October 20, 2011

Fall Ball Brief

Georgetown Seeks to Fill Void Left By Emala

Brian Casey alternates between attack and midfield and is one of several players coach Dave Urick is expecting to play a key role in the Hoyas' 2012 offense.

© Petyon Williams

by Gary Lambrecht | LaxMagazine.com | Hoyas at PFP

The Georgetown Hoyas are looking to fix a number of problems, as they try to avoid missing their fifth straight NCAA tournament. One of those key issues is learning to function well on offense without junior attackman Davey Emala, who left Georgetown after two seasons by transferring to North Carolina. Emala was the Hoyas' offensive catalyst last year with a team-best 35 goals and 48 points.

"It's tough to lose a player like Davey, but that's how things go sometimes," Hoyas coach Dave Urick said. "We can't spend time dwelling on it. We have to figure out where the scoring is going to come from. Some guys will have to assume more of the load than we originally would have planned."

The cupboard is not exactly bare on offense. Not with junior attackman Travis Comeau (30 goals) back. Not with graduate student Rickey Mirabito (16 goals, team-high 30 assists) returning for one last year.

But Urick thinks the emergence of others will be the key to the offense. Senior Brian Casey (12 goals, eight assists) alternates between attack and midfield, and his flexibility is important. Then there is senior midfielder Zack Angel (15 goals). He is recovering from a sports hernia that knocked him out of fall ball.

Life After Barney: As a guy who could excel at LSM or on close defense, Barney Ehrmann was a special breed. Who fills his shoes? Keep an eye on the versatile Chris Nourse and freshman defender Peter Rossetti, who has some decent quickness to complement his 6-feet-4, 210-pound frame.

Injury Update: Senior SSM Gerry Reilly, a tri-captain, should be recovered from hand surgery in time to start the season. Sophomore goalie Jake Haley took a shot to the lower abdomen during the fall, placing the start of his 2012 season in doubt.

That Guy: Junior attackman Zac Guy sometimes drives Urick a little nuts with his penchant for turning the ball over in traffic. But Urick added that Guy is valuable with the way he draws punishment while finding open teammates. Guy will be one of main ball carriers in the Hoyas' offense.

Possession Concerns: The Hoyas only won 51.5 percent of their faceoff attempts in 2011, and Brian Tabb, their best guy at the X, is gone. Sophomore Chris May and senior Chris Murray probably will assume most of the responsibility.

Goalie Issues: The position appears to be wide open, even after Haley's injury. Senior C.T. Fisher, the heir apparent, appeared in six games last year. But senior Matt Winter, who has two years of eligibility remaining, came on especially strong in the fall. Urick said Winter made "some incredible saves" in an Oct. 8 against UMBC.



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