- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 2, 2005

The regular season is halfway over, and Georgetown just might have more questions than it did at the beginning of the year.

It’s not as if the ninth-ranked Hoyas (4-2) have had a miserable season to date. They have upended longtime nemesis Syracuse and collected a victory at Hobart, a pair of wins that no doubt will impress the NCAA tournament committee when it meets early next month to select and seed the 16-team field.

But Georgetown also has a pair of blowout losses, including last week’s 12-3 bludgeoning by undefeated Duke, and it has struggled to play well for a full game. In short, this year’s squad might be one of the most inconsistent group of Hoyas to play for coach Dave Urick.

“I’d say that’s as good a word as any,” Urick said. “Even in the Hobart game, we dug ourselves a hole, and we got away with playing 30 minutes of hard lacrosse. Same thing with Delaware. Against Duke, we didn’t play too many good minutes of lacrosse. Against Syracuse, we played extremely well most of the game. We’re inconsistent, and I’m hard-pressed to figure out why. I keep telling our guys that if we keep working hard, good things will happen. Hopefully that’s the case.”

Part of the answer probably lies in the midfield, where the Hoyas have struggled to find a regular offensive presence. Urick long has been fond of running deep midfield units, but it has been difficult for him to determine the team’s best combinations this spring thanks to both up-and-down play and nagging injuries.

“We have a lot of guys playing at the same level, so it leaves a lot of questions of who can or who will — if they ever do — separate themselves from the pack and give us a group of guys we can depend on,” Urick said.

The Hoyas, who visit No.5 Navy (7-1) today, still have another month to figure things about before the postseason. As unlikely as another pummeling is today (Urick has endured back-to-back five-goal losses only twice in his 26-year career) or an outright freefall is for the rest of the season, the Hoyas are wary of their variable play.

“As long as I’ve done this, you never can predict this type of thing,” Urick said. “It’s up to us as coaches to make sure we keep working at it and get it in the direction. We’re by no means where we’re in a panic situation, but as coaches, we’re concerned that we’re not playing as well as we should be.”

Hoyas-Mids moved

Today’s Navy-Georgetown game was moved yesterday from the Hilltop to Annapolis because of the heavy rain expected in the area.

Georgetown is playing this season at North Kehoe Field while Harbin Field is under construction. The game, which will be played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, will start at 1 p.m. and still will be televised by Channel 2 in Baltimore and simulcast on ESPNU.

Statement time for Navy

With today’s game against Georgetown to be followed by meetings with Maryland, Army and Johns Hopkins, Navy coach Richie Meade is willing to state the obvious: “It’s put up or shut up time.”

“April is when things are really decided,” Meade said. “The guys that do well in April are the guys that usually get to play in May.”

The Midshipmen emerged from March with one loss and concerns about offensive output. Navy scored 19 goals on a two-game trip to Lehigh and Holy Cross last weekend, less than half the total it combined for against those teams last year.

“We don’t live in a vacuum,” Meade said. “[People] don’t think we’re as good as we were last year, and they’re questioning that we’re playing closer games than they perceive they should have been. One of the answers is that we have not scored as well as we did. The teams we play against are better than last year.”

Navy’s scoring woes are related to its poor shooting. The Mids are shooting 24 percent for the season and have shot better than 30 percent only once in eight games.

“I’m not a big stats guy. I look at groundballs and what the score is and if we cleared the ball,” Meade said. “But our shooting percentage apparently is terrible. I know Graham Gill is shooting 13 percent. The good news is that we’re generating the same amount of shots. … We’re athletic enough to generate the shots we need, and if we start to shoot a little better, we’re going to be able to beat the teams we need to beat.”

Rewkowski returns

Lost in top-ranked Johns Hopkins’ 9-7 defeat of then-No. 2 Virginia last week was the return of Blue Jays midfielder Matt Rewkowski. The senior, who ran on the Blue Jays’ first line last year, tore his ACL on the first day of fall practice. Rewkowski scored 26 goals and was a third-team All-American last year.

“It’s been a great shot in the arm for the team,” said Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala, whose 5-0 Blue Jays visit No. 19 North Carolina (2-5) this afternoon. “The guys are excited. When you’re playing, you feel much more a part of things. It gives you a breath of fresh air. It adds a little bit of depth.”

Rewkowski had limited runs with Hopkins’ second midfield line but could work his way back to the first line by the end of the year. The Blue Jays’ current top midfield unit includes Greg Peyser, freshman Paul Rabil and All-American Kyle Harrison.

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