- The Washington Times - Friday, April 2, 2004

Andy Corno has no problem taking as many faceoffs as needed for Georgetown’s lacrosse team. He’s happy to stay on the field as a defensive midfielder, and he thrives on giving the Hoyas an offensive boost after scooping up a groundball.

However, there is one thing he wants no part of: the training room.

“I hate it in there,” the Georgetown junior said. “Unless I break or tear something, I’m not going in there.”

Little wonder that coach Dave Urick calls Corno “a warrior.”

Fortunately for the fourth-ranked Hoyas, Corno hasn’t needed medical treatment this season. He’s won 71 percent of his draws — the best rate in the nation — and has 54 groundballs for Georgetown (5-1), which plays host to No.7 Navy (6-1) this afternoon.

Along with junior wingman Brodie Merrill (45 groundballs), Corno has helped the Hoyas build arguably the best faceoff unit in the country.

“Andy’s a warrior. I put him and Brodie in a class by themselves,” Urick said. “These guys just come to play. As the games become more important and more intense and you get into the real critical games, he’s someone you want out there. He’s really blossomed into more than a faceoff guy.”

It showed in Georgetown’s 9-8 victory at Duke last weekend. Corno was named ECAC Offensive Player of the Week after winning 15 of 20 faceoffs and grabbing 12 groundballs to help the Hoyas capture their fifth straight game.

The performance vaulted Corno to the top of Georgetown’s career faceoff wins list with 364. With 204 career groundballs, he’s closing in on Kyle Sweeney’s program record of 229. Yet the secret to Corno’s success seems remarkably simple.

“When the ball is on the ground, I’ll do anything I can, including sacrificing my body, to make sure my team comes up with possession,” Corno said. “What I think I do best is not the actual move — it’s just that I never give up on the groundball, I don’t always win the clamp or the move or the draw, but I’m winning the ball most of the time because I don’t give up on it.”

It’s not as if Corno emerged from oblivion this season. He had an impressive freshman season and last year, with former Duke faceoff star Scott Bross’ help as an assistant coach, he earned an All-America honorable mention nod.

The Hoyas have asked more from Corno this season, and he’s delivered. The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Bethesda native has played a greater role in the defensive midfield. It’s made the Hoyas better, but it also has helped Corno remain patient and avoid jumping the whistle on faceoffs.

“Last year when I was on the sideline, I got antsy a little,” Corno said. “I definitely am enjoying it. I feel like I’ve been able to make more of an impact than in the past. In tight situations, it’s helped our team in general. I hope my role can expand even more.”

While the possibility of also playing Corno at the offensive end is enticing, Urick wants to make sure his star is fresh at the end of games and at the end of the season.

“You can underestimate Andy. You may not think he’s quick or fast, but he is,” Urick said. “He could play offense if we wanted him to, but we can only get so many miles out of him and we need to make sure we’re in this for the long haul.”

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