Late swipe swindles Retrievers

Schroeder saves Hoyas with key stop in fourth

Georgetown hangs on, 11-10

March 20, 2000|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- When Georgetown goalkeeper Scott Schroeder dove across the net to steal a late fourth-quarter goal from UMBC attackman Jeff Ratcliffe, the sophomore likely preserved the first No. 4 lacrosse ranking in the nation for the Hoyas and an 11-10 victory yesterday over the Retrievers in an important East Coast Athletic Conference matchup.

Not to mention giving Ratcliffe nightmares after an afternoon in which he scored five goals. The hot-handed Retriever brought his team back from a 7-3 second-quarter deficit to a 10-9 lead with 14: 09 left in the game.

Ratcliffe was in search of his sixth goal with 2: 47 left in the fourth quarter, when he came face-to-face with Schroeder, who was trying desperately to protect a one-point lead over unranked UMBC. When a wide-open Ratcliffe took the ball in front of the net, most of the crowd of 1,489 at Georgetown's Kehoe Field was thinking about overtime.

However, that was before Schroeder's acrobatic act denied Ratcliffe and the Retrievers in a game in which coach Don Zimmerman pushed almost every right button against the unbeaten Hoyas (5-0). Zimmerman used his timeouts to prevent long Georgetown scoring runs, and he diagrammed several plays that the Retrievers (1-3) turned into goals.

"We dodged the bullet today," said Georgetown coach Dave Urick. "UMBC was well-prepared for us, and they played with a lot of emotion. Fortunately, I talked this week with our kids about what we should do if we found ourselves in a close game, and they responded with a lot of character."

Georgetown scored what proved to be the winning goal with 4: 10 left in the game on a nifty shot by Mike Henehan off a scoop pass from Mike Hammer.

So just how high did Schroeder's save rate?

"That was as good as any I've seen him make," said senior Georgetown attackman Andy Flick, who led the home team with three goals and two assists. "It was the play that gave our team the fire we needed to finish this game off. We were a little flat before Scott made that save."

"That was pretty good," Urick said with a grin when asked to assess the Schroeder theft. "Without that save and a strong effort from our defense, we would have been in trouble because we didn't take care of the ball today. We have some guys playing through injuries, but that happens every game. Just give UMBC credit for coming over here and doing everything but winning."

Ratcliffe continues to play well back at his old attack position after playing midfield last season. The senior is at home around the crease, and he is starting to rack up the goals like he did as a sophomore.

The five-goal performance for Ratcliffe marked the first time since his sophomore year that he has scored three or more goals. He now has 85 goals and 18 assists in his career for 103 points, placing him 19th on the school's all-time scoring list.

But Ratcliffe couldn't enjoy his scoring resurgence. "I should have gone low on that shot to tie the game," he said. "I had to score right there. It marred a perfect day for me and the team. We finally came together for the first time this season. Now all I can hope is that we can build on this effort and use it the rest of the season."

The loss dropped the Retrievers to 0-2 in the ECAC while Georgetown improved to 2-0 in a six-game league schedule, with the regular-season champion earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I tournament.

"Right now I can't be worried about the league," Zimmerman said. " This was a disappointing loss, but I thought we played with heart and battled back from a four-goal deficit. Those are the good signs for us."

UMBC junior goalkeeper Steve Cusa made 16 saves to keep his team in the fight.

Even after Schroeder's big save, UMBC had one more chance to tie the score with 18 seconds left when Dan Marohl got the possession 5 yards in front of the net. But Marohl lost control of the ball when the Georgetown defense collapsed on him. The Hoyas came up with ball and ran out the clock.

UMBC 3 1 5 1 -- 10

Georgetown 5 2 1 3 -- 11

Goals: UMBC--Ratcliffe 5, Marohl 2, Lawton, Gibson, Hahn; G--Flick 3, Velepec 2, Henehan 2, Dusseau 2, Doyle, Urick. Assists: UMBC-- Harasym 3, Gibson, Burke, Barger; G--Flick 2, Urick, Kanach, Hammer, Henehan, Wagner. Saves: UMBC--Cusa 16, G--Schroeder 10.

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