The Virginia Cavaliers were dominated at the faceoff X by Georgetown's Andy Corno, but they led in every other statistical category including the all important score, 12-7. The game took place at Towson under mostly cloudy skies, with a slick turf due to earlier rain (Gtown lost maybe 10 posessions because they just simply slipped). Virginia will move on to play Maryland next weekend in Baltimore.
Head to Head Analysis
Goalies: Tilman Johnson played well making 15 saves for Virginia, but most of his shots came from the outside. Virginia's defense gave him clear looks at shooters and didn't allow many passes that would leave Johnson out of position. Georgetown didn't have poor goal tending despite a questionable switch in goalies to begin the third quarter. Rich D'Andrea was the starter for GTown, but after coming up with four saves while allowing seven goals in the first half Coach Urick decided to make a switch to shake his team up. Andrew Owen was the replacement, but after 10:29 minutes of play Owen was credited with zero saves while allowing four. Back in came D'Andrea to finish the game strong with six saves down the stretch. Virginia's opportunities were of a higher quality than Georgetown's so while Johnson may have out played his counterparts, the goalies really weren't the story.
Georgetown's Attack vs Virginia's Defense When the starting units lined up Virginia matched their opponents attack the following way. Virginia's Brett Hughes took Mike Hammer, David Burnam took John Vettoretti, and Ned Bowen played Georgetown's Neal Goldman. The marquee match-up was Hughes vs. Hammer. Goldman and Vettoretti were unnoticeable throughout the game. Neither of them really pressed to the cage so one would have to conclude their respective defenseman got the upper hand. Hughes and Hammer, however, did serious battle. Hughes at 6'3 212 lbs had his hands full with the 6'2" 200 lbs. Hammer, but he clearly won the battle. Several times throughout the day he drove Hammer into the right into the turf. Give Hammer credit for battling all day and sticking his nose right back in to come up with a goal and an assist. Give more credit to Virginia's defense for rendering Georgetown's able attack useless.
Virginia's Attack vs Georgetown's Defense: Pat Collins marked Virginia's star attackman John Christmas, Brant Gresham took Joe Yevoli, and Andrew Braziel was on Matt Ward. The key match-up was Collins vs Christmas and Collins took the young Christmas to school. Collins performance was maybe the best individual performance in the game. The speedy Christmas was matched step for step all day by Collins. While Collins maybe out of the play-offs he made a strong bid for All-American status by stripping Christmas clean on at least three occasions. The box score indicates a hatrick for Christmas, but one goal came when Brant Gresham wound up covering him and Christmas burned him with speed. An other was a crafty garbage goal off a rebound. Matt Ward wound up going 1-3, but while Braziel may have put more pressure on him his assists did not come from beating Braziel. They came in transition or on situations where middies didn't pick up their guys. Braziel was also very affective as the most active slider on the defense with Virginia midfielders penetrating. Yevoli was pretty quiet with 1-1 so that match-up was a wash.
Face-offs: Georgetown's Andy Corno was superlative winning 16 of 23 against Virginia's Jack DeVilliers. Virginia fought hard enough to stop Corno from turning them into fast breaks and then played staunch defense to nullify the advantage.
Midfield Play: Virginia won the game with midfield play. All American Chris Rotelli and company were able to consistently get open and push the ball towards the cage. It was a total team effort with nine different players scoring goals. AJ Shannon, Rotelli, Kyle Dixon, Matt Poskay, Nathan Kenney, and Trey Whitty all made the scoring column. As a whole, GTown's defensive midfield was broken down with speed and good ball movement. On the other side of the field Georgetown's offensive middies could not penetrate. Senior Trevor Walker tried time and time again to use his speed sweeping to his left, but wound up with little angle from too far out as all five of his shots were saved or went wide. The one guy to nobody's surprise that came up huge was Walid Hajj. This kid's a gamer. He too was not allowed to penetrate the defensive core, but he made his chances stick with three goals. Two of them were outside shots from just inside the restraining line ripping the upper right corner. Overall, the game was won by Virginia with a more talented and deeper midfield unit.
Other things of note The morning was filled with scattered showers resulting in slick turf. Georgetown struggled with it much more than the Virginia players. Whether it was the shoes, a more cognisant Virginia squad, or Virginia's D forcing Georgetown to try and do to much is not known. What is known however, is that any advantage the Bull Dogs may have gotten from Andy Corno's faceoffs was negated by all the turnovers due to slipping and falling.
With 5:36 to go in the 3rd quarter the game got real sloppy at the midfield and bodies started flying. In the melee for reasons unknown to the writer, Mike Hammer looked like he was attempting to cripple Virginia's defenseman Ned Bowen. Hammer took a running dive at Bowen's knees. Luckily the defender was OK or there very well could have been a brawl.
Christmas was limping with two minutes to go in the game. It was in direct correlation with a one on one move he made, but whether he cramped up or just took a slash to the knee is not known. He looked like he would be fine after handling the ball with only seconds to go in the game, but he may be nursing something come final four weekend.
|Matt Ward||(1, 3)|
|John Christmas||(3, 0)|
|Aj Shannon||(2, 0)|
|Chris Rotelli||(1, 1)|
|Joe Yevoli||(1, 1)|
|Kyle Dixon||(1, 0)|
|Matt Poskay||(1, 0)|
|Trey Whitty||(1, 0)|
|Nathan Kenney||(1, 0)|
|Tillman Johnson||15 (0.682)|