The Towson State lacrosse team is on cruise control thes days, waiting to prove itself against another big-time Division I team.
The ninth-ranked Tigers punched out Bucknell and Hofstra by a total score of 43-11 in the four days since last Saturday's 14-12 loss to sixth-ranked Loyola in which Towson blew an 8-1 second-quarter lead.
That loss to cross-town rival Loyola has been hard on the Tigers.
"We've been down most of the week," said Towson coach Carl Runk yesterday.
But that didn't prevent the Tigers from blitzing Bucknell, 23-3, Wednesday and Hofstra, 20-8, yesterday at Minnegan Stadium.
Towson State (5-2) dominated what was thought to be a good Hofstra team in the rain.
The Tigers showed excellent passing in the transition game, superb stickwork and good hustle on ground balls to virtually put the game out of reach, 13-3, at halftime.
Runk started clearing his bench in the third quarter.
"I really expected a tougher game from Hofstra," said Runk.
Senior attackman Glenn Smith (five goals) and junior attackman John Blatchley (two goals, four assists) led the Towson scoring parade.
Senior attackman Michael DeSimone (three goals, two assists) and senior midfielder Rob Shek (three goals, one assist) joined in the Towson romp.
Freshman attackman Andrew Carlson led the Flying Dutchmen (4-4) with six goals.
Two years ago on the same rain-soaked field, Hofstra defeated Towson, 10-9, in four overtimes.
But this Towson State team has talent and experience and is considered good enough by some to make it to the Final Four in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I tournament.
Runk said yesterday: "I wouldn't put anything past this team. We're capable of playing above our standards and capable of playing down a few levels."
Runk said his team "played down" in the second half against Loyola.
"We had four offsides penalties and walked out of bounds with the ball in the second half against Loyola," said Runk. "Since then, I've been emphasizing every day that we need to stop turning the ball over and be consistent if we want to live up to expectations."
Smith said yesterday: "We came to the conclusion that we let ourselves down against Loyola. We learned we have to play four quarters not just one half. As far as I see it, we're still trying to put it all together."
Towson State most likely will have to beat Navy and Johns Hopkins (both home games) in the next three weeks to make the Division I tournament.