Eight straight seasons in the postseason tournament. Three consecutive trips to the Elite Eight.

These successes immediately catch the eye of anyone perusing a resume of the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team. But in climbing to the pinnacle of college lacrosse, the team – ranked sixth in preseason polls – has yet to figure out how to reach the next level.

Georgetown has ended its season in the quarterfinals every year since 2002, losing to Princeton, Virginia and, most recently, Syracuse. The Hoyas have never defeated the Tigers or the Cavs and have not knocked off the Orange since the 1999 regular season, despite eight meetings since then.

Head Coach Dave Urick may have found the answer in a revamped offensive unit and a freshman class that has been touted as the best in the nation by Inside Lacrosse magazine.

Despite the losses of attackman Neal Goldman (COL ’04), defenseman Andrew Braziel (COL ’04) and first-team all-American midfielder Walid Hajj (COL ’04), Georgetown’s bench may finally be deep enough to carry the program over the hump to the Final Four – an achievement accomplished by the Hoyas only once before, in 1999.

“We had some major holes to fill in the offseason,” Urick said. “But now we have what we need to pick up the slack.”

In addition to having significant manpower, Georgetown – with a well-established defensive presence – has shifted its focus to the offensive half of the field.

“We’re paying attention to detail this year,” senior midfielder and team co-captain Nick Miaritis said. “More than any other year.”

Junior Sean Denihan and sophomore Trevor Casey will likely be the team’s starting attackmen, with junior Kyle Morin and senior at Wilson seeing substantial playing time as well. With last year’s top two scorers gone, these four will be responsible for making up the Hoyas’ goal production.

Casey tallied the team’s third highest goal total (20) last year, while Denihan tied Miaritis for fourth with 16.

But the offensive details offer glimpses of promise, too, particularly from rookie Matt McBride and junior Derek Mills. Urick said he was impressed that McBride puts “a lot of punch on his shots from the perimeter,” giving the offensive squad more range.

McBride and fellow freshmen Brendan Cannon and Andrew Barrett should be in the action once they get used to the pace and intensity of collegiate lacrosse.

In the past, the Hoyas have featured Mills in their extra-man offense, but he may become more involved with his high-percentage shooting abilities.

“He’s pure velocity,” Urick said.

Senior Kevin Langtry, who played in all 15 contests and started four matches last season, will be on the sideline nursing a foot injury at the start of the season. Urick said it is unclear when or if he will be available.

An experienced midfield and a talented defense will support Georgetown’s maturing offense, led primarily by faceoff specialist Andy Corno, defenseman Brodie Merrill and goalie Rich D’Andrea – each a team captain.

In 2004, Corno broke school records for career groundballs (255) and faceoffs won (462), cementing his status as one of the best faceoff men in the country. Corno said he expects the midfield to set a quick tempo for this season’s matches.

“We’ll play as fast as the refs will let us,” he said. “We have the depth to do it.”

Behind Corno and Miaritis are juniors Garrett Wilson and Peter Cannon, both of whom have the speed to cover both ends of the field. Each tallied seven goals last year.

Fifth-year senior Mike Boynton, who sat out all last year with a hamstring injury, can also expect a prominent role, along with senior Brice Queener, junior Wes Trice and graduate student Ted Lamade. Trice returns from shoulder surgery just after the conclusion of last season, and Lamade brings substantial experience, previously playing three seasons at Virginia.

Freshmen Dan D’Agnes, who has had two shoulder surgeries and spent the fall season recuperating, and Scott Kahoe offer future promise for an already-deep midfield.

The mainstay of Georgetown success has been its defense, and little will change during the coming season. Merrill, a Tewaaraton Award finalist in his junior year, was recognized along with Corno as a preseason first team all-American.

Merrill and his teammates helped the Hoyas outscore their 2004 opponents 95-60 in the first half, mainly because Georgetown allowed only half as many shots (98) as it took (187) in the first quarter alone.

Junior Reyn Garnett will serve as the other leading defenseman once he is fully recovered from an injury. Garnett, a preseason second-team all-American, will likely remain inactive for another couple of weeks.

