Georgetown wraps up its lacrosse season Saturday night when Villanova visits. The Hoyas (6-7) must win to avoid their first losing season since 1989 and the first sub-.500 season in coach Dave Urick‘s 32-year career.
Regardless of outcome, it will be the fourth straight season the Hoyas have missed the NCAA tournament. For the first time in that stretch —- which followed 11 straight NCAA berths —- the Hoyas enter their finale with effectively no chance to play deeper into May.
Urick said he and his staff will reflect on where things went wrong with greater detail once the season is over. But one thing stood out from a cursory analysis: Stumbles in close games.
“I’ve never been in a season where you have lost this many one-goal games,” Urick said. “You can look at it a couple ways. We have five one-goal losses if you include Duke since they threw one in the open net at the end. Syracuse in overtime. Notre Dame was a one-goal loss. Those are two of the top teams in the country. Loyola and Harvard. Do you take some measure of accomplishment from that? I don’t think so necessarily. A loss is a loss.”
Urick wasn’t kidding. Georgetown matched its high of one-goal losses during his tenure this season. Unsurprisingly for toss-up games, the Hoyas have a record close to .500 (29-27) over the last 22 years.
Ultimately, Urick’s also correct on another point: The results are the results. And when those results are dissected, there’s a pretty clear dividing line.
The six teams Georgetown defeated —- Jacksonville, St. John’s, Providence, Navy, Mount St. Mary’s and Rutgers —- own a combined record of 28-53. Only Mount St. Mary’s (7-6) has a winning record.
The seven teams the Hoyas lost to —- Maryland, Harvard, Syracuse, Duke, Notre Dame, Loyola and Yale —- are a combined 72-22. Each owns at least eight wins.
It is a tough schedule, as Urick points out, and Villanova carries an 11-3 record in Saturday. The Hoyas warrant credit for playing Maryland, Duke, Loyola and others out of league. But in a year like this (when Georgetown simply couldn’t survive a one-goal game against anyone other than Navy) it hasn’t done the Hoyas a whole lot of good.
—- Patrick Stevens