- The Washington Times - Friday, February 27, 2004

One of the first things Dave Cottle did when he took over as Maryland’s lacrosse coach in the fall of 2001 was to call Georgetown counterpart Dave Urick.

Their conversation led to the first regular-season meeting between the two schools in lacrosse, a 9-5 Maryland victory last year at Byrd Stadium. The seventh-ranked Hoyas and the eighth-ranked Terrapins will meet again this afternoon at Georgetown’s Harbin Field in the season opener for both teams.

Still, a rivalry between the only two Division I programs inside the Capital Beltway doesn’t necessarily seem suited for late February. With the chance of poor weather (or in the case of last year, heavy rain that forced the game’s postponement from Feb.22 to April28) far more likely at the beginning of the season, an April or early May date would be friendlier for fans and would have a more immediate impact on both teams’ NCAA tournament seeding.

“I’m not sure if it’s ideal when we have it,” Urick said. “We’ve talked about playing at a different time. That’s tough with league games. You don’t have a lot of flexibility. We’ve actually talked about playing that thing later if we get some flexibility. You just play when you can.”

A possible change in Maryland’s schedule could open up an extra weekend date in April. Cottle said there have been discussions to move the ACC tournament to the final weekend of the season. The ACC tournament is usually the third or fourth weekend in April to avoid interfering with final exams.

Even if the Maryland-Georgetown game can’t be shifted, it appears the meeting will be on the schedules of both programs for several years.

“I thought this was a great game for April,” said Cottle, who added he is also looking to add Hofstra and Syracuse to the Terps’ schedule next season. “We’d find a spot. This game is great for the area, but I’m just glad we’re playing. Win or lose, I’m glad we’re playing.”

McGinnis in goal?

Cottle declined to publicly announce a starter at goalie this week, but if Maryland’s preseason is any indication, graduate student Tim McGinnis probably will get the nod against Georgetown.

A Division III All-America selection at Gettysburg in 2002, McGinnis started all three of the Terps’ scrimmages ahead of freshman Harry Alford. In last Saturday’s scrimmage against Syracuse, McGinnis played into the third quarter before giving way to Alford.

Should he draw the start, McGinnis would follow his brother Pat, who started for the Terps in 2000 and 2001. Pat McGinnis holds the program record with a .635 save percentage and was a first-team All-America pick in 2001.

Hard to miss

Georgetown lost two of its three starting defensemen to graduation — Pat Collins and Brant Gresham — but the Hoyas still have senior Andrew Braziel to provide stability to a group of talented but youthful close defensemen.

Though long stick midfielder Brodie Merrill and goalie Rich D’Andrea have plenty of experience, many defensemen do not. Sophomores John Trapp and Reyn Garnett played sparingly last year, and redshirt freshman Robert Smith will get his first college experience today against Maryland.

The 6-foot-3, 215-pound Braziel started all 15 games for the Hoyas last year and picked up a career-high 36 groundballs, a number likely to increase this season.

“Braziel is a guy who you can kind of overlook,” Urick said. “You can’t overlook him physically since he’s so big. I think he’s developed into a great Division I lacrosse player. He’s good up the field, a leader and a communicator. He’s a force.”

Back home

Navy plays its first game at Navy-Marine Corps Stadium in 22 months today when it faces Ohio State (0-1). The Midshipmen, who defeated Lafayette 14-1 in their season opener Saturday, played at Rip Miller Field last year while Navy-Marine Corps underwent renovations.

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