Cannon's Mad Dash Lifts Hoyas To First-Ever Win Over Princeton
Georgetown 9, Princeton 8

By Christian Swezey
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, May 14, 2007

Georgetown never used the play it had called for sudden-death overtime against Princeton in an NCAA men's lacrosse tournament first-round game yesterday.

While the teams were substituting their players onto the field in the opening seconds of overtime, Hoyas junior Brendan Cannon raced to the goal, got a step on junior defender Dan Cocoziello and put a close shot past junior goalkeeper Alex Hewit for a 9-8 victory before 2,156 at Multi-Sport Field.

Sixth-seeded Georgetown (12-2) advanced to play No. 3 Johns Hopkins (10-4) in a quarterfinal Saturday in Princeton, N.J. It also marked the first time the Hoyas had beaten Princeton (10-4) in six tries.

"I don't think the confidence of this team could possibly be any higher," senior defenseman Jerry Lambe said.

Princeton is well known for winning close playoff games. Fourteen of its 29 tournament wins have been by one goal and it won three national championship games in sudden-death overtime.

Georgetown, meantime, had lost three one-goal playoff games in the past six years. Two losses came on goals in the final five seconds; the other was in overtime.

As the teams huddled before overtime yesterday, Georgetown senior Christiaan Trunz barely listened. He already knew his job: Win the faceoff. Trunz had played a huge role when the Hoyas defeated Navy, 9-7, in a first-round game last year. He won seven of the final nine faceoffs to spur his team's comeback.

That game, like yesterday, was played on Mother's Day. Trunz's mother died of breast cancer last spring and he wore a pink wristband in her honor under his uniform gloves yesterday.

And just as he did last Mother's Day, Trunz won the crucial draw. Lambe controlled the ball and passed to Cannon, who paused as the teams substituted offensive and defensive players.

Across from him was Cocoziello. He is considered one of the top defensemen in the country and held the leading goal scorers for Penn and Harvard without a point earlier this season.

For four quarters yesterday, Cannon had no goals, three turnovers and two penalties.

But as the teams were still arranging their personnel, Cannon began racing for the goal. Princeton's defense hadn't organized, so when Cannon got a step on Cocoziello, it proved crucial. Cannon then put his close shot into the top corner of the goal 29 seconds into the overtime period and fell hard to the ground.

"It's a win-or-lose move," Cannon said. "I don't think it was" part of the plan.

Said Hewit: "Before we were all settled and they were all settled, he made a run for it."

Freshmen accounted for six goals for the Hoyas, including three by Craig Dowd had two by Andrew Brancaccio.

Whitney Hayes had a goal and three assists for the Tigers.

The Hoyas scored three goals in four-plus minutes to open the third quarter to break a tie at 4. The Tigers answered with three straight goals. The game remained close because Hewit and junior Miles Kass each had four saves in the fourth quarter.

Princeton had possession with the score tied in the final minute, but it committed a turnover with 12 seconds left. It was the team's last possession; Cannon's goal saw to that.

"Brendan Cannon is a bottom-line guy," Georgetown Coach Dave Urick said. "Sometimes he can do things during the game that can be somewhat exasperating. . . . But he doesn't shy away from trying to make a [big] play."

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company