- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 24, 2008

When Maryland stepped onto the field for its season opener yesterday, it boasted a starting lineup featuring freshmen at every attack position — a rarity for a major program.

But the gamble sure paid off. Freshmen accounted for nine goals as the seventh-ranked Terrapins rolled over No. 4 Georgetown 11-6 at Multi-Sport Field.

The starting freshman trio of Grant Catalino, Travis Reed and Ryan Young proved more than capable of hanging with the Hoyas’ vaunted defense. Catalino finished with four goals, while Young and Reed each scored twice.

“They’re unbelievable, aren’t they?” sophomore midfielder Brian Farrell said. “They had all the pressure on their backs. It’s great to see them play really well.”

Catalino opened the scoring on a rebound goal, and the Terps led 5-2 after the first quarter on the strength of quick offensive play and opportunistic break-outs. And while Georgetown’s defense kept two of the Terps’ veteran scorers — Dan Groot and Max Ritz — off the scoreboard, the young guys took advantage.

“We kind of came into the game just trying to ease into the game, try to get the ball around, let the upperclassmen do the scoring and finishing,” Reed said. “But I guess a lot of opportunities came our way, and luckily we finished them.”

All afternoon the Terps (1-0) looked more poised and in sync than the Hoyas (0-1), who routinely attempted to make one-on-one plays rather than pass to take better shots.

First-time starting goalie Jason Carter was sharp for Maryland, especially early. Carter made six saves in the first quarter to squelch any Georgetown momentum and allowed the offense to build a lead that the Terps would not relinquish after going up 3-2.

Terps coach Dave Cottle, who had been secretive about his goalkeeping plans, went with Carter for the first half and sophomore Brian Phipps for the second. Carter finished with seven saves, while Phipps made three.

Those performances, coupled with the stellar freshman scoring, led to the Terps’ 15th straight season-opening win. And after an exhibition season that did not assuage fears about the inexperienced offense, the victory showed how electric the Maryland offense can be.

“We haven’t come close to playing that well at any time,” Cottle said. “This is just the beginning. It’s a tremendous feeling. That’s why you play and work in athletics because there’s no feeling better than what just happened today for this team.”

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