NEWARK, Del. - This may have been exactly what the NCAA men's lacrosse committee envisioned when it decided to up the number of automatic tournament qualifiers from four to six.
A program with no tradition, just under three available scholarships and a roster that was short on high school all-county performers - never mind All-Americans - would have a chance to give one of the elite lacrosse powers a tussle.
There was no monumental upset yesterday , but Manhattan - the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference's automatic qualifier - made quite an impression in falling to No. 5 Georgetown, 12-7, in a first-round game before 1,121 at Delaware Stadium.
The Hoyas (11-3), led by Player of the Year candidate Steve Dusseau's four goals, move on to face No. 4 Princeton (8-4) on Saturday in the quarterfinals at Hofstra.
But the story after the game centered on the Jaspers (11-6) and their senior goalie James Amandola, who made 24 saves and helped pesky Manhattan stay remotely close despite being outshot, 62-17, and losing the ground-ball battle, 62-29.
"I don't know what they give for post-game meals, but he should get two of them," said Georgetown coach Dave Urick. "We are pleased with the result, maybe not as thrilled with how we got it, but I learned a long time ago to stop putting asterisks next to wins."
The Georgetown-Manhattan game looked to be the most lopsided matchup in a first round of many, but it was the Jaspers who put up the biggest fight.
"We turned around and gave a performance like this, that showed a lot about our team," said Jaspers coach Tim McIntee. "I've said heart and hustle never lose, and we proved it today. This was a win for us."
At the start, a moral victory seemed out of the question. Sophomore midfielder Walid Hajj (McDonogh) scored less than a minute into the game, and when Dusseau let go a left-handed rip into the top of the net, the Hoyas led 2-0 over a Jaspers team that could not clear the ball and did not have a shot for the first 13 minutes.
But the constant was Amandola, who made six saves in the first quarter, many from point-blank range.
Justin Otto scored on the Jaspers' first shot with 1:52 left in the first quarter, and Dan Femminella bullied past Hoyas defender J. Van Benschoten four minutes into the second quarter to tie the game at 2.
But Hajj scored his second goal, Dusseau scored two more in just over a minute, and Trevor Walker scored his first of two goals. The Hoyas led 6-2 at halftime even though they outshot the Jaspers 39-6.
The Jaspers cut the lead to 6-3 just 30 seconds into the third quarter. They got no closer, but that mattered little as the Jaspers mobbed Amandola and talked about the importance of being the first in school history to make the NCAAs.
"We might never get back, but did it one time and right now, that's what it is worth," McIntee said.
Duke 22, Hobart 6: In the other first-round game in Newark, the seventh-ranked Blue Devils (8-6) closed the game with 17 unanswered goals to clobber the Statesmen (6-8) and advance to Saturday's noon quarterfinal against No. 2 Syracuse at Hofstra.
Freshmen Matt Monfett (four goals, three assists) and Matt Rewkowski (three goals, two assists) led the Blue Devils, who trailed 6-5 in the second quarter before taking over.