MLAX : Georgetown goalie Winter produces best performance of season in win over Syracuse

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Matt Winter turned in his best performance of the year Saturday. From start to finish, the Georgetown goaltender was sharp in net.Winter made a slew of spectacular saves to keep the Hoyas within striking defense in the first half and added a few more in the second half to preserve a crucial victory for his team.‘He’s a young man that’s been a backup goalie for us for four years and has earned the opportunity to be the guy this year, and he’s responded big time,’ GU head coach Dave Urick said. ‘And I think this was probably one of his finest, if not his best, effort throughout the whole game.’Winter finished with 12 saves to lead the Hoyas to a 10-8 upset of the Orange in the Carrier Dome on Saturday. The senior goaltender was tested early as SU controlled possession and fired 15 shots in the first half. Winter proved up to the challenge, turning away six shots to help the Hoyas go into the break down just 3-2.Early in the first quarter, Winter made a brilliant kick save on a wide open opportunity for Henry Schoonmaker. With the game tied 1-1, Schoonmaker took a pass from SU attack Tim Desko only to see his shot attempt bounce off Winter’s leg and back onto the field.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textMidfielders Bobby Eilers and Ryan Barber fired shots right into his stick for easy saves. Syracuse head coach John Desko said he thought his players rushed a few shots, but Winter played an impressive game for the Hoyas.‘Some of it’s shot selection, but I got to give credit to him. He’s the one who stood in there and made those saves,’ Desko said. ‘Some shots when you throw at his stick, he’ll move his stick and dip and he didn’t. He made those.’Winter was tested twice in the final 30 seconds as Syracuse No. 14 (7-6, 3-2 Big East) made its final desperate attempts at a comeback. Tim Desko had a chance in close, but was turned away with 26 seconds left. Tommy Palasek’s shot with three seconds left was also blocked by the goaltender.The complete performance earned him praise from both Desko and Urick after the game.‘He played the best four quarters I think he’s played,’ Urick said. ‘He’s had great halves before, but I think this is the best complete game.’Loss creates uncertain postseason chancesWith Syracuse’s 10-8 loss to Georgetown, its postseason hopes became considerably murkier.The Orange does not have a quality win on its schedule that would likely impress the NCAA tournament selection committee. A win over Notre Dame next week would certainly improve SU’s chances of earning an at-large bid, but that is far from a guarantee.That means No. 3 seeded SU will need to, in all likelihood, win the Big East tournament to earn an automatic bid. That’s no small task, considering it would probably have to beat Villanova, which beat SU earlier this season, or take down the Irish, who are currently undefeated in conference play.‘I think we have to go out and win a game and play well so that we can get another good win and get into the Big East tournament to play a couple of games there,’ Syracuse head coach John Desko said. ‘We just have to take care of business ourselves, right now.’If Syracuse doesn’t win the conference tournament, it will have to rely on the selection committee to earn an at-large bid, and there are not too many available. Nine teams will be given bids, but four of them will likely go to teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, which boasts some of the best programs in the country.That leaves five open spots, and SU has plenty of competition against teams with solid wins on their schedules.After his team’s loss to the Hoyas, Desko said he expects the Orange to come to practice focused and ready to work on its game plan of beating ND to wrap up its regular season. The effort and intensity of his players have never been a problem this season, he said, and both of those will need to be at a premium throughout this week.‘I think we’re going to educate them on Notre Dame, and there’s no way we can downplay the importance of it,’ Desko said. ‘… I think when you focus on the mental parts, the X’s and O’s, it helps take away the thought of the pressure and what the games mean. I think we’ll be fine with it.’rjgery@syr.educjiseman@syr.edu Published on April 21, 2012 at 12:00 pmcenter_img Commentslast_img