- The Washington Times - Friday, April 14, 2006

Georgetown heads back on the road today when it visits Loyola, an all-too-familiar experience for the Hoyas in the second half of the season.

The Hoyas (7-1) are playing their third straight game away from Multi-Sport Field before returning home next week to face No. 10 Massachusetts. After that, Georgetown will finish the regular season with games at Rutgers and Penn State.

“We’ve talked about that,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “We’re trying to focus on not so much on where we play. We try to stress it’s more important how we play.”

That is probably wise, since Urick’s team is playing as well as anyone not named Virginia. The Hoyas have won seven straight since a season-opening loss to Maryland to rise to No. 2 in the Inside Lacrosse rankings. Georgetown controlled Navy and Fairfield in consecutive weeks, and has relied on its physical play and deep midfield lines to wear down opponents all season.

The Hoyas might receive another boost against Loyola.

Sophomore goalie Miles Kass (sprained knee), who missed the last two games, could return today, although senior defenseman Rob Smith (thumb) is unlikely to be back after sitting out last week.

At least the Hoyas have not been forced to travel far of late. Both Navy and Loyola are nearby, permitting Georgetown to avoid the long bus rides associated with most road trips.

“I just wish we had better movies,” Urick said. “Some of these movies I’ve seen about six times.”

Toomey time

No. 20 Loyola has missed the NCAA tournament the last four seasons, though there is an increasing sense that drought could end soon.

The Greyhounds were beset by inexperience and a struggling offense the last two seasons, but are 4-4 this spring after thrashing Rutgers last week. Goalie Michael Fretwell has stopped more than 60 percent of the shots he has faced, and Loyola can still play its way into the postseason with Georgetown, Fairfield, Hobart and Johns Hopkins left on its schedule.

“There’s a tremendous amount of pride and tradition,” coach Charley Toomey said. “While we haven’t had the kind of success the last couple years, the guys realize the history of the program and the expectations. We expect to be there and we’re not accustomed to not being there.”

Toomey took over the program in December when the school dismissed former coach Bill Dirrigl, and quickly hired former Johns Hopkins star Bobby Benson as his offensive coordinator. Toomey, the starting goalie on the 1990 Loyola team that reached the national title game, also has invited alumni back to speak to the team the day before each game.

“There’s been some wonderful messages,” Toomey said.

“The one thing that every alum who has come back has said is, ‘This is the best time in your life. You can play professionally, but this is the locker room you’re going to remember’ ”

Cavaliers kick back

Top-ranked Virginia is in the midst of a two-week break created by the cancellation of Duke’s season earlier this month.

The Cavaliers (11-0) were to play Duke tonight, but instead are recharging after blowing out Maryland and North Carolina on the road in consecutive weeks.

“The break doesn’t come at a bad time,” Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. “We’re obviously having some fun playing. It wouldn’t be my first choice, but it is what it is.”

Starsia rested midfielders Jared Little (foot) and Foster Gilbert (sports hernia) against North Carolina, giving both extra time to prepare for the postseason.

The Cavaliers meet Bellarmine next week before playing in the ACC tournament final April 30 and the NCAA tournament next month.

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