- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 2, 2002

Georgetown senior Steve Dusseau might have the best left hand in college lacrosse.
Impressive, considering the midfielder and returning first-team All-American is right-handed.
"The left-handed part it makes it so much easier for us," said Georgetown coach Dave Urick, whose seventh-ranked Hoyas (1-0) face off against No.15 Cornell (0-0) today at 4 p.m. at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. "We get a balance between left- and right-handed shooters."
Dusseau's skills were honed in Ohio, where lacrosse takes a back seat to football. In seventh grade, Dusseau began working on a move to the goal where he was forced to put the ball in his left hand. Nine years later, teams still are trying to figure out Dusseau's strong hand and tendencies.
Dusseau also credits his brother Chris, a former All-American at Notre Dame, with his development. Lacrosse's popularity in Ohio has skyrocketed since the first time Steve picked up a stick, and the Georgetown standout believes without people like his brother, the sport would never have taken off. In fact, you could assemble a top Division I team with Ohio players including Virginia defenseman Mark Koontz, a first-team All-American last year, and Maryland long-stick midfielder Brett Harper. Both played with Dusseau at Upper Arlington High in Columbus, Ohio.
And if anyone does not believe that Ohio has become a lacrosse hotbed, the evidence lies in Georgetown's season-opening win against Ohio State. The Hoyas won 10-8 but had to fight back from a 7-5 deficit. Georgetown got eight fourth-quarter saves from senior goalie Scott Schroeder and eked out a victory. Dusseau had two goals and one assist.
"Other people are noticing [Ohio] now," said Dusseau, who played against his brother, then a senior, while a freshman on the Hilltop. "I get calls all the time from people at home. I'm always nervous to play [Ohio State], and we [did not] look past them and made sure we focused."
That focus will have to continue today against defensively sound Cornell, which has two preseason first-team All-Americans in goalie Justin Cynar and defenseman Ryan McClay. The Big Red will concentrate on Dusseau, who set a Hoyas midfielder record for goals last season (38).
"The offense revolves around Steve," said Schroeder, who was named ECAC Defensive Player of the Week. "He's our biggest offensive weapon but other teams know that and defensive plans revolve around stopping him."
Cornell will have to deal with Dusseau from the midfield, as well as attack today. Urick, like many coaches for elite Division I schools, will try to counter quick defensive sliding packages with his best player moving around the field.
This season alone, Syracuse has shifted Josh Coffman, a first-team All-American midfielder last year, to attack. Maryland attackman Mike Mollot is seeing more minutes in the midfield this season for coach Dave Cottle. For years, Princeton coach Bill Tierney has been known for fielding six players all attackmen in high school on offense at once.
"The way the game is specialized defensively, everyone is going after the short sticks [defenders]," Urick said. "We see that at this level, the best six offensive players [play]. The defenses are so sophisticated, it's the way the game's evolved."


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