- The Washington Times - Friday, May 7, 2004

Neither muggy conditions nor fifth-ranked Georgetown could spoil Mike Powell’s big day.

Powell broke Syracuse’s all-time scoring record and Jay Pfeifer matched a career-high with 19 saves as the No.4 Orangemen upended the Hoyas 13-9 yesterday before 1,484 at Harbin Field.

Powell had three goals and three assists to push his career total to 288 points, one more than his brothers Casey and Ryan. The record-breaker was an assist to Brian Crockett with 12:19 left that put Syracuse ahead 11-9.

“I’m really glad it’s over,” Powell said. “You guys have been hounding me about it for quite some time, since I was a freshman. Now that it’s off my back I can focus on team-oriented goals going into the playoffs.”

It was a disappointing finish to the regular season for the Hoyas (10-3), who are still likely to make their eighth straight NCAA tournament when the brackets are unveiled Monday.

“This game was kind of a bragging rights game, so it’s a big game for us and we always look forward to it on our schedule,” said Georgetown midfielder Nick Miaritis, who scored twice. “Our real season starts this upcoming week. That’s what really matters to us.”

With the help of its deep midfield on an unusually warm day, Georgetown stayed with Syracuse (11-2) for nearly three quarters and led 8-7 after reserve John Lasky’s goal with 5:25 left in the third.

The Orangemen took the lead for good after extra-man goals by Powell and Brian Nee, but Georgetown almost tied it late in the period. After a Syracuse turnover, senior Kevin Shooshan had a one-on-one transition opportunity stuffed by Pfeifer.

“More than anything else, it might have given us a little more of a emotional lift,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “In a game like today, in the fourth quarter you need to play on some adrenaline. Obviously, we were running on fumes.”

Georgetown struggled on extra-man at both ends of the field. The Hoyas, who had a two-man advantage in the first half that briefly became a six-on-three and didn’t capitalize, finished 1-for-6 on man-up against the Orangemen.

Meanwhile, Syracuse made the Hoyas pay for their penalties, scoring four times on the extra man.

“We had some unlucky breaks on EMO where Rich made a big stop and we had trouble clearing it to give them another opportunity,” said junior Andy Corno, who won 18 of 24 faceoffs for the Hoyas. “That was kind of the story of the day.”

Powell was especially effective with the man advantage, scoring three EMO points. The frequency of the man-down situations made it tough for the Hoyas to keep Powell, the nation’s second-leading scorer, in check.

“He’s the best player in the country,” Georgetown long pole Brodie Merrill said. “It’s tough to guard him. You try to go out there with a game plan, but you just have to play your own game and do the best you can. He’s going to get his points regardless.”

Pfeifer’s play also was a significant factor. The junior, who also stopped 19 shots against Virginia in the 2002 NCAA semifinals, made seven saves in the fourth quarter to close out the Hoyas. Oddly, his big game came just a day after perhaps his most miserable practice of the year.

“I couldn’t save a beach ball yesterday, but today it looked like a beach ball,” Pfeifer said.

Syracuse locked up a top-four seed for the NCAA tournament and improved its case for the No.2 or 3 seed. The postseason possibilities for Georgetown, which has lost to three of the nation’s top four teams and defeated everyone else on its schedule, are a bit murkier.

In a year when victories over top-five teams are scarce, it’s uncertain if the Hoyas will remain at home next weekend or get sent on the road for the second straight season.

“I’m just waiting around for Monday afternoon to see who we play,” Urick said. “You can drive yourself crazy trying to guess.”

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