- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 26, 2003

Pat Collins is a coach's dream and an equipment manager's nightmare.
The Georgetown defenseman has endeared himself to Hoyas coach Dave Urick with his consistent, physical play during his four years on the Hilltop.
"We have a four-man rotation, and I'm actually one of the smaller guys with Brodie [Merrill] and [Andrew] Braziel," said the 6-foot, 195-pound Collins. "I try to be as physical as possible. … If I can put a guy on the ground, it will probably benefit me."
His aggressive style has had a few drawbacks. This year alone, Collins estimates he has gone through a half-dozen helmets. In a fall tournament at Towson, Collins needed 15 stitches when a helmet cracked the bridge of his nose after he administered a check. Two weeks ago, he required seven more when a helmet cut his forehead during the Hoyas' defeat of Loyola.
Representatives from Liverpool, N.Y.-based equipment manufacturer Cascade have traveled to the District to fit Collins with a specially made, more snug helmet. However, the senior doesn't seem to worry.
"I get a lot of flak from my friends," Collins said. "I walk into work and they say, 'The scars look good on your face.' … It's a lot more of a problem for other people than for me."
Urick thinks Collins' attitude is refreshing and most welcome for the sixth-ranked Hoyas (9-1, 3-1 ECAC), who play host to No.8 Rutgers (9-3, 2-1 ECAC) today at 1p.m. at Harbin Field.
"I know his mom was concerned, but Pat could care less," Urick said. "He would play without a helmet if the rules let him."
Collins sometimes gets lost among Georgetown's array of defensive standouts, including defensemen Braziel, Merrill, Brant Gresham and Kyle Sweeney and midfielders Mike Chiara and Doug Mueller. Still, Urick realizes how valuable Collins is to the Hoyas' defense.
"He gets overshadowed by Kyle, Gresh and Braziel," Urick said. "Those guys are a little more flashy. He's just good enough to win with. He's a blue collar guy. Nothing fancy, no frills. He's a quiet kid, not a rah-rah guy, but he is a great leader by example. I'm glad he's on our team. I wouldn't want to play against him."
First in line
Second-ranked Princeton could become the first team to earn its way into the 16-team NCAA tournament today. With a victory over Dartmouth, the Tigers would clinch the Ivy League championship for the ninth straight season and receive an automatic berth.
After two losses to start the season, Princeton has won nine straight, avoiding the upsets that have plagued other top-10 teams in recent weeks. They almost stumbled Tuesday against a desperate but determined Loyola team committed to slowing the pace to save its NCAA hopes, but Jason Donegar's goal in double overtime gave the Tigers a 6-5 victory.
"We've been rolling along," Princeton coach Bill Tierney said. "We had those two tough losses early to Hopkins and Virginia. We've been slowly building [since] that great win up at Syracuse and up until [the Loyola game] scoring a lot of goals. But this is a reality check and you have to win them all different ways."

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