- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 26, 2006

The names in the Maryland-Georgetown lacrosse game gradually change over the years.

The result when the Beltway behemoths meet, though, always remains the same.

Maryland remained perfect in six games against Georgetown, administering a 10-4 thrashing to its local rival in the Hoyas’ first game at their Multi-Sport Facility.

Brothers Xander and Max Ritz both scored four goals, and Harry Alford made 14 saves for the third-ranked Terrapins (1-0), who produced a flurry of extra-man goals during an increasingly chippy second half against the seventh-ranked Hoyas (0-1).

It was the Terps’ third victory against the Hoyas in the last year, including a win in the NCAA quarterfinals in May.

“We’ve opened up with them for three years now, and it’s always a heated battle, and they’re right down the street,” Xander Ritz said. “On top of it, last year’s playoff game ramped up the intensity even more. It’s the first game of the season, and you’ve been waiting nine months to play. Everybody’s emotions are running high.”

Especially Georgetown’s. Much as they did in last year’s season-opening loss at Maryland, the Hoyas grew frustrated as the Terps turned a tight game early into a rout.

Georgetown went scoreless for more than 38 minutes during one stretch, and a fight nearly broke out in the third quarter near the substitution box.

The scrum was similar to a Hoyas meltdown last year, when faceoff man Andy Corno was ejected for retaliating against Maryland midfielder Travis Holmes in the second half.

“I’m not thrilled with losing poise,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “We have to play with more poise than that. You have to make your own breaks in this game. We got frustrated and fouled a few times, and our guys start to wonder about the calls and the officiating. That’s all just a distraction. You just have to play through it.”

Georgetown committed 11 penalties, giving Maryland plenty of opportunities. The Terps efficiently worked the ball inside, eschewing low-percentage shots for close looks at Hoyas goalie Miles Kass (12 saves).

The Terps scored five of their goals on extra-man chances.

“They’re predicated on pressure, and possessions are either really short good or really short bad. You just have to live with it,” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “We told our kids going in there were going to be a lot of 10-second possessions. We may get a layup, or we may lose it four or five times in a row. That’s kind of the way you have to play them.”

Alford’s performance was strikingly similar to last year’s opener as well. The junior made 25 saves last season against the Hoyas in what devolved into a glorified game of catch. He made a few impressive stops yesterday, but all too often Georgetown shot it right into Alford’s stick.

Of course, the Hoyas were eager to shoot because they didn’t have the ball as much as they’re accustomed. Georgetown, which depended so heavily on the reliable Corno the last four seasons to help dominate possession, was only 5-for-18 on draws yesterday.

“To lose and lose by a good amount is tough,” Georgetown defenseman Reyn Garnett said. “It makes you realize you’ve got a lot of work to do. There’s a lot of season left and a lot of things to work and improve on. Fortunately, there’s enough time where we can do that.”

Maryland figures to get better as well, and yesterday might have been an early indication of a team that could contend for a national title. The Terps will get a better sense Saturday when they visit top-ranked Duke in the ACC opener for both teams.

“This was a tough spot for us because we go on the road to Georgetown and then we go on the road to Duke,” Cottle said. “You’d hate to be sitting and looking at 0-1 going on the road to Durham.”

No. 4 Virginia 17, Stony Brook 4

CHARLOTTESVILLE — Matt Ward scored four goals, and Garrett Billings and Matt Poskay both scored three times as the Cavaliers (3-0) ripped the Seawolves (0-1) at Klockner Stadium.

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