Let me set the table a little on this game story: this was not a pretty game. The score might indicate that it was close, but the teams on the field today came from different worlds and widely disparate motivations. Manhattan came in with a tacit acknowledgment that the outcome of this game, regardless of how respectable they could make it look on paper, was a done deal. Their offense was timid and sought to keep the ball out of the Hoyas' hands more so than to take it to the hoop. Their defense, while at times impressive and confident, played a pack-it-in game typical of trying to keep it close rather than giving your team a realistic shot of winning; they let Gtown pepper their keeper Amendola all day long from the outside. Amendola is good, but no one can endure the constant barrage of shots that he was forced to face. And Georgetown, for their part, played without intensity (and shot accuracy). They understood, along with everyone else in attendance, that no matter what happened they were going to the next round. That attitude led to lazy, sometimes bone-headed play. If they meet Princeton next week with the performance put on display today, they'll get spanked.
Georgetown started off the action with a series a drives across the top for golf-swing, jumping rips; Walid Haij hit one just a minute into the game. He went for a couple more on their ensuing possessions, but Amendola was quick with his reaction time and got some help from the pipes and his shins. The Hoyas were dominating possession of the ball thanks largely to atrocious clearing on the part of the Jaspers (I'll come back to that later). But at 6:30 left in the first Georgetown's Bryce Queener got flagged for a push from behind and Manhattan would get a chance to show something on offense -- it didn't work out too well. After a force-feed into the middle, Kyle Sweeney vacuumed up the loose ball and managed to draw an on-the-head while he was bolting upfield. The resulting 5 on 5 produced nothing for the Hoyas but long distance rips which either missed badly or were snapped up by Amendola. At the 3:52 in the quarter though, Steve Dusseau nailed his first of four on the afternoon with a casual right-to-left drive across the top that ended up beating Amendola to the stick side hip.
Gtown was up by two, but the Jaspers were really doing a number on their offense, especially considering the near total domination of possession time enjoyed by the Hoyas; Georgetown likes to work from the top of the box, is ineffective without time and room, and Manhattan coach Tim McIntee had them scouted well. The Jaspers dropped into a zone that didn't pressure behind and had the two shorti's on goal-line extended. The Hoyas' iso-minded middies up top were getting harassed by a flurry of longsticks stepping up on the corners, so they decided to work it from behind, but to little avail. Georgetown tried busting the zone with a standard 'wheel' play (they actually were yelling out 'wheel' as they were setting up), but even when they successfully rotated it across to the backside it was with little angle, and Manhattan collapsed quickly -- usually with great body checks and aggressive take-aways. Gtown would be completely stymied by the scheme until later in the second quarter.
Manhattan got on the board in the first when freshman Justin Otto took control at goal-line extended off to Schroeder's left, drove straight for the pipe and managed to get his shoulder underneath his defender and stick a bouncer to the top corner as he was falling. The quarter came to end with Gtown up 2-1.
The second started with yet more possession by Georgetown -- it really seemed like they always had the ball. Manhattan's John Crotty, a freshman, was playing solid shortstick defense on the Hoyas' middies up top; he never raped anyone, but he always forced them to veer wide down the wings or roll back into traffic. He was also a catalyst for any transition that the Jaspers enjoyed, but when he managed to leg it out over the midfield line and Kyle Sweeney came-a-prowlin', the Manhattan coaches were going hoarse calling for a timeout. It would be the Jaspers 2nd TO in the half solely to protect a clear. And speaking of clearing....
I don't think I've seen worse clearing, ever, from a DI team. It has to haunt the coaching staff, because this might have been an altogether different game today if Manhattan was able to get some offensive push anytime their D snagged a loose ball or had a sweet pick, of which they did have many. Every Jasper defenseman was strictly one-handed and without field sense. Every pass was telegraphed. Keeper Amendola, while doing a great job in the cage, was a fish out of water once he left the crease. And Manhattan seemed to have set options for their clears that they followed in rote fashion -- they would pass the ball 50 yards across the field (you could almost hear the coaches yelling in their heads "reverse it") despite the fact that a Georgetown attackman was waiting to pick it off. It was the most glaring weakness for Manhattan, and it really would have been a little different game had they been more proficient.
