No. 5 Georgetown Rallies to Down No. 9 Navy, 9-7

Washington, D.C. - Georgetown scored three times in the fourth quarter and fought back from a three-goal deficit to beat Navy, 9-7, in front of 2,455 fans on a stormy and cloudy day at the Multi-Sport Field during first round action of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The win advances the Hoyas (12-2) to the NCAA Quarterfinals for the fifth-straight year and for the eighth time in the last nine seasons.

Georgetown, seeded eighth in the 16-team NCAA Tournament, will face top-ranked Virginia, 14-10 winners over Notre Dame, next Sunday, May 21 at Towson University. The winner of that game advances to the NCAA Final Four in Philadelphia.

On Mother's Day, the forecast was for dark clouds and thunderstorms. After Navy (11-4) scored the first three goals of the game in a six-minute span, it appeared that more than a storm would ruin the day for the Hoyas. Play was halted for 30 minutes because of lightning with 4:23 remaining in the first half and Navy leading 3-2.

The Midshipmen would add another goal – the second of the game for Ian Dingman – to take a 4-2 lead into the half, but the Hoyas responded with four goals in the third quarter and it was tied at 6-all heading to the fourth. Just over a minute into the quarter, graduate student Dave Paolisso (Ellicott City, Md./Centennial) took a feed freshman Jake Samperton (Bethesda, Md./Landon School) to break the tie and give Georgetown a 7-6 lead. Navy tied it on a goal from Billy Looney 29 seconds later and the teams batted back and forth over the ensuing seven minutes.

With 6:25 left to play in the game, sophomore Andrew Baird (Baltimore, Md./Loyola Blakefield), who scored three goals in the Hoyas 9-5 win at Navy earlier in the season, scored an unassisted goal to break the tie. Georgetown sealed the game with an unassisted goal from sophomore Matt McBride (Ridgewood, N.J./Delbarton) with 4:39 to play.

The Midshipmen had taken a 3-0 lead after quickly attacking the Hoyas in the opening minutes of the game. Jon Birsner scored an unassisted goal at 13:56, and then assisted Dingman on the team's second goal with 9:35 to play in the quarter. After winning the face-off, Steve Looney assisted Birsner on his second goal and the lead was 3-0.

Georgetown got on the board in the first minute of the second quarter, when sophomore Brendan Cannon (Haverford, Pa./The Haverford School) fed senior Sean Denihan (Manhasset, N.Y./Manhasset) at 14:02. They cut the lead to 3-2 with 9:42 to play in the half when Denihan fed Samperton, who beat Navy goalie Matt Russell.

The thunder storms, which had been threatening as game time approached, grew stronger in the second quarter and play was halted with Georgetown in possession and 4:23 on the clock. The team's went to their locker rooms in 30 minutes before play resumed. Dingman's goal gave the Midshipmen a 4-2 lead at the break, but the Hoyas scored four times in the third quarter to tie it up.

Five minutes into the quarter, junior Trevor Casey (Bethesda, Md./Georgetown Prep) fired a blast from the near side to cut it to 4-3 with 10:29 on the clock. Three minutes later, at 7:30, Brendan Cannon scored an unassisted goal to tie the game. No sooner had Georgetown tied it, and Dingman fired back, taking a feed from William Wallace on the face-off to score with 7:25 to play in the frame. The final two-plus minutes of the quarter were fast and furious. Brendan Cannon fed Baird for the equalizer, tying the game with 2:30 to play on a man-down goal. Baird then fed Paolisso with 1:19 to play, giving Georgetown its first lead of the game at 6-5. As the quarter wound down, Nick Mirabito tied it for the third time, scoring with 24 seconds to play.

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