“It’s not terribly serious, but we want to stay conservative,” Urick said. He credited Garnett, who was just one of three players to start all 15 games in 2004, with being one of the best athletes on the team.

Boynton and junior Dave Paolisso, who also returns from an injury last season, will bolster the Hoya defense, as will juniors John Trapp and Robert Smith.

D’Andrea will anchor the Hoyas in goal for the third straight season, backed up by freshman Miles Kass. D’Andrea recorded 120 saves last year, earning a .529 percentage.

With such a strong bench at all positions, the only weak element of Georgetown’s 2005 season might be the schedule. Construction on the multi-sport facility, slated to begin next month, allowed the Hoyas to schedule only five home games – none of which will be played on Harbin Field.

Though the team will not see action on campus until exactly one month into the season,

Corno said he sees the reduced home schedule as more of a blessing than a burden.

“We’re used to being the underdogs going into the tournament – usually the fifth or sixth seed – because we have to play on the road,” he said. “We’ll really be able to keep our fast-paced game going. There are a lot more distractions at home.”

The Hoyas will still play host to Duke and Navy and will close out the year with three of their final four contests at home.

For spring break, however, the team gets a break from its usual routine to travel to Southern California. Georgetown will face Syracuse in the inaugural First Four, a showcase of the nation’s elite teams in a region where the popularity of lacrosse is on the rise.

Urick said that he hoped the event would appeal to Georgetown alumni in California and noted that facing Syracuse so early in the season represents a drastic schedule change. The Hoyas have previously concluded their last seven regular seasons against the Orange.

“I’d rather play Syracuse early anyway,” Urick added. “It makes the schedule a bit more appealing.”

Instead, Georgetown ends the season against Penn State on May 8.

The 2005 campaign kicks off Sat. Feb. 26, at College Park, Md., as the Hoyas face Maryland in the season opener for the second straight year. Last season the Terps, entering the second quarter with a 2-1 advantage, went on a 7-0 run before halftime en route to a 14-5 victory.

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Eight straight seasons in the postseason tournament. Three consecutive trips to the Elite Eight.

These successes immediately catch the eye of anyone perusing a resume of the Georgetown men’s lacrosse team. But in climbing to the pinnacle of college lacrosse, the team – ranked sixth in preseason polls – has yet to figure out how to reach the next level.

Georgetown has ended its season in the quarterfinals every year since 2002, losing to Princeton, Virginia and, most recently, Syracuse. The Hoyas have never defeated the Tigers or the Cavs and have not knocked off the Orange since the 1999 regular season, despite eight meetings since then.

Head Coach Dave Urick may have found the answer in a revamped offensive unit and a freshman class that has been touted as the best in the nation by Inside Lacrosse magazine.

Despite the losses of attackman Neal Goldman (COL ’04), defenseman Andrew Braziel (COL ’04) and first-team all-American midfielder Walid Hajj (COL ’04), Georgetown’s bench may finally be deep enough to carry the program over the hump to the Final Four – an achievement accomplished by the Hoyas only once before, in 1999.

“We had some major holes to fill in the offseason,” Urick said. “But now we have what we need to pick up the slack.”

In addition to having significant manpower, Georgetown – with a well-established defensive presence – has shifted its focus to the offensive half of the field.

“We’re paying attention to detail this year,” senior midfielder and team co-captain Nick Miaritis said. “More than any other year.”

Junior Sean Denihan and sophomore Trevor Casey will likely be the team’s starting attackmen, with junior Kyle Morin and senior at Wilson seeing substantial playing time as well. With last year’s top two scorers gone, these four will be responsible for making up the Hoyas’ goal production.

Casey tallied the team’s third highest goal total (20) last year, while Denihan tied Miaritis for fourth with 16.

But the offensive details offer glimpses of promise, too, particularly from rookie Matt McBride and junior Derek Mills. Urick said he was impressed that McBride puts “a lot of punch on his shots from the perimeter,” giving the offensive squad more range.

McBride and fellow freshmen Brendan Cannon and Andrew Barrett should be in the action once they get used to the pace and intensity of collegiate lacrosse.

