Curtis Holmes continuing winning faceoffs.
Maryland kept converting them into goals.
And ultimately, the Terrapins thoroughly out-Georgetowned Georgetown en route to a 20-8 victory Saturday at Byrd Stadium.
Holmes won 20 of 31 faceoffs —- adding a goal and two assists along the way —- as Maryland produced its largest goal total since 2005 and eviscerated its crosstown rival.
Holmes was 15-for-19 in the second half, helping the Terps (2-0) respond to both of Georgetown’s first two goals of the third quarter within eight seconds and prevent any chance for the Hoyas (1-1) to rally.
“We just really got hot and turned it on and Georgetown kind of folded after that,” Holmes said.
In fairness to the Hoyas, there wasn’t much they could do.
Georgetown is still finding its way as it thrusts most of its offensive pieces into larger roles. But that wasn’t the issue in the second half, since Maryland rarely afforded the Hoyas the chance to secure possession.
Of course, Georgetown had more turnovers (10) than shots (nine) after the break, allowing the Terps to generate transition opportunities to complement the chances they created for themselves off faceoffs.
“Having played Georgetown for like 12 out of the last 15 years, that certainly helps because that game is always a crazy game,” coach John Tillman said. “The way they play —- they’re always athletic —- they seem to get a lot of 4-on-3s and 5-on-4s, and they give you some of those. You have to be good enough to can those. And if you don’t, you’re going to struggle.”
While Holmes took all but one of the faceoffs, Georgetown eventually cycled four players in. Starter Brian Tabb was 9-for-20, a respectable figure compares to his reserves’ combined 3-for-12.
“We trotted everybody out there,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “I don’t think we had anyone with any eligibility left that could go out there and face off.”
No one could answer Holmes, a sophomore who scored his first career goal in the second quarter when Maryland’s attack was a bit choppy. The Terps led 6-4 at the break, then opened the second-half scoring with a Drew Snider goal.
After that, Holmes simply denied the Hoyas possession whenever they threatened to inch much closer, helping Maryland secure a 13-7 lead by the end of the third quarter.
They’re trying to vary up the whistles, and you’re trying to anticipate the whistle and figure out which refs blow the whistle at which time,” Holmes said. “It’s such a mind game at the X. It’s getting hard now to time the whistle. I think it plays well into my hand because I’m just more of a reaction kind of guy and go with the whistle. I noticed that my clamp was working pretty well, so I just stuck with that even though they started sending out different guys.”
—- Patrick Stevens