Georgetown 15, Towson 8
What seemed like a constant clanging of Towson passes off the stick of Georgetown defenseman Andrew Braziel will be Tigers Coach Tony Seaman's haunting memory from the Tigers' 15-8 loss to host Georgetown in an NCAA Division I first-round men's lacrosse game yesterday at Harbin Field.
"I think [Braziel] caught more of our passes than we did," Seaman said. "He intercepted the ball, he touched the ball, he put the ball on the ground."
Braziel sparked a Georgetown defensive effort that led to seven transition goals, and Hoyas senior attackman Neal Goldman had a career-high five goals as Georgetown clinched a spot in the NCAA quarterfinals for the third straight year.
The fifth-seeded Hoyas (11-3) will play fourth-seeded Syracuse on Sunday at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y. Syracuse beat Albany (N.Y.), 21-13, yesterday, and beat the Hoyas, 13-9, in the regular season finale on May 7.
Four of Goldman's goals came on breakaways, as Georgetown menaced Towson (11-5) with constant defensive pressure and sent the ball upfield.
Goldman's final goal, with 4 minutes 5 seconds left in the third quarter, came when he stole a Towson clearing pass, raced upfield and faked out Tigers goalkeeper Reed Sothoron for the goal.
"A lot of the credit belongs to the defense," said Goldman, a 2000 Mount Hebron grad. "They pushed the ball up on transition, and gave me the opportunities to score."
The combination of strong defense and scoring prowess helped balance out a tough day on faceoffs and a good performance by Sothoron.
Georgetown junior Andy Corno, the nation's best in face-off percentage, lost 13 of 23 against Towson senior Ben DeFelice, who entered the game second in the nation. Sothoron, a St. Mary's Ryken grad whose father, John, was in the cage for Towson the last time the teams met in 1971, finished with 14 saves.
"I thought [Sothoron] was very good today," Seaman said. "Against another guy, they might have had 30 goals. . . . In all other aspects of the game, Georgetown completely outplayed us."
Georgetown was ahead 6-3 when Towson was called for a penalty with one second remaining in the first half. With possession and a one-minute man advantage to start the third quarter, Georgetown began a four-goal tear that opened up the game.
Kevin Langtry scored a man-up goal with 14:18 left, and two minutes later, Goldman scored in transition on a pass from Walid Hajj. With 10:23 left in the quarter, Georgetown was a man down when the defense deflected a pass and pushed the ball upfield. Mike White got the ball to Brice Queener, who scored to give Georgetown a 9-3 lead.
Goldman scored his fourth goal with 5:57 left for a 10-3 advantage.
"It was one of our best all-around games of the year," Braziel said. "It wasn't just a great defensive performance . . . . It was one of our best in terms of team possession. If we can handle the ball not just in transition but also six-on-six, we're in good shape."