It may not be normal for men's lacrosse teams to storm the field following a victory in late February.
Georgetown's 8-6 victory over host Maryland before 1,500 at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse complex yesterday, however, was no ordinary win.
The Hoyas entered 0-6 all-time against Maryland. That included season-opening losses in 2004, 2005 and 2006 and playoff losses in 1997 and 2005.
Yesterday, Maryland (2-1) trailed 6-1 at halftime. Yet it opened the second half with five straight goals. The last one, from senior Chris Feifs, tied the score at 6 with 13 minutes 1 second to play.
The Hoyas (1-0) took the lead for good after a goal by junior midfielder Dan D'Agnes, off an assist from junior attackman Andrew Baird, with 9:03 to play. They clinched the victory following a goal by junior Brendan Cannon with 24 seconds left.
"It's a huge monkey off our backs," D'Agnes said. "It's tough to start the season with a loss the way we have the past three years."
Georgetown used a new starting midfield yesterday. D'Agnes teamed with senior Trevor Casey, a converted crease attackman, and freshman Andrew Brancaccio. The unit combined for five goals and two assists.
Brancaccio, the All-Met Player of the Year last year at Georgetown Prep, finished with a team-high three goals. He scored on each of his first three shots: A soft shot from five yards into the middle of the net; a hard shot from 16 yards that went into the upper right corner; and another hard shot from 16 yards that skimmed the ground and went under the stick of goalkeeper Brian Phipps.
By the end, the Terrapins paid Brancaccio the ultimate compliment: They switched from defending him with a shortstick defender and moved senior longstick Ryan Clarke to cover him.
"He scored three goals his first time out, he's got to be pretty excited about that," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said.
The Terrapins were left to rue two goals that were disallowed. An apparent score by sophomore Danny Gallagher late in the second quarter was disallowed after Gallagher was judged to be using an illegal stick. He was given a three-minute nonreleasable penalty.
The second came after sophomore Drew Evans appeared to tie the score at 7 with 6:55 left. His goal was disallowed, however, after referees judged he had stepped into the crease before he shot.
Junior Max Ritz finished with three goals and an assist and Phipps added nine saves for Maryland. Junior Miles Kass had 12 saves and freshman defenseman Chris Nixon added seven groundballs for Georgetown.
"We dug ourselves a pretty good hole," Maryland Coach Dave Cottle said. "And we all had a part in digging it, the offense and the defense. . . . We figured we'd get 20 chances. And we got six goals, their goalie made 12 saves and we had two shots we probably should have scored on and didn't."