Year in Review: 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.
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