Terps' New Faces Have Nose for the Goal in Opener

By Christian Swezey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 24, 2008

Maryland freshman attackman Grant Catalino jumped in the air, started yelling and then jumped into the arms of a teammate after he scored the first goal of his college career early in the first quarter yesterday against Georgetown.

It was the only time all day that he looked like a typical freshman.

Catalino was one of three freshmen to start on attack for the Terrapins, a rarity for a top lacrosse program. And he scored four goals in an 11-6 victory before 3,500 at Multi-Sport Field in the season opener for both teams.

The other two freshmen attackmen also contributed: Travis Reed scored two goals, and Ryan Young had two goals and an assist.

In all, Maryland freshmen accounted for nine goals (midfielder Tony Mendes also scored).

Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said he did not decide to start the freshmen on attack until the bus ride to the game. It was a risky move; Georgetown uses a pressure defense that forces a lot of turnovers. In particular, Cottle worried about the matchup between Young and fifth-year senior Jerry Lambe, one of the best takeaway defensemen in the country.

He needn't have worried. Young beat Lambe from behind the goal and scored on a close shot for a 3-2 lead late in the first quarter, and the Terrapins didn't trail after that. They extended the lead to 7-2 following a goal by Mendes with 9 minutes 56 seconds left in the first half.

"We hadn't come close to playing that well" in the preseason, Cottle said. "But on the bus ride over, everyone was quiet, and when I left the locker room, I knew one thing: That this team was going to play as well as it possibly could."

The Hoyas were left to rue yet another season-opening loss to Maryland. Dating from 2004, the Hoyas have lost to Maryland in their season opener by scores of 14-5, 13-6 and 10-4.

It was a long day for the Hoyas' four captains. Senior attackman Brendan Cannon had one goal and one assist but committed five turnovers. Lambe had one caused turnover but inadvertently screened goalkeeper Miles Kass on an extra-man goal that Catalino scored late in the first half. He later left the game with a cut on his forehead.

Kass finished with 10 saves, but had just six in the crucial first three quarters. And junior Chris Taylor left the game periodically because of what appeared to be a hamstring injury. Given the day, perhaps it's appropriate that Georgetown's best player was a freshman: Faceoff specialist Brian Tabb (Georgetown Prep) won 13 of 20 faceoffs and had four groundballs.

"We think we're pretty good, we're ranked pretty high, but right now we stink," Cannon said. "No one's going to get down, we've got to stay positive. We have a lot of work to do. It's a long season. Thank goodness for that."

Catalino's performance put him in a rare category. His four goals tied the most by a Maryland freshman in the opener since Rob Wurzburger scored four in a 19-4 victory over Hampden-Sydney in 1988.

"I worked toward [being a starter] throughout the fall," Catalino said. "It was a game-time decision [to start three freshmen on attack] . . . but I kind of saw it coming. We had been playing together a lot the past few weeks. . . . This is just going to grow. We have a good flow going."

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