Georgetown Men 6, Duke 5
The play Georgetown used for the winning goal in its 6-5, sudden-death overtime victory over No. 8 Duke before 1,801 at Harbin Field yesterday rarely works in practice. But that says more about No. 5 Georgetown's defense than anything else.
The Hoyas (6-0) won the game when senior attackman Jordan Vettoretti took a pass from junior midfielder Walid Hajj and put a close shot past goaltender A.J. Kincel 1 minute 39 seconds into overtime.
"The play is called 'Frank,' and it never works in practice," Hajj said. "Jordan is my last read on the play and I never get to him, I don't think I've thrown it to him once in practice or a game. But I think it doesn't work because of our defense. We're going against the best defense every day."
The score clinched a victory for which the defense deserved most of the credit. The goal total was the lowest for Georgetown in a victory since it defeated Lafayette, 6-5, in 1987. Yesterday, the Hoyas went more than 26 minutes without a goal and made 5 of 43 shots in regulation. Starting midfielders Trevor Walker, Phil Vencenti and Hajj shot a combined 2 for 22.
The defense also forced a turnover after Duke (6-3) won the faceoff at the start of overtime.
"Their goalie [Kincel] played well, but I'm not sure many of our shots tested him," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said. "You don't go into many games thinking 6-5 is going to win it. But I've said all along that this is the best close defense I've been around."
Senior defender Pat Collins had four takeaways, and senior Kyle Sweeney and sophomores Andrew Braziel and Brodie Merrill added two each. Sweeney, a first-team all-American, was matched against first-team all-American midfielder Kevin Cassese. Cassese had two goals and two assists; one of each came while he was guarded by Sweeney.
Sweeney had held Cassese to no goals and one point in a 9-7 win last year; Cassese had four goals in a 14-7 loss at Georgetown in 2001. Overall, the Hoyas defeated Duke for the fourth time in the past five meetings.
Hajj finished with two goals, and sophomore goalie Rich D'Andrea had 10 saves. Kincel had 15 saves. Georgetown sophomore Andy Corno (Whitman) won 9 of 15 faceoffs.