Whenever Georgetown was in need of a big goal in a key situation last year, there was always one player to whom it could look. In 2002, the Georgetown offense revolved around attackman Steve Dusseau (COL ’02). At virtually all times, he was the number one scoring option. He received by far the most attention from opposing defenses of any Georgetown offensive player.

On his way to being a First Team All-American in 2001 and 2002, the ECAC Offensive Player of the Year and a runner-up for the Tewaaraton Trophy – the award given annually to the best lacrosse player in the nation – Dusseau scored 130 goals, the third highest total in the history of Georgetown lacrosse. His 53 goals last year set a Georgetown single-season record and were more than a quarter of Georgetown’s scoring production.

His graduation, however, leaves the Hoyas with a fairly large hole to fill.

“Dusseau’s a great player,” senior midfielder and co-captain Trevor Walker said. “He’s the best I’ve ever played against. It’s tough to lose guys like that.”

The Hoyas are fortunate that despite losing Dusseau, most of last year’s offense will return. All three members of last year’s top midfield line, Walker, graduate student Phil Vincenti and junior Walid Hajj, return in 2003. Senior attackman and co-captain Mike Hammer and junior attackman Neal Goldman, who started at attack along with Dusseau last year, also return this spring. Senior Jordan Vettoretti, who saw action in 13 games last year and who was the Junior College Player of the Year in 2001 at Herkimer County Community College in New York, will be the third starting attackman for the Hoyas.

“We need six or seven or eight guys to score five or six more goals,” Head Coach Dave Urick said. “That’s going to be real key for us. You don’t replace [Dusseau], you just hope that everybody that does play offense can increase their production.”

Last year’s 14-13 loss to Princeton in the NCAA Quarterfinals showed the Hoyas can still score even against the nation’s best teams without a huge contribution from Dusseau. In that game, Dusseau was held to only one goal as he was closely shadowed by Princeton All-American defenseman Damien Davis. The rest of the Hoya offense, though, stepped up and kept Georgetown in the game until the final seconds. Walker and Hammer scored four goals each in the losing effort. On the season, Walker and Hammer were the Hoyas’ second and third scoring options. Hammer found the net 26 times while Walker scored 25 goals.

“Trevor is certainly a guy we need to give all the opportunities we can to score,” Urick said. “Our midfield is particularly capable of scoring.”

The pressure will be on the Hoyas’ midfield and attack units this year, as they go up against Georgetown’s toughest schedule ever. Luckily for the Hoyas, however, there are many different players that can combine to fill the offensive hole left behind by Steve Dusseau. The team remains confident that enough players will step up to allow the Hoyas to be competitive deep into the NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve always, in the past, since I’ve been here, had one or two players that we really leaned on for support,” senior long stick midfielder and co-captain Kyle Sweeney said. “This year we have to learn to feed off each other rather than just feed off that one person. I expect huge things from our offense this year. We’re so well-balanced. There’s so much depth.”

The Hoyas will find out very early just how much or how little they miss Dusseau when they open the season tomorrow against No. 5 aryland at 11 a.m. in College Park, Md.

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