Sothoron's work in goal saves Towson's day, 6-5

In beating Hofstra, Tigers likely gain NCAA berth

College Lacrosse

May 06, 2004|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Towson University advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship game and probably clinched a berth in the NCAA tournament with a 6-5 victory over visiting Hofstra last night, and the Tigers owe much to junior goalkeeper Reed Sothoron for essentially dragging them into that position.

On a night on which the Tigers (10-4) had trouble holding onto the ball and were beaten repeatedly to loose balls, Sothoron kept finding ways to stop shots. When his work was done on Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium, he had recorded a career-high 24 saves.

Sothoron punctuated his evening by shutting out Hofstra (4-10) in the second half, giving up one goal over the game's final 38:49. He recorded eight saves over the final 11 minutes and two in the final 51 seconds.

The Tigers, top-seeded in the CAA tournament and ranked No. 11 overall, won for the ninth time in 10 games and took their sixth straight game at home. Towson will play host to Villanova in the CAA title game on Saturday. The winner will receive an automatic NCAA tournament bid.

"I knew we had to depend on our defense. It wasn't a good night for the offense," said Sothoron, who downplayed his performance, which offset a 47-25 shot advantage by the Pride.

"I'd probably say 15 of my saves were on outside shots. Once I made a few plays early in the game, I got in a groove. It was one of those nights."

Not that Hofstra didn't do Towson some favors. In an 85-second span late in the fourth quarter, the Pride missed the cage on two point-blank shots, including a high shot by Athan Ianucci (three goals) and one by Tim Treubig that went wide left in an extra-man situation with 5:18 to go.

Despite watching his teammates commit four unforced turnovers after the Tigers took the lead at 6-5 on a 10-yard shot by midfielder Brian Myers with 11:40 left, Sothoron never lost his groove. He was the difference during a game in which the teams were never separated by more than one score.

"Reed is a much better player in games like this," said Towson coach Tony Seaman. "When things are flying at you, he's like a hockey goalie. He was terrific."

Seaman thinks the Tigers have made their case for NCAA tournament inclusion. "I think that was it for us," he said. "But I don't want to leave it in the hands of the committee. I want to get the job done here [on Saturday] and go into the tournament with 11 wins."

The Tigers were fortunate to be trailing by only 5-4 at halftime. If not for Sothoron, who stuffed Hofstra with 12 first-half saves, the opening half could have been a nightmare for Towson.

The Tigers, who were sloppy with the ball from the outset, wasted a fine early effort by faceoff specialist Ben DeFelice, who won 10 of 12 attempts in the opening half.

Hofstra 3 2 0 0 - 5

Towson 3 1 1 1 - 6

Goals: H-Ianucci 3, Keysor, Treubig; T-Pfarr 2, Fountain, Griebe, Myers, Turnblacer. Assists: H- Unterstein 2, Lucas; T-Chane, cocchi, Engelke, Florio, Mull. Saves: H-Southard 3, Liedke 5; T-Sothoron 24.

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