- The Washington Times - Monday, May 14, 2007

Georgetown attackman Brendan Cannon was reminded all week not to shoot high and tight on Princeton goalie Alex Hewit.

Rarely has ignoring a scouting report paid such dividends.

Cannon raced from behind the cage and stuck a shot over Hewit’s shoulder 31 seconds into overtime, lifting the sixth-seeded Hoyas to a 9-8 victory in the first round of the NCAA tournament before 2,156 at Multi-Sport Field.

It was the only goal of the day for the Hoyas’ leading scorer, who got few good looks while matched against superb Princeton defenseman Dan Cocoziello.

“Turning the corner on Dan was tough for me throughout the game,” Cannon said. “He’s a big, strong, physical defenseman who pushes you out. I just took him out to the corner. The further you pull him out, the more speed I could build up to run by him and have a better chance of getting around him.”

Georgetown (12-2) secured a quarterfinal meeting with No. 3 Johns Hopkins on Saturday at Princeton.

It was the third one-goal loss of the season for the Tigers (10-4), who will miss the final four for the fourth time in five years.

“We had a crazy year,” Princeton coach Bill Tierney said. “We just could never seem to win the big game. We were sure close, and today was another example.”

The game had all the earmarks of a classic Princeton playoff victory. The Tigers scored three straight goals to erase a 7-4 deficit in the third quarter, then tied it at 8-8 on Scott Sowanick’s dribbler with 13:08 left. That was the last shaky play for Georgetown goalie Miles Kass, who stopped four shots in the final quarter.

The last was a kick save on Mark Kovler, setting up a Hoyas possession of nearly four minutes. Garrett Wilson lost the ball with 2:44 left, allowing the Tigers to play for a final shot that never came. Instead, Georgetown’s Chris Taylor snagged a groundball off a bad pass, and the teams went to overtime.

Christiaan Trunz won the opening faceoff, setting up Cannon’s charge from in back of the goal to beat Hewit (nine saves).

“Brendan Cannon is a bottom-line guy,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “Sometimes he does some things during the play of the game that can be somewhat exasperating, but you also have to evaluate the bottom line. He doesn’t shy away from trying to make a play, and that’s exactly what it took today.”

Georgetown received just one goal in regulation from its starting attack, instead relying on freshmen Craig Dowd (three goals) and Andrew Brancaccio (two) for the bulk of the scoring.

Cocoziello was especially impressive, consistently defending the shifty Cannon’s preferred route around the cage with aplomb until the final play.

“Danny had him shut out to that point, and he had done a fabulous job on him,” Tierney said. “A great player like him is going to get one. It’s tough when it’s in overtime because you can’t get that one back.”

It was the Hoyas’ first overtime game since a loss in the 2005 quarterfinals to Maryland, one of five straight losses in that round entering this season. That setback was arguably the most painful of any of them, and winning under similar conditions has Georgetown eager to play for its first final four berth since 1999.

“To be in the same situation with a lot of the same guys and to come out on top, everybody feels incredible right now,” senior defenseman Jerry Lambe said. “This is as high confidence-wise as I’ve ever seen our team as a whole.”

Delaware 14, No. 2 Virginia 8

CHARLOTTESVILLE The Blue Hens (12-5) stunned the defending national champion Cavaliers (12-4) behind Alex Smith’s 18-for-26 faceoff effort and Tommy Scherr’s 18 saves.

No. 5 Albany 19, Loyola 10

ALBANY, N.Y. Merrick Thomson scored five goals as the Great Danes (15-2) defeated the Greyhounds (7-6) for their first NCAA tournament victory.

No. 8 North Carolina 12, Navy 8

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. Michael Burns’ three goals lifted the Tar Heels (10-5) past the Midshipmen (11-4). Billy Looney scored three goals for Navy.

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