No. 4 Terps shut down Hoyas

In sloppy game, UM uses strong defense to defeat No. 5 Georgetown, 9-5

College Lacrosse

April 29, 2003|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

COLLEGE PARK - The Maryland men's lacrosse team gave coach Dave Cottle his 199th career victory by solidifying its standing as a probable top-four seed in the NCAA tournament last night, and the Terps did it again by leaning on their defense.

Ryan Moran, Mike Mollot and Brian Hunt scored two goals each, and Maryland's defense, led by senior Mike Howley and junior Chris Passavia, produced another stellar effort, as the No. 4 Terps turned their first regular-season meeting with Georgetown into a 9-5 victory over the fifth-ranked Hoyas before 2,671 at Byrd Stadium.

It was an unusual contest in several ways. The game, originally scheduled for Feb. 22, had been postponed after the winter's major snowstorm, and each team had just two days to prepare for it. That left both squads looking tired and ragged for much of a sloppy evening.

The opponents combined to commit 18 penalties and 66 turnovers, 38 of which were unforced. Both teams entered the night having allowed only 23 percent shooting, and this was not a good time for either offense, especially Georgetown's. The Hoyas, who were shooting just 22 percent before the game, connected on just five of 43 shots. Maryland and Georgetown combined to miss 14 of 17 extra-man shots.

Maryland (9-3) struggled mightily to win faceoffs and wound up with a 2-for-18 showing in the circle. But the Terps, who never trailed, closed on a 4-1 run in the game's final 19:39. It didn't help that Georgetown (10-2) discovered earlier yesterday it had lost senior All-America defenseman Kyle Sweeney for the season to a broken left ankle suffered in Saturday's 8-4 win over Rutgers.

"There was no fluidity to the game, but we still got nine goals against a pretty good defense," said Moran, Maryland's senior midfielder. "If you don't have a week to prepare for someone and you don't know their tendencies, it's kind of tough. I can't say enough about our defense. Week in and week out, they've proven to be one of the best in the country."

Howley limited Hoyas top scorer Mike Hammer to one goal. Passavia held attackman Jordan Vettoretti scoreless. Junior defenseman Lee Zink shut out attackman Neal Goldman and caused five turnovers. Terps goalie Danny McCormick had 14 saves.

"We were very fortunate to win that game," said Cottle, who won his 18th game at Maryland, which closes its regular season at Notre Dame on Saturday. "You could see both teams were really tired. I'd rather play ugly and win than lose. We'll take 9-5 and move on."

The game lived up to its billing as one matching two of the game's stingiest, hardest-hitting defenses and two of its weakest-shooting squads.

Maryland took a 4-2 halftime lead the hard way, going 0-for-8 on faceoffs and failing to connect on 15 of 19 shots. Maryland also blew five of six extra-man opportunities. The Hoyas were even more ineffective, shooting 2-for-21 and missing on three of four extra-man chances.

Three players scored to give the Terps a 3-1 lead with 11:13 left in the first half, but the Hoyas' Trevor Walker answered 41 seconds later.

Mollot gave the Terps a two-goal cushion at the break by curling around the crease and beating Hoyas goalie Rich D'Andrea with 3:06 left in the half.

Georgetown 1 1 2 1 - 5

Maryland 2 2 2 3 - 9

Goals: G-Vincenti 2, Hajj, Walker, Hammer; M-Moran 2, Mollot 2, Hunt 2, Walters, LaMonica, Zink. Assists: G-Hajj, Vettoretti; M-Hunt, LaMonica, Mollot, Moran, Walters. Saves: G-D'Andrea 13; M-McCormick 14.

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