lacrosse,” Holden said. “If she continues to push herself and keep her sights set in the right direction, we hope that she’ll achieve some great things.”

Although Vicchio had only started for one season, sitting for three years behind now-assistant coach Holden, it is her presence and character that the team will need to replace this season. “Who she was, and her character – her idea of what it meant to be part of a team – in addition to her hard work and dedication, is what is going to be missed,” Holden said of her former teammate.

The program is realistically confident in Vicchio’s younger successors. “The team has confidence in Sarah. We, as a coaching staff, have confidence in her that she can step up to the challenge. But, she hasn’t started in any real games yet; she certainly has a challenge ahead of her,” Bowden said.

The challenges begin on Feb. 22 for Owen, D’Andrea and the men’s team, and on Feb. 25 for Robinson and the women’s squad.

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