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Hoyas surprise themselves, dump Terrapins

- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 22, 2009

Georgetown and Maryland were locked in a tight affair with lead changes and physicality aplenty. It was typical for a rivalry game, but what followed halftime Saturday was far from the usual fare.

Trailing by one early in the third quarter, the Hoyas scored six straight goals to bury the Terrapins in a 13-10 victory in College Park.

"I'm not real sure how we did that, to be honest with you," Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. "I think as the quarter started going, they started pressing a little bit, and I thought we handled their pressure very well. We were about to take advantage of them trying to overplay us a little bit, and that certainly didn't hurt us."

After a back-and-forth first half, attackman Rickey Mirabito led Georgetown's second-half onslaught. Mirabito opened the run with a goal from the top of the offensive zone and scored another on a quick snap from close range.

The junior had a hat trick to help the Hoyas win their season opener nine months after missing the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996.

"It's a great step for us right here, especially coming off last season," Mirabito said. "As a team, we've had a chip on our shoulder ever since last May."

Urick called it "extra motivation" for his team that it was watching the tournament instead of playing in it. But the eighth-ranked Hoyas put on quite a show for the Ludwig Field crowd in the third quarter against No. 3 Maryland (2-1).

Sandwiched between Mirabito's two third-quarter tallies, Ryan Shuler (three goals) scored from in close while falling to the ground. Junior midfielder Andrew Brancaccio finished the quarter with a nifty move to the left post and a rocket past Terps goalie Brian Phipps.

"We played a lot more defense than we wanted to. I don't think we had the ball that much," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "[There is] the old adage [that] a good offense lends itself to good defense - bad offense lends itself to bad defense."

Georgetown possessed the ball for the majority of the third quarter thanks to six Maryland turnovers. At the same time, the Hoyas ensured they wouldn't beat themselves, committing five fewer turnovers than the Terps and completing 15 of 16 clears.

"I just give our kids a lot of credit," Urick said. "They weren't to be denied today."

No. 1 Virginia 20, Stony Brook 10: Attackman Garrett Billings tied a program record with eight goals as the Cavaliers blasted the Seawolves in Stony Brook, N.Y.