Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Football Struggles in Patriot League

The Georgetown football team struggled in close games early in the season, falling to 0-4 before earning its first victory. The early difficulties ultimately proved too much to overcome, as the squad ended the year last in the Patriot League at 1-6, with a 4-8 record overall.

Despite the disappointing outcome, the Hoyas demonstrated progress from the 2002 campaign when they were 5-6 (2-5 Patriot), but hurting offensively.

“I think we improved on everything,” Head Coach Bob Benson said after the team’s season-ending loss to Bucknell. “We are definitely taking major steps ahead. We just have to keep working hard and paying attention to detail.”

The biggest progress came in terms of Georgetown’s running game. In 2002, opponents nearly doubled the Hoyas’ rushing yardage, while in 2003, Georgetown outgained its opponents on the ground. Sophomore Marcus Slayton became the first Hoya rusher to surpass the century mark in single game yards since the team joined the Patriot League in 2000, going for 106 yards at Holy Cross, 130 yards against Stony Brook and 109 yards at Cornell.

Senior wide receiver Luke McArdle set Georgetown records with 1,118 receiving yards and 2,031 all-purpose yards on the season. His efforts earned him All-Patriot League first team honors, making cArdle the first Hoya ever to be named to the conference’s first team.

One other landmark occurred on Oct. 18, when the Hoyas defeated Cornell, their first Ivy League foe in 66 years, 42-20.

A strong defensive front contributed to the Hoyas’ increased competitiveness in 2003. The three leading defenders – senior strong safety Matt Fronczke and senior linebackers William Skultety and Andrew Clarke – combined for 271 tackles, 24 tackles for loss, four sacks, four interceptions and five fumble recoveries.

Fronczke and sophomore defensive end Michael Ononibaku were named to the All-Patriot League second team. Ononibaku stepped up to play a significant role in just his second year with the team, recording eight sacks and 14 tackles for loss. The two were the Hoyas’ third- and fourth-leading tacklers.

Benson said he is eagerly anticipating the completion of the multi-sport facility, one of three buildings to make up the mid-campus project. Despite having the smallest facility among Patriot League teams, attendance numbers increased this year by more than 400 people per game – an average of 1,675 for each of six home contests. But the Hoyas still want those numbers to improve and expect to achieve that with the completion of the ulti-Sport Facility.

“We have to get it built,” Benson said in November. “We cannot win the league without that stadium.”

Under a revised plan, the 4,500-person capacity facility will be constructed in two parts, with the grandstands, the field, the press box and the lights comprising the first portion. That portion is slated to be complete in time for the 2005-06 academic year.

The Hoyas open their 11-game 2004 season at home against St. Francis on Sept. 4.

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