Villanova vs. Towson
May 8, 2004
The Game Story:
Towson, Md. – Senior midfielder Drew Pfarr (St. Mary’s H.S./Severna Park, Md.) scored three goals to lead the Tigers (11-4) to their second straight Colonial Athletic Association title with a 12-7 victory over Villanova University (12-3) in the third Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game at Johnny Unitas Stadium ® on Saturday evening.

With the victory, the Tigers earn the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. The tournament selections will be announced on Monday afternoon at 3:40 p.m. on ESPNews. It marks the third time in the last four years that Towson has earned an automatic bid to the tournament. The Tigers won the America East crown in the 2001 season before taking the last two CAA championships.

“Thank goodness we won,” Tiger Head Coach Tony Seaman said. “Now, I don’t have to spend all day tomorrow wondering what the committee is thinking. I know we’re in.”

Pfarr gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead just 1:05 into the first quarter after scoring an unassisted goal. Villanova followed by scoring back-to-back goals by senior Richie Kratz (Delbarton H.S./Roxbury, N.J.) and sophomore Brendan O’Donnell (Mountain Lakes H.S./Mountain Lakes, N.J.), giving the Wildcats a 2-1 advantage with 6:17 left in the opening stanza.

Freshman attackman Bobby Griebe (Boys’ Latin H.S./Bel Air, Md.) regained the lead for the Tigers at 3-2 by scoring back-to-back goals off a feed from sophomore Steve Mull (Fallston H.S./Fallston, Md.) with 5:39 left in the period and adding an unassisted tally with 4:25 remaining.

Freshman Eric Heidenberger (Georgetown Prep/Washington, D.C.) tied the game at 3-3 early in the second period before the Tigers went on a 4-0 run, giving Towson a 7-3 cushion with 13:20 left in the third quarter. Four different Tigers scored during the spurt, including a goal and an assist from senior midfielder Alex Fountain (Fayetteville-Manlius H.S./Manlius, N.Y.).

Heidenberger scored his second goal of the game with 6:04 left in the third period to stop the Tiger spurt before junior Dan Fanelli (Wantagh H.S./Wantagh, N.Y.) narrowed the Wildcat deficit to 7-5 with 5:10 remaining in the quarter.

After Villanova and Towson traded goals at the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth quarter, respectively, the Tigers went on a 3-0 spurt over a four-minute span to take a commanding 11-6 lead with 5:19 left in regulation. Pfarr teamed up with freshman Keith Obloj (Farmingdale H.S./Farmingdale, N.Y.) and fellow senior Matt Florio (Bethpage H.S./Bethpage, N.Y.) to score goals past Wildcat starter Joseph Canuso (Moorestown H.S./Moorestown, N.J.) during the rally.

Heidenberger added his third goal of the game with 4:32 left in the game before senior Brian Myers secured the victory for the Tigers, scoring an empty-net goal with 52 seconds remaining.

Junior goalkeeper Reed Sothoron (St. Mary’s Ryken H.S./Lexington Park, Md.) made 12 saves in the victory for Towson. Canuso, the CAA co-player of the year, made ten saves in the loss for Villanova. Sothoron made 36 saves in the two games of the tournament, including a CAA-record 24 saves in Wednesday’s semifinal against Hofstra.

“They were taking a lot of long shots again tonight because of the way that our defense was playing,” Sothoron said.

Towson junior defensive midfielder Casey Cittadino (Baldwin H.S./Baldwin, N.Y.) earned the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player award after helping the Tiger defense allow just 12 goals in the two tournament games. “Casey Cittadino has had a great year for us,” Seaman said. “He is the best short stick defender I’ve ever coached. He causes many turnovers with his intensity.”

Cittadino was joined on the All-Tournament team by Pfarr, Sothoron, Mull and senior midfielder Ben DeFelice (Towson H.S./Towson, Md.). The CAA co-player of the year, DeFelice won 16 of 21 face-offs and moved to second place on Towson’s single-season ground balls list by recording 11 loose balls. He now has 130 ground balls for the season, trailing only Justin Berry, ’01 for the all-time lead.

“Ben DeFelice was the dominant player in this game,” Seaman said. “It’s tough for teams to get a run on us when he is winning all of the face-offs. When you have a face-off guy like Ben and our defense playing as well as it is, we’re tough to beat.”

For Villanova, Lucas was joined on the All-Tournament team by Kratz and junior Jon Urbana (Denver East H.S./Denver, Colo.). “We played a lot better than the last time we were here, but Towson is very tough,” Urbana said. “They just keep running at you and wearing you down.”