NEWARK, Del. -- Glenn Smith scored seven goals, including the go-ahead score, as eighth-ranked Towson State broke an 8-8 third-quarter tie and cruised to a 15-9 East Coast Conference victory over Delaware yesterday.
The win at Delaware Stadium gave Towson its fifth ECC lacrosse championship in the past nine years and should assure the Tigers (9-3, 4-0 in ECC) of a berth in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I tournament. Pairings are to be announced today.
The game was the final ECC event for Delaware (6-10, 3-1). The school's teams will compete in the North Atlantic Conference beginning in the fall.
The Tigers took a 4-0 first-quarter lead, with Smith scoring three times on feeds from John Blatchley, who finished with six assists and scored the fourth Towson goal.
Towson increased the margin to 5-0 in the opening minute of thsecond period before Delaware's Christian Lige (Towson High) batted in a rebound with 13 minutes, 46 seconds remaining in the half. By halftime, the Blue Hens had narrowed the margin to 6-4.
Delaware scored twice in the first three minutes of the third quarter -- Tom Stanziale scoring the fifth goal and then feeding John Wunder for the tying score -- to make it a 6-6 game. Two minutes later, Towson's Travis Boone and Rob Shek scored 13 seconds apart to put Towson back in front, 8-6.
Lige narrowed the margin to 8-7 with 6:31 left in the third quarter and then Stanziale scored his 73rd career goal and 100th career point, tying the score at 8-8 with 5:08 left in the period.
Smith answered with his fifth goal a minute later, sparking the Tigers, who ran off four straight goals and held a 12-8 lead going into the final quarter.
Delaware stayed in the game on the strong play of senior goali Chris Burdick, who made 21 saves -- more than half on shots from point-blank range. Towson goalie Richard Betcher had 17 stops, as the Tigers outshot Delaware, 48-30.
The game left Delaware with a final ECC lacrosse mark of 70-10 including 11 conference titles, the last in 1986. Towson has a 43-6 record in nine years of conference membership.