Senior midfielders David Shoul annd Rob Shek combined for six goals -- five during a second-half rally -- to lift No. 9 Towson State to an 11-5 win over upset-minded University of Maryland Baltimore County in an East Coast Conference game at UMBC Stadium yesterday.
It was a great day to watch a lacrosse game and for the better part of the first three quarters that was exactly what Towson State was doing as UMBC clawed its way to a 4-2 halftime lead and held a three-goal advantage early in the second half.
"We had all we could handle. UMBC came to play, and I'm just glad to walk out of here with the win," said Towson State coach Carl Runk, whose team improved its record to 8-2 overall and 3-0 in the ECC. It was the Tigers' seventh consecutive win over UMBC (7-6, 1-3).
"UMBC harassed us on defense and got our offense out of sync," Runk said. "They put us in a position where we felt the pressure and started making mistakes."
With Bob Bailey (22 saves) doing the job in the UMBC goal, the Retrievers built their halftime lead despite being outshot, 29-15.
In the third quarter, UMBC increased its advantage to 5-2, as Brian Lamey scored his second goal for the Retrievers and the Towson attack continued to be ineffective.
"Our attack was really weak. We were very lethargic," said Runk. "But you have to give UMBC credit, their defense had a lot to do with it."
Towson continued its assault on the Retrievers goal, outshooting UMBC, 20-5, in the third quarter, and started to do some good things offensively midway through that period. Shoul converted a pass from Glenn Smith into a goal and ended a 20-minute scoring drought for the Tigers. It was the first of a nine-goal Towson scoring run.
Shek, who scored four goals against UMBC in Towson's 15-6 victory last season, tied the game at 5-5 with just under four minutes left in the third quarter. Mike DeSimone put Towson ahead to stay, 6-5, off a feed from Donald Connolly 42 seconds before the end of the period.
Then Shoul scored twice during extra-man situations on feeds from John Blatchley in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter and the Tigers continued to build their lead after that.
"We kind of started running out of steam and started making mistakes," said UMBC coach Dick Watts. "And that probably was because at that time we were tired. Our defense played well, but we're not producing on offense. You can't score one goal in a half and expect to win."