- The Washington Times - Monday, May 17, 2004

Georgetown attackman Neal Goldman resolved to be a more active shooter in his team’s NCAA tournament first-round game.

Towson probably wishes he hadn’t.

The senior scored a career-high five goals — including four in transition — as the fifth-seeded Hoyas routed the mistake-prone Tigers 15-8 before 1,511 yesterday at Harbin Field to advance to the quarterfinals.

It was a surprisingly easy victory for Georgetown (11-3), which will meet fourth-seeded Syracuse in a quarterfinal matchup at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., on Sunday.

The Hoyas picked apart Towson (11-5) with ruthless efficiency in unsettled situations. Georgetown scored seven goals in transition and added two extra-man goals, leaving the Tigers gasping for air and trying to figure out just how they were out of it by early in the third quarter.

Goldman was a primary culprit in Towson’s demise. Perhaps the Hoyas’ most consistent offensive player — he had 17 goals before yesterday but only one hat trick — Goldman turned in the most explosive performance of his career in his final home game.

“I’d only taken about 40 shots coming into this game and that total is low for me, especially at this time of year,” Goldman said. “There was a lot of encouragement from my teammates and coaching staff to shoot the ball. With that mindset going into this game, I just wanted to shoot the ball as much as I could.”

Georgetown led 6-3 at halftime, but quickly buried Towson with a third-quarter flurry. The Hoyas cashed in on an extra-man opportunity to start the second half before Goldman added a transition goal off defenseman John Trapp’s feed. When Brice Queener scored a man-down goal with 10:23 left in the quarter to put the Hoyas ahead 9-3, it already seemed like the Tigers were toast.

“That was a big turning point,” Hoyas senior defenseman Andrew Braziel said. “We didn’t put them away, but it was big that we could come out and score three quick goals.”

Goldman helped the Hoyas finish the job. He scored another goal off an unsettled situation in the middle of the quarter, then beat Towson goalie Reed Sothoron (14 saves) one-on-one to stretch the lead to 11-4 and make the final period a formality.

Towson could take some solace that Ben DeFelice got the better of Georgetown’s Andy Corno in a matchup of the country’s top two faceoff men. He won 10 of 19 draws. A clearly tired Corno was 10-for-23 and also had trouble with Tigers freshman Matt Eckerl on the warm afternoon.

“We knew going into this game this was going to his toughest challenge of the year,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “He’s been nursing an injury and we don’t work him as hard in practice as probably we’d like to. His conditioning is a little less than it should be. He looked like I felt after the game.”

DeFelice’s performance wasn’t enough to make up for the Tigers’ careless play. Towson committed a ghastly 32 turnovers, a grisly assortment of poor passes and displayed skittish decision making. The ineptitude prevented Towson from running its offense for any length of time and made it a rough day for Sothoron, who played well despite surrendering 15 goals.

Braziel seemed to be in the middle of nearly everything, picking off passes and forcing turnovers. He finished with seven caused turnovers.

“Ninety percent of the time we had transition, [Braziel] intercepted the ball, knocked the ball down to the ground or put the ball down on the ground,” Towson coach Tony Seaman said. “I think he caught more of our passes than we did.”

No. 4 Syracuse 21, Albany 13

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Michael Powell scored three goals and had three assists and Brian Nee and Alex Zink both had four goals as the Orange (12-2) routed the Great Danes (10-6) to move within a victory of their 22nd consecutive final four berth.

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