GU Has Devil of a Task in No. 2 Duke

By Karen Travers Hoya Staff Writer

Saturday’s men’s lacrosse match-up between Georgetown and Duke will be familiar for both sides, as the No. 6 Hoyas take on the No. 2 Blue Devils in what will be the biggest test for the Hoyas so far this season.

“These are two teams that know each other well,” Duke Head Coach ike Pressler said. “We have a lot of respect for Dave Urick and his teams.”

The biggest obstacle for Georgetown will be overcoming the past – in the last 11 games against Duke, the Hoyas have lost 11 times, including two 8-7 losses in the last two seasons.

“Our program has matured to the point where we can play Duke and the best teams around,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said. “Our players look forward to it, measuring themselves against the best.”

“There have been a lot of one goal games,” Pressler said. “A bounce here, a face-off there – we’re expecting everything that Georgetown has.”

For the 1 p.m. game on Harbin Field, Georgetown brings back a more experienced squad than the one that battled the Blue Devils last season. The attack – seniors Greg McCavera and Scott Urick and junior Andy Flick – has dominated the scoring, recording 37 of the 67 team’s goals. This has allowed the Hoyas to move the ball around more at the midfield, utilizing the skill and speed of the senior midfielders Tyler Gamble and Greg Hubschmann.

“It all starts with McCavera,” Pressler said, when asked about the Georgetown offense. “The attack really complements each other.”

The offense will face its biggest challenge of the season against Duke. The Blue Devils return a strong defensive core but have a young, untested goalie in sophomore Matt Breslin. If the Hoyas can wear down the Duke defensemen, McCavera, Urick and Flick could do some damage outside the crease.

The Georgetown defense has held its opponents to just 32 goals for the season, including six goals against a usually explosive aryland-Baltimore County offensive unit. Senior Andy Bell, junior Greg Papa and sophomore Rodger Colbert lead a strong, physical defense that will be the strongest that the Blue Devils have seen in 1999. The defense will be critical for the Hoyas, considering the last two meetings against the Blue Devils have been low-scoring games, by lacrosse standards.

Duke brings a veteran squad to the field Saturday. The Blue Devils lost their leading scorer from 1998, John Fay, but bring back a strong group of scorers, including junior Jared Frood and sophomore Greg Patchak.

“We’re an older team with a little more depth and more experience,” Pressler said. “We’re more of a veteran team that has been through a lot.”

The Hoyas are coming off a strong win against UMBC. The Retrievers came into the contest with the No. 9 ranking, but had lost to the Blue Devils just four days earlier. The Hoyas had not played a game in 10 days but there was no sign of rustiness.

Georgetown freshman midfielder Steve Dusseau, a highly regarded player who has been out with an ankle injury for the early part of the season, saw time against the Retrievers. Though his place on the field is uncertain at this point in the season, look for Dusseau to make a contribution on any of the midfield lines that he is worked into.

The game will be the most physical that Georgetown has seen this season. The Blue Devils are strong and big on both ends of the ball and use their strength to wear down their opponents. The Hoyas also rely on their strength and ride offense, so it will come down to whichever team can pull out the finesse and hit their shots.

 

Have a reaction to this article? Write a letter to the editor.

Comments are closed.