Delaware vs. Towson
May 7, 2005
The Game Story:
NEWARK, DE -- The No. 16 ranked University of Delaware men's lacrosse team narrowly missed out on its first-ever CAA title Saturday night as Towson's Nick Williams scored the game-winning goal with 5:11 left to play to lift the 11th ranked Tigers to their third straight conference title with a 9-8 win in the CAA championship game at Rullo Stadium.

Delaware, the CAA regular season champion and an 11-5 winner over Towson back on March 26, appeared to have tied the game when Cam Howard scored a goal from close range with 36 seconds left to play but he was whistled for stepping in the crease and the goal was disallowed. Towson (11-4), the tournament's No. 2 seed, then ran out the clock to capture the title and the automatic NCAA Tournament berth. The Tigers will be making their ninth NCAA appearance since 1989.

The Blue Hens (11-5), whose 11 wins is their highest total since the 1999 team won 14 games, will now hold out hope for earning an NCAA Tournament at-large bid when the 16-team field is announced Sunday night at 9:30 p.m. on ESPN News. Delaware, which has won 20 conference titles all-time but none in four seasons in the CAA, also advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 1984 and 1999.

Delaware, which had won four straight and seven of its last eight games, got two goals each from CAA Player of the Year Jordan Hall and freshman Vincent Giordano while Howard scored a goal and dished out two assists and Joe Trentzsch and Chad Holmes (right) each contributed a goal and an assist. Blue Hen goalkeeper Chris Collins posted 13 saves and Alex Smith, the nation's leading faceoff specialist, won 14 out of 17 faceoffs.

Towson, which has now won eight straight conference tournament games, got two goals and an assist each from Bobby Griebe and Jonathan Engelke while Oliver Bacon added a goal and two assists. Tournament Most Valuable Player Reed Sothoron posted nine saves in the nets for the Tigers, who held a 37-26 advantage in shots.

The game featured six ties and neither team ever led by more than two goals. Delaware held an early 2-0 lead for their biggest advantage of the night while Towson went up 8-6 early in the fourth quarter on a goal by Bacon before the Hens rallied.

Trentzsch and Hall each scored for Delaware in the first five minutes before the Tigers answered with three straight goals, going up 3-2 on a score by Brian Vetter with 5:46 left in the first half. The Hens sent the game into intermission tied at 3-3 when Dave Powers scored the only goal of the second period off a feed from Holmes with 8:38 remaining.

Seven goals were scored in a third period that featured three ties and no lead greater than one. Howard scored with 2:20 left in the stanza and Giordano tallied just 1:11 later to give Delaware a 6-5 lead but Towson regained the advantage as Engelke scored twice in the final 24 seconds of the quarter, the second with one second left that gave TU the 7-6 edge heading into the final stanza.

Towson upped its lead to 8-6 on a goal by Bacon just two minutes into the final quarter but Delaware answered on Holmes' first goal of the season with 10:46 left and on Giordano's second goal of the game, off a feed from Howard, with 7:39 remaining. Towson's Williams then scored the game-winner with 5:11 left when he recorded his seventh goal of the season.

Joining Sothoron on the All-Tournament team were Casey Cittadino, Adam Cummins, and Bacon of Towson, Howard, Smith, and Hall of Delaware, Joe Canuso and Chris Kramer of Villanova, and John Edwards and Len Panarelliof Hofstra.