Nittany Lions roar past Towson in stretch, 15-10

March 19, 1995|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,Contributing Writer

The Towson State players watched in shock as Penn State celebrated in the middle of the field. Amid the Tigers' silence, questions of a disappearing offense and a lack of passion arose.

For the second straight week, Towson State failed to win a close game. For the second straight week, the Tigers shot under 20 percent.

Outscored 6-1 in the fourth quarter, the No. 6 Tigers bowed to No. 16 Penn State, 15-10, before 1,421 at Minnegan Stadium. Towson State (1-2), which is off to its worst start since 1982, hadn't lost to the Nittany Lions in eight meetings.

"They kept coming back and we were letting them do it," `D Towson senior attackman David Quinn said. "We definitely didn't help our own cause. It's frustrating."

Trailing 10-9 in the fourth quarter, Penn State (4-1) blew the game open by scoring the last six goals and holding Towson State scoreless for the final 13:47.

"I was disappointed in our shot selection," Towson coach Carl Runk said. "You can't win a ballgame when you're not throwing strikes. I was not overwhelmed with the play of our attack, but we'll make some changes and see what happens."

The Tigers shot 18 percent (10 of 55), including nine percent (1 of 11) in the fourth quarter. Towson State went away from attacking the crease, relying on long-range shots and overlooking the open cutters.

After scoring on its first extra-man opportunity, Towson State came away empty on its next sevenman-up situations. On the Tigers' final extra-man opportunity, trailing 12-10, Tim Langton overthrew a wide open Mark Goers just six seconds into the penalty.

"We're not playing together," said Quinn, who received stitches along the bridge of his nose after a hit in practice this week. "We played well in the fall and hard in practice, but that doesn't really matter now. The offense is struggling and I am not pleased with my shot selection today. We have to continue to keep trying, because it's still early in the season."

Towson State began quickly, playing a near-perfect first quarter. Freshman attackman Matt Clune scored two of his three goals in the opening period as the Tigers took a 5-2 lead, but the offense deteriorated over the next three quarters.

Senior midfielder Mike Busza scored and assisted on consecutive goals to pull Penn State to within 7-6 with 1:38 left before halftime. Towson never led by more than two goals the rest of the game, and Penn State tied it three times in the second half.

With the score tied at 10 with 7:52 left, Busza scored on a dodge to his left past Tigers defender Eric Vanags, and the Nittany Lions took a lead for the first time since they made it 1-0 only 16 seconds into the game. Busza finished with five goals and two assists.

"We've lost to them eight straight times, so we really wanted this one," Busza said. "But once we got it close, they seemed to lose focus, which made it easier to come back."

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