- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 21, 2009

It was only a month ago a charged-up Georgetown lacrosse team emerged from a miserable offseason to deliver a pounding to Maryland on the Terrapins‘ home field.

A memorable moment? Yes. A sign of things to come? Not so much.

The No. 20 Hoyas are reeling, losing each of the past three weekends to place their season in peril before the midpoint ever came close to arriving.

“We’re certainly in uncharted territory as far as our program is concerned,” coach Dave Urick said.

Georgetown’s 2-3 start is its worst since 1989, and Saturday’s visit to No. 8 Duke (6-3) might not help matters.

The Hoyas were the only team to defeat the Blue Devils in the regular season last year, though it wasn’t enough to vault Georgetown into the NCAA tournament. But with conference losses at St. John’s and Hobart - the latter a 15-8 bruising last weekend - the Hoyas probably need to reverse things immediately if they want to make it back to the postseason.

As a result, there might just be a little desperation as Georgetown plays its fifth road game.

“Possibly; there’s certainly a little more urgency,” Urick said. “We have to start to get some in the [winning] column sooner rather than later. We’ve been on the road and we get a chance to come home after this game, but we can’t afford to use that as any excuse or crutch. We have to play better in every aspect. There wasn’t one aspect [against Hobart] that was impressive, that’s for sure.”

Gvozden not the problem

Johns Hopkins goalie Michael Gvozden endured a severe slump in the middle of last season, and the Blue Jays suffered right along with him.

Yet as No. 7 Hopkins (3-2) prepares to host top-ranked Virginia (9-0) on Saturday night, the junior isn’t the reason the Blue Jays have lost twice in the past three weeks.

“It’s not been him,” coach Dave Pietramala said. “Could he play more consistent? Sure, but we didn’t lose to Syracuse because of him. He had 15 saves. You get 15 saves in the [Carrier] Dome, you’ve gotten pretty good effort from the goalie. I would say it’s a collective effort defensively. We’ve just got to play as more of a cohesive unit and do a better job of finishing possessions.”

The competition has something to do with it, too. The Blue Jays lost to a pair of top-five opponents, yielding 14 goals to both teams. Hopkins is yielding half that a game in its three victories.

Cottle seeks answers

No. 10 Maryland demonstrated its ability to collect a crucial victory when it handled Duke three weeks ago.

But the Terrapins (5-2, 1-0 ACC) also showed they can be sluggish at times in last week’s 9-7 loss to UMBC, a troubling possibility considering the quality of the schedule awaiting Maryland in the next month.

“What showed on Saturday is we need some leadership on the offensive end of the field,” said coach Dave Cottle, whose team hosts to No. 11 North Carolina (7-2, 0-1) on Saturday. “It’s easy to be a leader when things are going well. It’s tougher when things go poorly. Things went poorly on Saturday, and no one stepped up.”

Cottle said things unfolded differently the next day, when the Terps ripped Bryant 13-6. In particular, he said sophomore Ryan Young (12 goals, five assists) is emerging as the vital piece of a loaded offense.

“He was outstanding,” Cottle said. “We need a leader on attack. He’s the guy we’re looking to and turning to on the offensive end.”

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