In the past, the Hoyas have featured Mills in their extra-man offense, but he may become more involved with his high-percentage shooting abilities.

“He’s pure velocity,” Urick said.

Senior Kevin Langtry, who played in all 15 contests and started four matches last season, will be on the sideline nursing a foot injury at the start of the season. Urick said it is unclear when or if he will be available.

An experienced midfield and a talented defense will support Georgetown’s maturing offense, led primarily by faceoff specialist Andy Corno, defenseman Brodie Merrill and goalie Rich D’Andrea – each a team captain.

In 2004, Corno broke school records for career groundballs (255) and faceoffs won (462), cementing his status as one of the best faceoff men in the country. Corno said he expects the midfield to set a quick tempo for this season’s matches.

“We’ll play as fast as the refs will let us,” he said. “We have the depth to do it.”

Behind Corno and Miaritis are juniors Garrett Wilson and Peter Cannon, both of whom have the speed to cover both ends of the field. Each tallied seven goals last year.

Fifth-year senior Mike Boynton, who sat out all last year with a hamstring injury, can also expect a prominent role, along with senior Brice Queener, junior Wes Trice and graduate student Ted Lamade. Trice returns from shoulder surgery just after the conclusion of last season, and Lamade brings substantial experience, previously playing three seasons at Virginia.

Freshmen Dan D’Agnes, who has had two shoulder surgeries and spent the fall season recuperating, and Scott Kahoe offer future promise for an already-deep midfield.

The mainstay of Georgetown success has been its defense, and little will change during the coming season. Merrill, a Tewaaraton Award finalist in his junior year, was recognized along with Corno as a preseason first team all-American.

Merrill and his teammates helped the Hoyas outscore their 2004 opponents 95-60 in the first half, mainly because Georgetown allowed only half as many shots (98) as it took (187) in the first quarter alone.

Junior Reyn Garnett will serve as the other leading defenseman once he is fully recovered from an injury. Garnett, a preseason second-team all-American, will likely remain inactive for another couple of weeks.

“It’s not terribly serious, but we want to stay conservative,” Urick said. He credited Garnett, who was just one of three players to start all 15 games in 2004, with being one of the best athletes on the team.

Boynton and junior Dave Paolisso, who also returns from an injury last season, will bolster the Hoya defense, as will juniors John Trapp and Robert Smith.

D’Andrea will anchor the Hoyas in goal for the third straight season, backed up by freshman Miles Kass. D’Andrea recorded 120 saves last year, earning a .529 percentage.

With such a strong bench at all positions, the only weak element of Georgetown’s 2005 season might be the schedule. Construction on the multi-sport facility, slated to begin next month, allowed the Hoyas to schedule only five home games – none of which will be played on Harbin Field.

Though the team will not see action on campus until exactly one month into the season,

Corno said he sees the reduced home schedule as more of a blessing than a burden.

“We’re used to being the underdogs going into the tournament – usually the fifth or sixth seed – because we have to play on the road,” he said. “We’ll really be able to keep our fast-paced game going. There are a lot more distractions at home.”

The Hoyas will still play host to Duke and Navy and will close out the year with three of their final four contests at home.

For spring break, however, the team gets a break from its usual routine to travel to Southern California. Georgetown will face Syracuse in the inaugural First Four, a showcase of the nation’s elite teams in a region where the popularity of lacrosse is on the rise.

Urick said that he hoped the event would appeal to Georgetown alumni in California and noted that facing Syracuse so early in the season represents a drastic schedule change. The Hoyas have previously concluded their last seven regular seasons against the Orange.

“I’d rather play Syracuse early anyway,” Urick added. “It makes the schedule a bit more appealing.”

Instead, Georgetown ends the season against Penn State on May 8.

The 2005 campaign kicks off Sat. Feb. 26, at College Park, Md., as the Hoyas face Maryland in the season opener for the second straight year. Last season the Terps, entering the second quarter with a 2-1 advantage, went on a 7-0 run before halftime en route to a 14-5 victory.

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

Comments are closed.