Grant Catalino is mostly unstoppable as Maryland lacrosse tops Georgetown

By Christian Swezey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, February 27, 2011; 12:24 AM

Maryland senior attackman Grant Catalino is considered one of the top shooters in college lacrosse. And in a 20-8 victory over Georgetown before 3,966 at Byrd Stadium on Saturday, he was paid quite a compliment.

The Hoyas tried several defensemen on Catalino, to little effect. Catalino finished with five goals on seven shots.

Georgetown's plan was for fifth-year senior Barney Ehrmann to guard Catalino. Ehrmann is one of the top defensemen in the nation and was the first selection by the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the Major League Lacrosse draft earlier this winter.

Ehrmann is so good the Hoyas (1-1) use him as a wing on faceoffs. During faceoffs, other Hoyas had to guard Catalino until Georgetown could make a switch.

Catalino's first goal came after senior Ryan Young floated an entry pass perfectly over Ehrmann. Catalino turned and scored to give No. 4 Maryland a 6-4 lead with 20 seconds left in the first half. His other goals came before Ehrmann could defend him following faceoffs.

After Catalino scored against sophomore Brennan Bicknese to give Maryland an 8-5 lead, the No. 14 Hoyas replaced Bicknese with junior Robert Koger. But Catalino scored against Koger for a 9-6 lead, and he scored again after the Hoyas left him alone following a miscommunication to make it 11-6 Maryland.

The Hoyas then moved sophomore Patrick Murray to defend Catalino on faceoffs. Catalino broke free against him, too, and scored his final goal for a 15-7 lead for the Terrapins (2-0).

"He's every bit the player we thought he was," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said. "He shoots the heck out of the ball. He puts it in great spots."

Said Maryland Coach John Tillman of Catalino: "He was spraying his shots. One of the things you see, he stays late, he is prepared. When he gets going, he's pretty tough to stop, especially when he gets room and time."

Georgetown's other problem was that Ehrmann hardly had a chance to affect the faceoffs. Senior Brian Tabb opened the game by winning three straight faceoffs against Maryland sophomore Curtis Holmes.

To that point, the Hoyas led, 2-1, following a goal by sophomore Davey Emala late in the first quarter. Holmes adjusted his faceoff move, and won 20 of his final 28 faceoffs.

"It's such a mind game," Holmes said. "It's getting really hard to time the whistle [to start the faceoff]. And I think that plays better into my hand."

That continued possession was exactly what Maryland's accurate shooters wanted. From the five-minute mark of the third quarter until midway through the fourth, the Terrapins made 8 of 12 shots (75 percent).

Sophomore Drew Snider scored three goals and Young added two goals and three assists. Young also set an impressive pick to free sophomore Owen Blye to score and give Maryland a 5-4 lead with 3:49 left in the first half. The goal gave Maryland the lead for good.

Senior Max Seligmann scored three goals for the Hoyas. They missed sophomore Zach Guy, a starting attackman who broke his thumb last week and is expected to be out between four and six weeks.

Maryland has dominated the series between the teams. It has won nine of 11 dating from their first meeting, in the 1997 NCAA tournament. Maryland's wins have been by scores of 14-5, 13-6, 10-4 and 11-6. None, however, may have been as impressive as Saturday.

And with Catalino's shooting, more impressive wins may be on the way.

"If you ask any good shooter they will always say they are open," Catalino said. "This win gives us a lot of confidence, but we'll stay hungry."

l VIRGINIA 11, STONY BROOK 10: Steele Stanwick scored five goals, including the game-winner in overtime, as the No. 1 Cavaliers improved to 3-0 by winning in Stony Brook, N.Y.

© 2011 The Washington Post Company