Top seed Syracuse advances; Powell foils Georgetown, 17-13, sends Orangemen to 18th straight Final Four; College Lacrosse


PISCATAWAY, N.J. - It was a simple lacrosse game for top-seeded Syracuse yesterday against a charged-up Georgetown team.

Just ride on cruise control until the fourth quarter, then turn the game over to gifted senior All-America attackman Ryan Powell, who would break the Hoyas' hearts with two goals and one assist en route to a 17-13 victory and an 18th consecutive trip to the NCAA Final Four.

Powell's first goal of the fourth quarter was a classic and shoved the Orangemen ahead, 14-11, with 8:48 left. It was such a spectacular score by Powell that it seemed to have Georgetown on the brink of desperation for the first time all afternoon before 3,806 at Rutgers Stadium.

Powell took the ball eight yards from the net and overpowered two Hoyas to the edge of the crease, where he dropped the ball in the goal. The Powell show left the Georgetown defenders shaking their heads in disbelief and set the stage for three rather easy Orangemen goals down the stretch."It's always nice to have a guy like Ryan around to give the ball to when the game is on the line," said Syracuse coach John Desko. "A player you know is going to score even though he is being double-teamed by the defense and being bounced around a lot."

Powell finished with four goals and four assists, and midfielder Mike Springer had four goals and one assist to lead the charge to College Park next weekend."Losing this game never crossed our minds," Powell said. "Georgetown was playing with a lot of emotion, and it just took us longer to get going this week than it did two weeks ago [24-16 win]."

Syracuse (13-1) faceoff specialist Chris Cercy also deserved some of the spotlight yesterday.

He controlled the first six draws in the fourth quarter when the Orangemen broke open an 11-11 tie with four unanswered goals for a 15-11 lead with 4:28 on the clock. Cercy dominated the second-half faceoffs by a 14-2 margin against Georgetown (12-3).

Cercy and the Orangemen finished with a 24-10 advantage on faceoffs, helping ruin a promising afternoon for Georgetown senior attackman Scott Urick, who scored five goals and became the school's all-time leading goal-scorer with 144.

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