Friday’s contest may be the last meeting between these schools for quite a while due to Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson’s ultimatum, but that won’t dilute the emotion in this cross-town rivalry. The No. 8 Terps have never lost in four games at the Multi-Sport Field in Washington, D.C. The Hoyas are trying to snap a two-game losing streak to Maryland. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome.
1) Georgetown’s attack. This unit not only graduated its top playmaker in attackman Rickey Mirabito (16 goals and 30 assists), but it also bid farewell to junior attackman Davey Emala (35, 13), who transferred to North Carolina. But junior attackman Travis Comeau (30, 5) is back, and junior Zac Guy is finally healthy after sitting out last season due to a broken bone in his hand. And the Hoyas feel good about junior Jason McFadden filling out the first line, and senior C-Jay Engelke and freshmen Bo Stafford and Reilly O’Connor getting time. “I don’t think that you can necessarily replace that guy when you lose Emala, but then you have a redshirted guy like Zac Guy who was waiting, that’s a pretty nice guy to slide into that spot,” Terps coach John Tillman said. “So I think they’ll just be different than they were last year. But man, I look at their top guys, and it’s a highly recruited group, that’s for sure.”
2) Maryland’s faceoffs. Along with redshirt sophomore goalie Niko Amato, junior faceoff specialist Curtis Holmes may represent the clearest advantage for the Terps. Holmes won 19-of-20 draws in the team’s 12-6 victory over No. 19 Hartford last Saturday, and he went 20-of-31 in last year’s 20-8 win against Georgetown. “First and foremost, I think they’ve got one of the best faceoff guys in the country,” Hoyas coach Dave Urick said. “So I think making sure we can get our share of those because they are extremely adept at that part of it has a direct bearing on how many opportunities you’re going to have offensively.”
3) Georgetown’s rust. This is the season opener for the Hoyas, who have been limited to practice while many other Division I programs have already played one or two games. Maryland played last Saturday, but Tillman said that might not be an advantage. “We may have gotten some rust off, but they know us, they know what we’re doing, they know our personnel,” he said. “We’re guessing a little bit. We have not seen them live. So we don’t really know as much as them, and that concerns me as much as anything else.” Urick chuckled at that answer. “There might be a little something to that, but having that game under your belt already is a significant part of the equation as well,” he said. “… It’s one thing doing it in practice, and it’s another thing doing it when the lights are on, and it’s for real.”