Towson has won five of six meetings against Georgetown, which hasn't earned a victory in this series since May 16, 2004, when that squad ran away in a 15-8 rout. The Hoyas are 0-1 on the road, while the Tigers are 2-0 at home.
No. 17 Georgetown (0-1) dropped its season opener, losing, 12-7, to top-ranked Notre Dame a week ago and is hoping to avoid a 0-2 start for the second consecutive season. Goalkeeper Nick Marrocco, who was named to the All-Big East team as a freshman, is back. Ranked third in Division I last spring in saves per game (12.9) and 17th in save percentage (.549), the 6-foot-1, 175-pound sophomore registered 13 saves against the Fighting Irish.
No. 14 Towson (2-0) defeated Mount St. Mary's, 9-5, on Saturday and is attempting to get to 3-0 for the first time since 2005. The starting attack of juniors Ryan Drenner (Westminster) and Joe Seider (Hereford) and senior Spencer Parks (St. Paul's) fuels the offense. That trio has scored 11 of the team's 20 goals and recorded five of the squad's 12 assists.
Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday at 12 p.m.
1) Towson's defense. The Tigers defense is the stingiest in the nation, having surrendered just 3.5 goals per game. Georgetown got a combined five goals on 21 shots and one assist from its starting attack of junior Peter Conley and freshmen Daniel Bucaro and Chris Donovan, which would suggest that Towson should concentrate on limiting that trio. But Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen said the defense must pay equal attention to the first midfield of junior Devon Lewis and sophomores Craig Berge and Ryan Hursey (Westminster).
"The Conley kid is someone you've always got to be aware of and know where he is," Nadelen said. "But looking at their offense, they're challenging because they are pretty balanced. They can attack you from the midfield, they can attack you from the attack position. So you can't really just bank on stopping one side of their offense."
2) Georgetown's accuracy. One game does not make a season, but the Hoyas struggled to find their shooting touch against Notre Dame. They scored seven goals on 39 shots, meaning that they converted 18 percent of their attempts. One factor was the play of the Fighting Irish defense, which is regarded as one of the best in the country. But Georgetown coach Kevin Warne said the players must improve their efficiency against a Towson defense that has allowed opponents to score on just 14.9 percent (7-for-47) of their shots.
"We're going against a team that leads the country in goals against right now," Warne said. "I don't really care who you play, but when you're giving up only 3½ goals a game, you're doing something right at that end of the field. They have an awesome goaltender, very good defensively. I don't think we shot the ball very well this past weekend. I think that kind of hurt us."
3) Towson's faceoffs. Georgetown struggled on draws, winning just five of 22 against Notre Dame. That would seem to play into the Tigers' hands as junior Alec Burckley has won 62.5 percent (15-for-24) of his faceoffs and picked up nine ground balls and freshman Zach Goodrich has won 50 percent (3-for-6). But Nadelen said he is not so quick to write off the Hoyas in that department.
"We're not seeing it as an advantage," he said. "Every game is different, and faceoff guys are unique and different. I've got to imagine that their faceoff guys are motivated from a poor performance against Notre Dame. I know our guys would be. And knowing the way Coach Warne coaches, I'm sure those guys are getting tuned up for a better outing on Saturday. So we're not looking at it as an advantage. We've got to be able to get out there and put our best on the field."