MEN’S LAX GU Shuts Down Duke’s Stars By Tom Kenny Hoya Staff Writer

Charles Nailen/The Hoya Senior attack/midfielder Steve Dusseau looks for a goal against Duke. The ECAC Offensive Player of the Week, Dusseau scored five goals in the contest – the second straight week he has had five.

DURHAM, N.C. – For the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team, every victory is meaningful, and none is taken for granted, but a victory over a heated rival is extra special. The No. 6 Hoyas picked up just such a victory Sunday when they defeated the No. 10 Duke Blue Devils 9-7.

It was Georgetown’s third victory in the last four meetings between the two schools but its first ever in Durham. Georgetown improved to 5-0 this season while Duke fell to 3-3.

“It was kind of a ragged effort,” Head Coach Dave Urick said. “That’s what happens when both teams are playing so hard.”

Georgetown was led by senior midfielder/attack Steve Dusseau who scored five goals for the second consecutive game. Two of his five tallies came during the Hoyas’ decisive four-goal run in the fourth quarter.

“Sometimes I feel like we go to the well too often with Dusseau,” Urick said. “We’re getting our money’s worth and then some.”

While Dusseau provided the lion’s share of the offense, several Hoyas combined for a stifling effort on defense. Junior midfielder Kevin Cassese, Duke’s leading scorer and a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist, was shadowed by junior long stick midfielder Kyle Sweeney and was held scoreless.

Cassese suffered a shoulder injury, the seriousness of which has yet to be determined, with two minutes left in the game.

Junior defenseman Brant Gresham was just as successful at shutting down Duke’s second leading scorer, senior attack Alex Lieske. Lieske’s only goal came in the final minute, when the Hoyas were holding a four-goal lead.

“We just played really good team defense,” Gresham said. “We always had each other’s back on [defense].”

The first half was a back-and-forth affair that saw the Blue Devils build a 3-1 lead before the Hoyas scored three unanswered goals to go into halftime with a 4-3 lead. Junior midfielder Trevor Walker scored Georgetown’s first two goals, taking the ball the length of the field both times. Junior attack Kevin Brennan scored two of the Blue Devils’ first three goals.

The close play in the first half vividly illustrated just how intense this rivalry can become. As the first half ended, sophomore attack Neal Goldman got involved in a scuffle with Duke senior goalie A.J. Kincel. Other players got involved and numerous Duke players left their bench, which resulted in a penalty and a man-up situation for the Hoyas at the start of the third quarter.

“That definitely gets the blood flowing a little bit,” Gresham said.

The third quarter brought more of the same physical play. Brennan tied it for the Blue Devils with his third goal. Dusseau answered with his third goal to put the Hoyas back on top. Duke senior midfielder Terrence Keaney evened the score going into the fourth by tossing the ball past Georgetown senior goalie Scott Schroeder while falling down.

Going into the final quarter, the teams were as even as could be. The score was tied at five, while the Hoyas held a slim 29-27 edge in shots. All signs pointed toward a very tense finish to a very even game.

But that was not the case. Thanks to the outstanding play of Dusseau and Schroeder, the Hoyas pulled away in the fourth. The outcome was all but decided by the two-minute mark despite a Duke rally in the final minute.

“The fourth has been good for us all year,” Urick said. “There the All-Americans played like All-Americans.”

The Blue Devils opened the quarter with a strong offensive assault in the first two and a half minutes. This push culminated in two scoring opportunities from point blank range in the space of 15 seconds. However, both times, Schroeder stoned the Blue Devils.

“Scott makes big saves at big times,” Urick said. “He’s been doing that for three years.”

After failing to convert on these opportunities, some of the air seemed to be let out of the Blue Devils’ assault.

It seemed that Georgetown’s ability to go nine players deep at the midfield position began to wear on Duke. From that point on, Dusseau and the Hoya offense would dominate. Turnovers would plague the Blue Devils in their attempts to keep the game close.

With just over 12 minutes remaining, Dusseau scored what would turn out to be the game-winner off a dish from Walker. Dusseau then netted his fifth and final goal two minutes later despite a having a Duke defender draped all over him.

A Duke timeout would do them no good. The Hoyas controlled the ball and ate up the clock for the majority of the next five minutes. Sophomore midfielder Walid Hajj gunned a shot just under the cross bar to extend Georgetown’s lead to three. Goldman rounded out the Georgetown scoring with just over three minutes remaining.

The Blue Devils would score twice in the final minute to put a scare into the Hoyas. But Sweeney pounced on a loose ball off the face-off following the second goal to end any Blue Devil hopes of a miracle comeback.

Overall, Duke outshot the Hoyas 38-34. However, Schroeder came up with 16 saves, eight of which came in the fourth quarter, compared to nine saves and zero in the fourth for Kincel.

“Scott in the cage was keeping us in the game,” Dusseau said.

Georgetown returns home to face ECAC Conference rival No. 14 Navy on Saturday. The Hoyas will be looking for revenge after the idshipmen’s 11-4 victory in Annapolis last year. It was the Hoyas only loss in conference play in 2001.

“Hopefully we can keep it rolling,” Dusseau said.

For his outstanding play, Dusseau was named Warrior/Inside Lacrosse National Player of the Week as well as ECAC Offensive Player of the Week. It is the second consecutive week Dusseau has received the ECAC award.

Georgetown will face-off against Navy on March 30 at 2 p.m. on Harbin Field.

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