- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Georgetown and Maryland had met just once before last night, but the two defense-minded teams produced a game that met many expectations: physical, low-scoring and exhausting.
The fourth-ranked Terrapins defeated the fifth-ranked Hoyas 9-5 in a sloppy, penalty-filled affair before 2,671 at Byrd Stadium, Georgetown's first game without All-American defenseman Kyle Sweeney. Earlier in the day, Sweeney learned he had a cracked bone in his left ankle and would miss the rest of his senior season.
Brian Hunt, Mike Mollot and Ryan Moran each scored two goals for the Terps (9-3), who complete their regular season Saturday at Notre Dame. The Hoyas (10-2) play host to Syracuse on Saturday.
The victory could help earn Maryland one of the top four seeds in next month's NCAA tournament. The Terps, who defeated Virginia last month, and top-ranked Johns Hopkins are the only teams with two wins over current top-five teams.
The game originally was scheduled for Feb.22, but a downpour created unplayable field conditions and forced the game to be moved to an inconvenient spot on both teams' schedules. Maryland was playing its second game in four days, Georgetown for the fourth time in 10 days and the fatigue was evident in a sloppy first half. The teams combined for 21 turnovers in the first quarter and scored on only six of 40 shots before the break.
It didn't get much cleaner in the second half as both teams wore down in the muggy conditions.
"I think both teams were exhausted," said Maryland coach Dave Cottle after watching a game with 66 turnovers, 18 botched clears and 18 penalties. "We're very happy to get a win. Before the season if you'd told me we'd beat Georgetown 9-5 I'd have been doing cartwheels down the street."
Maryland defensemen Michael Howley, Chris Passavia and Lee Zink controlled the balanced Georgetown attack. Zink was especially impressive, shutting down the Hoyas' Neal Goldman.
Sweeney, Georgetown's all-time groundballs leader, had played with a lingering ankle injury for a few weeks before hobbling off the field with three minutes left in Saturday's 8-4 defeat of Rutgers. He found out yesterday morning that his college career was finished.
"I've gone four years pretty much unscathed," Sweeney said. "You have to look at the positive side. I've had a pretty good career. I can't dwell on it too much. I just have to be positive and support the team."
The Hoyas' defense was solid, though it did wear down in the second half with Sweeney absent. The Maryland offense developed some rhythm as the game progressed, something that might not have happened if Sweeney had played.
"One thing about Kyle is that he disrupts you," Cottle said. "Can you imagine that game with any more disruption?"
Georgetown could not overcome its season-long shooting woes and poor passing as the Hoyas scored on only five of their 43 attempts. More startling, though, was their inability to capitalize on a 16-2 faceoff advantage. Georgetown committed 33 turnovers for the game and converted nine of 16 clears in the first three quarters.
"We just didn't take very good care of the ball," Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. "We had so many turnovers that I don't think were necessarily the result of a lot of pressure from them. You can't do that against a team of that caliber. You can't keep turning it over."
The Terps, who had won the teams' only other meeting in the 1997 NCAA tournament, led 5-4 midway through the third quarter, then gradually pulled away. Mollot darted around the right side of the cage with 4:39 left in the period. Dan LaMonica and Zink added fourth-quarter goals as Maryland built an 8-4 lead.



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