The Washington Times - March 25, 2009, 09:40PM

Just back from Georgetown, where the unranked Hoyas (unranked for the first time according to the coaches poll since 1992) edged Harvard 9-8 on Ricky Mirabito’s overtime goal.

Georgetown is now 3-4, and needless to say that’s not very good. Two of the losses (Syracuse and at Duke) make sense. Two of the losses (at both Hobart and St. John’s) do not.

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It’s made things rather precarious for the Hoyas, who are pretty much out of chances to collect great wins. They did beat Maryland, and a defeat of Harvard is better than you’d think. But the rest of the schedule features no sure-fire NCAA tournament teams.

It’s a seven-game march, and while Georgetown doesn’t have to win them all, it probably needs to win the last five if it wants to play in the postseason.

That Maryland win will only carry the Hoyas so far, and their best ticket to the tournament remains winning the soon-to-disintegrate-for-lacrosse-purposes ECAC. That means sweeping through Fairfield, Loyola, Massachusetts, Rutgers and Penn State on the season’s final five weekends.

The good news: All but the UMass game is at home.

The bad news: Georgetown still needs some help.

The Hoyas would require two more league losses for both Hobart and St. John’s, and the winner of next month’s UMass-Fairfield game to lose another game along the way. Amazingly, that isn’t as far-fetched a scenario as you’d think.

While watching guys like Andrew Brancaccio, Scott Kocis, Craig Dowd and Mirabito toil today, it is clear the Hoyas have the talent to make a late-season run. But at the same time, Georgetown used a clear edge in athleticism and ability and barely reached overtime against a scrappy and competent but not-quite-ready-for-prime-time Harvard team (don’t worry, that moment is coming soon).

The Hoyas obviously needed an energizing win. They got it. They could use their usual victory over Navy in ugly fashion and a rout up at Mount St. Mary’s. Then they need five more league wins.

That would probably get Georgetown the conference title it’s trying to chase down in the scrum that is the ECAC. Maybe today got the Hoyas their mojo back. But it just as easily could have gone the other way, and it’s impossible to say they’ve got it all figured out when they came so close to losing their fifth in six games.

Patrick Stevens