Towson State, taking advantage of superior depth and firepower, pulled away from UMBC in the final 20 minutes to record a 19-14 victory last night at Minnegan Stadium.
UMBC (10-4) stayed with the Tigers for nearly three quarters before Towson's numbers took their toll. The Retrievers ran two midfields, and No. 8 Towson (8-2) countered with three units and also used extra defensemen and attackmen while resting its starters.
The Tigers outshot UMBC, 60-31, and if not for the work of Bob Bailey, who made 14 saves, the score could have been higher. Towson also set the tempo, controlling 28 of 38 faceoffs. The Tigers also won the ground-ball battle, 82-45.
"Our kids played well," said Towson coach Carl Runk. "We knew we'd be in a buzz saw because UMBC always plays well against us. I was happy with the offense, especially after last week [a 21-2 loss to Navy], but our defense needs work. We allowed 14 goals and that is far too many.
"Our midfielders did a job for us. I used three and sometimes four midfields and got to use everybody," Runk said. "We've had some problems with injuries, so I like to get fresh players in the game. Still, our defense has to improve. That was like a box lacrosse game out there."
Lindsay Dixon led the winners in scoring with six goals and two assists. John Blatchley had a goal and three assists. Joe Genovese had two goals and two assists and Stewart Crotty and Colin McDermott each had two goals.
Steve Marohl scored a goal and added five assists for the Retrievers. Marohl has 75 assists for the season, breaking the NCAA record of 73 assists held by Tim Goldstein of Cornell and Steve O'Neill of Yale.
"It's nice breaking the record," said the UMBC attackman. "But I would have much rather won the game. Towson has a lot of
horses. We stayed with them as long as could."
Jason Smith chipped in with four goals, Stewart Walker added three and Brian Lamey had a goal and three assists for the Retrievers.
"Our kids played their hearts out, and that's all I can ask for," said UMBC coach Dick Watts. "We gave them a run, but we are a little thin, what with injuries and all. Towson is a very good lacrosse team. We made some mistakes and Towson capitalized on them. We did the best we could."
UMBC took a 1-0 lead on Smith's goal off an assist from Marohl. However, Blatchley scored 17 seconds later to tie the score. The first quarter ended with UMBC on top, 4-3.
Towson got its first lead of the game, 7-6, on Tim Barger's unassisted goal midway through the second quarter. UMBC never led again. Towson pulled away to 12-7 at halftime. UMBC cut the Tigers' lead to 13-11 on Sam Walker's goal, on an assist from Marohl with four minutes left in the third quarter.
Towson, however, countered with four straight goals and
maintained its advantage the rest of the game.