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

Georgetown Seeks Elusive Quarterfinal Win

The stakes could not be much higher.

All year long, the Hoyas have been playing to get to this game. If they win, the season may be remembered as the best in Georgetown history. If they lose, it will go down as yet another impressive effort that fell short when it counted most.

Looking to break a five-year losing streak in the NCAA Quarterfinals, the sixth-seeded Hoyas (12-2) will face the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays (10-4), who are seeded third, tomorrow at Princeton Stadium in Princeton, N.J. If the Hoyas win, they will advance to the semifinal for the second time in program history.

“This year, we’ve just kept on stressing that past years don’t matter,” freshman midfielder Andrew Brancaccio said. “This is a new year, and it seems like we can get over that hump really easily and get to the Final Four.”

The Blue Jays, on the other hand, are no strangers to winning in the round of eight. Though they lost in the quarterfinals last season, they won their 8th national championship in 2005. Johns Hopkins has played in the NCAA quarterfinals 35 times in the last 36 years and has advanced to the semifinals 26 times.

“Hopkins does bring a mystique to the field,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said.

Despite Johns Hopkins’ storied past, the Hoyas have a number of reasons to be hopeful. To begin with, they have not lost in nearly two months. Georgetown has won eight games in a row since losing to Duke on March 24.

“I don’t think the confidence of this team could possibly be any higher right now,” senior defender Jerry Lambe said following the Hoyas’ thrilling 9-8 overtime win over Princeton in the first round of the tournament on Sunday. “Everybody is really hitting on all cylinders.”

Senior midfielder Christiaan Trunz agreed that the Hoyas are peaking at just the right time.

“If you look at all aspects of the way a team comes together, we’ve hit our stride – in terms of bonding with each other, in terms of practicing hard, in terms of congratulating and just playing as a team overall,” Trunz said.

The Hoyas will try to keep doing what’s been working for them tomorrow. In particular, they will try to continue to play with intensity and snag ground balls.

“We just need to keep playing like we’ve been playing,” Brancaccio said. “Throughout the year we’ve been really tough on ground balls and out-hustling teams, so it seems like we need to keep doing that.”

After losing three consecutive games in the middle of the regular season to Virginia, North Carolina and Duke, Johns Hopkins has reeled off six straight victories. The Blue Jays defeated Notre Dame 11-10 in overtime in the first round of the tournament Saturday.

Georgetown’s defenders will have their hands full trying to slow down Johns Hopkins’ attack. The Blue Jays have four players who have tallied 25 or more points this season.

“They have a lot of good offensive players, good shooters,” Trunz said. “They put up a lot of points, so it will be important for us to maintain possession.”

The Hoyas will need to keep track of junior midfielder Paul Rabil at all times. Rabil, a 2006 first team all-American, leads Johns Hopkins in goals with 25 and assists with 18.

Georgetown has only faced Johns Hopkins once before, when the Blue Jays topped the Hoyas 15-10 during the 1993 regular season.

The stakes will be much higher this time around.

“We want it,” Trunz said. “We’re ready.”

Tomorrow’s opening face-off is set for 3 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ESPNU and locally on MASN.

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