Year in Review: Georgetown

GEORGETOWN
9-4, missed NCAA tournament

MVP: Brendan Cannon. Led the team in scoring for third consecutive year; this year he had 23 goals and 21 assists. Missed the disastrous Penn State season finale with an ankle injury.

What They'll Miss Most: The Jerry Lambe vs Matt Danowski matchup. Former high school teammates in Farmingdale, N.Y., had two pretty impressive showdowns the past two years. Danowski had one goal and one assist in a 6-4 win in 2007; this year, Danowski had two goals and two assists but the Hoyas won, 11-7.

Most Unusual Stat: Eight of junior MF Andrew Brancaccio's 18 goals came on extra man. Also, only two players had more than nine assists.

What They Need in 2009: Continuity in the midfield. Seven midfielders started games; it seemed like the lines were being juggled all year.

Reasons to Be Cheerful: Look at the roster. There is talent everywhere, from junior attackman Craig Dowd (team-high 23 assists) to shortstick defenders like senior Chris Taylor.

Reasons to Be Fearful: The Hoyas clearly are missing some intangibles. The best teams in the program's history had excellent leadership from the seniors. It started with the 1999 team that made the final four; those seniors were charismatic, hard-working and very good players and leaders. The 2000 and 2004 teams also had very good leadership and had successful seasons--especially 2004, which lost in the final seconds to Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

I also remember, however, the 2001 team that lost to Loyola in the first round. Afterward, one of the players said, "It was an honor to wear this jersey, and I wish everyone [on the team] had felt that way." And a 2006 quarterfinal loss to Virginia was preceded by a player being suspended for some off-field misconduct. It wasn't criminal, but the timing was extremely poor and it seemed to be a sign that not everyone was on the same page.

I think it was Vince Lombardi who once said that he didn't watch a man get knocked down, he watched to see how quickly he got back up. That's what we should do with Georgetown. The talent is there. The effort from the coaching staff is there. But overall, something clearly is missing. And unless or until that is identified and addressed, I doubt very much that the Hoyas will reach their potential.

By Christian Swezey |  June 4, 2008; 10:51 AM ET  | Category:  Georgetown
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Comments

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I completely, wholeheartedly agree on the "something missing" idea. I've watched this team for several years, and it seems that way nearly every year. It seems as if the team has all the ingredients to make a run at the national title: scoring, defense, good coaching, good goaltending, etc. But they always fall short. This year's squad was an especially poignant example of that: Beating No. 1 Duke, 11-7, and then losing to Loyola and Penn State. Those two losses were inexcusable, and the NCAA selection committee didn't excuse them.

Posted by: Incredulous | June 4, 2008 11:58 AM

I keep reading about how loaded with talent Georgetown is. I ask you this: is the talent actually there? Certainly the hype is there, but having really strong recruiting classes according to inside lacrosse is hardly a barometer for talent. Take Brancaccio, a very highly regarded recruit (#1 according to IL), but what is Brancaccio other than a sharp shooter who can't create his own shot. Have you ever seen him dodge like Rabil or Peyser and create a shot? No. He is essentially a long range crease attackman. This is an instance of IL over hyping talent. It is my belief that Georgetown is not as talented as the top tier teams. I don't believe the problem is talent not being used to its' max. Look at the Georgetown offense the past few years. It has been anemic. IL might rate all of these middies very highly, but when push comes to shove, they just are not as talented. Look at the goal. You will never be a final four team with a goalie like Kass in there. Georgetown first needs to up their level of talent.

Posted by: Jimmy Jack | June 4, 2008 1:12 PM

Maybe they should be concerned about who UNC hires.

Posted by: LaxFan | June 6, 2008 6:24 PM

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