For the record: Travis Comeau’s rookie season created high hopes for sophomore year at Georgetown

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Travis Comeau has a simple objective when on a lacrosse field: Get the ball near the crease and find some way to score. For the sophomore Georgetown attack, that objective started with his roots in the Canadian province of Alberta. It was an objective honed by his high school coach, former Hoya star Brodie Merrill. ‘He comes from a box lacrosse background, and he’s got great ability to finish,’ Merrill said. ‘He’s got kind of an innate toughness to him as well, and I think that comes from growing up here in Canada and playing hockey and lacrosse.’ Comeau’s ability to finish was on display often in his freshman season at Georgetown. The scrappy 5-foot-8 Comeau found some way to score more than any freshman under legendary Hoya head coach Dave Urick. He scored 25 goals last year, overturning a 19-year freshman record held by Joe Callahan. This season, Comeau will have to step up even beyond that freshman production. The Hoyas’ 9-5 record last season proved disappointing for the team as it was denied entry to the NCAA tournament. In the second season of the Big East lacrosse conference, Georgetown will look to be a threat to the obvious target: Syracuse. And after graduating 10 seniors, the team will be relying heavily on Comeau and the sophomore class to take the next step. Some gaps in the midfield will require some of the attacks to move back. Their goal will be to get the ball to Comeau, who will look to find the back of the net.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text ‘There’s some experience in now what is the sophomore class,’ Urick said. That class starts with Comeau. In 1991, Callahan scored 23 goals in his freshman year at Georgetown. Since then, that number was enough. For 19 years, Callahan held the record for most goals by a freshman under Urick. But then came Comeau. Callahan jokingly said Comeau breaking his record ‘crushed’ him. In reality, Callahan, who still lives in Washington, D.C., was unaware his record had been broken until late January. ‘It was a good 19-year run or whatever it was,’ Callahan said. ‘But it’s exciting to see it broken and see the team get more recognition.’ Callahan still attends as many games as possible, though he’s assumed the role of fan as opposed to his former glory as Georgetown legend. Although he did not notice Comeau breaking his record, the alumnus did notice the freshman’s standout season. As did the rest of the lacrosse world. Merrill noticed all the way up in Canada. This year, Merrill said, Comeau will have to deal with the effects of that attention. ‘The expectations will be a little bit higher,’ Merrill said. ‘I know opposing coaches will know much more about him and key in on him a little bit more, but I know Travis will work hard to adjust and stay on his game.’ Comeau’s toughness has helped him overcome his size. At 5-foot-8 and 153 pounds, he is one of the smallest members of his team. Urick said the ‘little bugger’ makes up for his size with his drive toward the goal. Aside from talent around the net, Comeau had another advantage in breaking the freshman scoring record: sufficient playing time. Traditionally, Urick said he prefers to let his freshmen mature a bit before letting them see as much time as the older players, but last year the rookies got significant time on the field. These special circumstances were due to a senior class that wasn’t as strong as originally predicted. Last season, such an inexperienced team was a disadvantage. But this year, a season already under its belt could give Comeau and the sophomore class a leg up. ‘One of the things that we can look to with a little bit of optimism is we had a number of kids last year that were freshmen that played a fair amount of lacrosse for us,’ Urick said. The Hoyas’ preseason starts a week earlier than regular-season play. The team will travel to face Jacksonville for an exhibition Feb. 20 to promote the growth of lacrosse in Florida. As the early start to the season draws near, Urick is still sorting out his starting lineup. He expects senior goalie Jack Davis to spend most of the time in the net, despite the keeper’s injury-plagued 2010 season. With some question marks sprinkled throughout the rest of his lineup, Urick is relieved to have a veteran goalie secured for the season. ‘It all starts in the cage,’ he said. And even with the strong sophomore class, he is looking to some of his older players to help lead the team and possibly make adjustments to fill gaps. Players like senior Ryan Shuler, who has played attack in past seasons, will be forced to move back to the midfield and create a link to get the ball into the final third. The attacks, however, are more secure. Comeau will play a large role up top, where he will be joined by sophomore Zach Guy. Merrill said the two proved last season that they are a good duo to have in front. ‘Travis and Zach Guy have some good chemistry there,’ Merrill said. That just leaves the midfield. Comeau, along with Guy and the other attacks, is a surefire scoring threat. Comeau brings that Canadian scoring mentality and the experience of a strong freshman season. Yet Urick will have to sure up his midfield to get the ball into scoring territory. Urick said this gap in the middle is the only thing standing between Comeau and another standout season. ‘Someone’s got to get him the ball, though,’ Urick said. ‘That’s a given.’ [email protected] Commentscenter_img Published on February 16, 2011 at 12:00 pmlast_img

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