Manhattan would tie it up at 2-2 when Don Femminella pulled a nice change-up drive from the righty shooter's spot. He took a couple of slaps from Gtown's Van Benschoten that caught metal, all the time testing the waters of Van Benschoten's footwork. When Femminella finally burst toward the left pipe after a face dodge, Van Benschoten was stuck trailing him from behind and the Hoyas' interior was late. Femminella nailed the top corner on a bouncer from right in front of Schroeder. But Gtown would answer right back, and go on a 4 goal run, when Haij nailed a righty, jumping blast to the offside hip. The second and third of that four would come from Dusseau. Manhattan's freshman defenseman Brett Warmington, who caused havoc for Gtown all afternoon (and is a player to watch, although a little wild now), got flagged for an on-the-head during some Hoya transition. Dusseau grabbed the ball at the top right of the box on the EMO, pump faked and slipped into the middle for a lefty bouncer that burned Amendola. Dusseau then put Georgetown up 5-2 on a sweet, well-timed inside roll from behind off to Amendola's right. The run ended when Neal Goldman, hanging out at X and without pressure from Manhattan's zone, was told to keep it in on a stalling warning (which was an absurd call) -- he burned around the right pipe and fed Walker upon the slide. Walker stepped up and nailed a lefty burner to the top of the net.
Georgetown had just put in 4 in a row, but their offense was lethargic and their shooting was consistently off the mark; they routinely shot to Amendola's stick side (a lefty), but because they practice on a lefty (Schroeder) there was really no excuse other than poor marksmanship. Georgetown got nabbed for a hold with just :11 seconds left in the half, so Manhattan held for possession on the EMO.
That hold, and the EMO, would hurt the Hoyas -- Mike Honors, on the left wing, found Rich Sauer up top on regular rotation that the Hoyas were slow to get around on. Sauer had all the time in the world and ripped one to the top right corner to close the gap to 6-3. On the next face, Georgetown's Mike Kanach drove straight in, faked a dump to the wing as would have been standard, and walked down the middle with Amendola on an island. Amendola stoned him with a quick offside hip save. Amendola would soon do it again, this time on Doug Mueller, after some more horrible clearing snafus sent it back down his throat.
Extended possessions for both teams would follow, but with starkly different characteristics. Gtown tried their hand first, with Haij again driving right and trying to get off a righty jumper, but he consistently ran into double teams as Manhattan picked up on his habits. Manhattan was also now shutting off Dusseau with shortstick Crotty and moving into a 2-1-2 zone that had the remaining shorti shadowing the Hoya creaseman. Lots of shots, but all from pretty far outside. When Manhattan got to try their hand at offense, it looked like they were leading by 1 with a minute to go -- all the passes were around the horn, no one challenged, and they were walking on eggshells. You could sense that all of the attackmen wanted to pass the buck -- they didn't want to be the one getting stripped.
With 3:05 left the third quarter, and after a ground ball fight at midfield that left Gtown with numbers, Walid Haij wound up from top center and unleashed a blast that Amendola was cat-like on. But the rebound popped softly out in front of the crease and Dusseau came skipping by to bury the garbage and give Georgetown a 7-3 lead. It quickly went to 8-3 when Walker nailed a lefty set-foot blast to the top right corner courtesy of Walid Haij, who drove right to left and dumped it back across the grain. Manhattan would get called for a hold with a few seconds left -- Gtown held for possession to start the fourth.
Amendola started the fourth with another fantastic stuff of a Trevor Walker blast - Manhattan was basically giving the Hoyas carte blanche to shoot anywhere outside of a 10-yard perimeter at this point -- but more awful clearing allowed Georgetown to keep possession. Wes Sitar didn't help Manhattan's cause when he got flagged for a slash on Dusseau, and Gtown went up 9-3 when Walker rotated it to Doug Staab all alone on the pipe on the following EMO. Staab buried it and no one was within 5 yards of him. But Sitar would immediately make up for his penalty by initiating a break that saw Tanner finish on the doorstep and Sitar get credit for the assist, 9-4 Georgetown. Manhattan won the next face and called another possession TO, but the Hoyas were the next team to alter the scoreboard. With 10:15 left, John Vettoretti, floating on the goal-line extended off to Amendola's left, found Mike Boynton cutting left to right through the middle of the crease for an easy redirect to Amendola's offside. Then Goldman pulled off a crisp split to his left from behind the goal, and when he drew attention from the middle, found Mike Hammer all alone on the opposite pipe for a lay-up.
Manhattan would get another extended possession, and after some time-killing trips around the horn Brady Becklo set up top left and darted inside Gtown shorti Dave Paolisso for a doorstep bouncer that looked to be a carbon copy of Femminella's drive from the same spot. But Georgetown would nail their final goal of the afternoon on a routine play that had failed to net them any goals earlier in the day -- Phil Vincenti, in the lefty shooter's spot, just took a quick release from Matt Wilson at back left and burned it by Amendola for a 12-5 lead. Manhattan padded the scorebook with two late goals -- the first on a slow break from Honors to Tanner after Sweeney picked a telegraphed pass up top but lost it in transition, the second on extended iso from Darconte when he wrapped around righty after starting opposite behind.
And yes, Georgetown really did have 62 shots.
Georgetown vs. Manhattan