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

Hoyas’ Davis Gets Debut in the Cage at Beltway Rival Maryland

Your vision is constantly being blocked by a mass of bodies as you try to keep an eye on a small white rubber ball, weighing only five ounces, while making defensive calls for your teammates. That ball may only weigh five ounces, but the offense has athletes who will hurl it at you at 90-some miles per hour while you wear little protective equipment besides a helmet.

Such is the life of a lacrosse goalkeeper.

And such will be the life of Georgetown’s junior goalkeeper Jack Davis come tomorrow as he makes his first collegiate lacrosse start against No. 3 Maryland.

Not only will Davis have to deal with the pressure of making his first collegiate start in the cage against a local rival, but he will also be forced to fill the void left by the graduation of three-year starter Miles Kass (MSB ’08), who finished seventh all-time at Georgetown with 397 saves in his career.

“It would be a lot of pressure regardless of who was starting before me, but I’m just looking forward to the opportunity,” Davis said. “Hopefully I can do as well as Miles did in his three years here.”

Junior defenseman Chris Nixon has seen Davis in practice for the past three years, and while he doesn’t see a replica of Kass in the cage, he does see someone who will be a strong player for the Hoyas.

“Miles was a high-intensity guy, and Jack’s definitely a different demeanor in there,” Nixon said. “It’s been real nice having him back there though. He gets the ball on the stick real quick. He’s a real good outletter.”

Outletting might prove to be crucial to the Hoyas if they are unable to resolve their faceoff problems from last year when they only won 46.1 percent at the X. Ever the traditionalist, Head Coach Dave Urick thinks that the best offense is a good defense, or in this case the best offense will be generated from Davis’ outlets.

“He outlets the ball extremely well,” Urick said. “We will definitely generate some offense coming out of our own end because he gets it up and gets it out really well. The part he could get better at – and he is getting better at – is the overall command of the defense.”

Indeed, the goalkeeper is the vocal leader of the defense, calling out adjustments to teammates like a quarterback at the line of scrimmage. Similar to his coach, Davis is aware that he must be in control of his teammates if Georgetown is going to have success this season, but particularly tomorrow against Maryland, who torched a veteran Hoyas defense for 11 goals last season.

“As a goalie you’re supposed to be a leader of the defense and really know what’s going on out on the field and be able to direct people and tell them what to do,” Davis said. “Just getting used to that and taking over has been the most difficult part [of the adjustment].”

Unlike other collegiate sports, such as football or basketball, where teams open their seasons with matchups against lesser teams, Georgetown will be opening its season against a unit many think could win the national title come May. This means that not only Davis but the entire team will have to hit the ground running in a rivalry that has gotten chippy at times over the years.

“I think just that proximity that we have with Maryland, and knowing all the kids on the team and knowing that the two schools have a heated rivalry in almost every sport we play in, it’s definitely a different kind of game than our friendly rivalries with like Duke,” Nixon said. “This is definitely a more serious rival, and you definitely don’t need any pep talks before this game.”

The competitor in Davis came to the surface when asked about playing in the rivalry for his first game.

“[Maryland is] definitely a tough team to start out with, but I don’t think I would want it any other way,” he said. “It’s a great way to start out. It’s such a great rivalry.”

Faceoff is set for 1 p.m. tomorrow at Ludwig Field in College Park. The last time Georgetown traveled to College Park was in 2007, when they came away with an 8-6 victory which vaulted them to No. 1 in the rankings.

Urick knows there will be pregame jitters for his entire team, especially for Davis, but he is confident that they will subside after the opening faceoff.

“There’s going to be some nervous energy [for Davis] I’m sure – which is understandable,” Urick said. “Hopefully he makes that first save and things fall into place from there.”

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