Powell's dash ends Towson run, 14-11 Syracuse junior's assist cools rally with 1: 32 left

March 23, 1997|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,SUN STAFF

When the game entered crunch time, everyone at Minnegan Stadium knew that Casey Powell was going to make an impact. After all, he is one of the game's best finishers and passers.

Then came the moment.

Powell rushed from the left wing off the faceoff, scooped up the loose ground ball among a few players and dashed 10 yards down the middle of the field before he hurled a pass to midfielder Paul Carcaterra at the top of the crease for Syracuse's final goal with 1: 32 left in the game.

That goal ended a two-goal rally by Towson State and lifted No. 3 Syracuse to a 14-11 win over the Tigers yesterday before a crowd of 903. The move and pass by Powell just keep adding to his reputation.

"How do you stop a great player like Casey Powell? You try to give the player defensing him some support," Towson coach Carl Runk said. "But when you do that, he is going to catch you once in a while. That time, he caught us."

Powell saw it as nothing special. "We work on that play a lot at practice," the junior said. "I saw the early slide by the defender coming at me and our guy just happened to be cutting."

Towson (1-3) had to play catch-up all afternoon, despite outshooting Syracuse 46-35 and holding a 50-43 edge in ground balls.

But the Orangemen (4-1) beat Towson because the Tigers couldn't finish their shots, and Syracuse also had four extra-man goals, two in the first quarter when the Orangemen took a 4-3 lead.

Part of the reason Towson's offense was ineffective was the absence of leading scorer Matt Clune, who was injured last weekend in an off-campus incident.

"I think his absence hurt them big-time," said Syracuse coach Roy Simmons Jr. "He's a great finisher and they missed his left-handed finishing abilities today."

But Runk said it was more than that. "Our defensive penalties got us in the hole early. I give our kids credit, they kept fighting and coming back, but we could never quite get there," he said. "We made some mistakes, but that may have been because of some of the problems we had to address this week. We're getting better every game, but we've got to work on our shot selection."

Towson played sluggishly at the start of each quarter, and fell behind 7-3 with 6: 22 left in the half. But Towson attackman Kevin Sturm (four goals) scored off an extra-man situation with 5: 48 left and midfielder Barry Heddings hit a high shot almost three minutes later to cut Towson's deficit to 7-5 at the half.

Towson had to rally for three goals in the final seven minutes of the third quarter to narrow the gap to 11-8 at the end of the period, and then climbed back into contention when Steve Wohltmann and Ray Mason scored consecutive goals to cut Syracuse's lead to 13-11 with 1: 44 left in the game.

But Powell, who along with senior attackman Rob Kavovit combined for seven goals, took control and burned Towson one more time by scooping up the faceoff.

"Putting away teams has been a problem for us all year," said Powell. "We tried to slow things down, and we were able to run some time off the clock, but that's not our style. I just wanted one more shot to try and put Towson away."

He did.

Pub Date: 3/23/97

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