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

GU Falls Short Again with Loss to Virginia

After four years of falling short of the Final Four, Georgetown’s luck ran out again in 2006 as the No. 8 seed Hoyas fell to No. 1 Virginia as time ran out in last Sunday’s quarterfinal game.

Georgetown’s (12-3, 6-1 ECAC) dream of capturing an elusive bid to the Final Four evaporated in a 20-8 quarterfinal loss to the Cavaliers (15-0, 3-0 ACC) in Towson, d.

“It’s a week before I wanted it to be, but that’s the way it goes,” Georgetown Head Coach Dave Urick said. “We played a team that was just better than we were . and they proved it during the game. Were they 12 goals better than we were? Probably not. That was a little disappointing, that we didn’t give them more of a struggle.”

The Hoyas finished the season in the NCAA quarterfinals for the fifth straight year and eighth time in the last nine years. Their final record is one of the top marks in school history, behind the 13-win season posted in 1999 by the last squad to reach the Final Four. Meanwhile, Virginia remains perfect on the year, including five 20-goal games, and will move on to face Syracuse in the national semifinal on Saturday, May 27 in Philadelphia.

“You’d like to be able to play close to your best lacrosse at this stage of the season,” he continued. “I think there were some lapses on Sunday. We just uncharacteristically mishandled the ball a few times, made [poor] decisions. We did fall victim to some self-inflicted wounds. Against a team like that, you’re going to pay dearly for it.”

The opening quarter provided a glimpse of the Cavaliers’ unrivaled ability to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes, as Virginia jumped out to a four-goal lead before fifth-year senior midfielder Dave Paolisso netted Georgetown’s first goal at the 2:49 mark. The teams traded goals to end the quarter, which came to a close with UVA on top by a score of 5-2, despite winning only 2-of-7 faceoffs and picking up only seven ground balls to Georgetown’s 13.

The two teams were more evenly matched during the second quarter as the Hoyas responded with a tally of their own after each of the Cavaliers’ three goals in the period. Sophomore attacker Brendan Cannon assisted on each of Georgetown’s first two goals in the second, the first by sophomore attacker Andy Baird and the second by Paolisso.

Virginia sophomore attacker Ben Rubeor scored to restore the Cavaliers’ four-goal lead at 3:22 with his first of five goals in the game, and Virginia appeared poised to maintain their lead before Paolisso completed his hat trick during the final minute of the quarter. His 23rd goal of the season cut the Hoyas’ deficit to three.

Paolisso worked well against short-stick defenders, consistently beating them while his linemate, senior midfielder and co-captain Pete Cannon, received the majority of the attention from several of UVA’s top defenders.

In the first half, the Hoyas were able to stay in the game by maintaining slight advantages in possession. Georgetown won 9-of-14 faceoffs, led by junior midfielder Christiaan Trunz, and held a 26-18 lead in ground balls. The second half, however, would tell an entirely different story.

The Hoyas’ third quarter was one of their toughest quarters all season: They won only three faceoffs to Virginia’s seven and also lost out on ground balls, 10-7. Georgetown was outscored 9-2 in the quarter and never fully recovered.

“When you give Virginia that many possessions, they’re going to score,” Urick said. “You add that to some of the mistakes we made handling the ball, and it got pretty one-sided in the second half. There were times that we didn’t clear it, and all that did was compound the challenge.”

Initially, Georgetown was able to stay competitive during the second half. Following a goal by UVA during the opening minutes, junior midfielder Garrett Wilson bounced back with his eighth goal of the year to keep the Hoyas within three. After three more Virginia goals, junior midfielder Chase Gahan took a pass from Pete Cannon and scored to make the score 12-7 – but Georgetown would not get any closer.

Over the final 7:42, Virginia’s offense came alive to score five unanswered goals and take a ten-goal lead. Rubeor did the bulk of the damage, scoring three and assisting on the other two, before adding his thirty-first goal of the year in the fourth quarter.

“We knew they were going to have some runs. We needed to nip them in the bud and make sure that they weren’t extended runs. Obviously the one in the third quarter was quite extensive and it certainly did us in,” Urick said.

As the Hoyas struggled to establish an offensive rhythm, Paolisso continued to be the only source of offense. During a season in which the fifth-year senior had been an offensive revelation for his squad, it was perhaps fitting that he would score the Hoyas’ final goal. The marker at 11:09 of the fourth quarter was his fourth of the game and brought his team-leading season total to 24.

Rubeor scored just nine seconds later, though, to push Virginia’s lead to 18-8. The Cavaliers scored twice more for good measure before advancing to face Syracuse.

“We were in a situation where we constantly had to slide and provide team defensive support, and they’re very good at finding the next guy on the other side of the offense [with his hands free],” Urick said. “As the second half evolved, we didn’t play nearly as good a team defense as we would have liked to.”

While the Hoyas’ streak of 10 consecutive postseason appearances and five straight runs to the quarterfinals has placed the program among the most consistent in the country, Georgetown’s failure to return to the Final Four since 1999 has, to some, become disheartening. Urick, though, had a different take on things, citing his squad’s 2-2 record against teams that have reached this year’s Final Four.

“What I think we have to do is take a step back and take a broader view of what the team accomplished throughout the entire year,” he said. “We would be foolish to take for granted as a program that we would even have the opportunity to compete for a national championship.”

Urick also points to the leadership and contributions of the graduating seniors. In addition to Pete Cannon and senior defender Reyn Garnett, both captains, Urick’s praise extends to senior defenders Rob Smith and John Trapp, as well as fifth-year goalie Rich D’Andrea.

“For me, it’s always been important to try as best you can to thank [senior midfielders] Wes Trice, Brian Hehir and Derek Mills. Those are seniors that saw limited playing time. [Senior attack] Connor Hartley comes to mind. Those guys are awfully important for the preparation and whatever success your team is able to accomplish,” Urick said.

“There’s an awful lot of teams out there playing lacrosse that have never been to a Final Four,” Urick said. “We’ve been there; we just haven’t been there lately.”

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