Towson's Preis goes on attack with 5 goals in win over UMBC Converted midfielder sparks 18-15 triumph

March 01, 1998|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

When Kevin Sturm, Towson's leading scorer the past two seasons, suffered a season-ending broken wrist in last weekend's scrimmage with Duke, coach Carl Runk began scouring his lineup in search of a player to fill the void at crease attack.

Runk decided to convert midfielder Steve Preis because of the junior's "maturity, stick skills and range."

In yesterday's opener, the decision paid off.

Preis, who had scored one goal and taken 10 shots in his first two collegiate seasons, broke loose for five goals as the Tigers downed UMBC, 18-15, before 1,002 at Minnegan Stadium.

"Steve rose to the occasion for us today," Runk said. "We needed him, and he was right there for us. He kept our attack together, and they looked for him."

Sophomore midfielder Todd Paradise, who missed all of last season with a knee injury, chipped in four goals for the Tigers. Greg Franzen contributed a hat trick, and Spencer Ford, another midfielder-turned-attackman, added two goals and an assist.

Chris Turner had a hand in nine of UMBC's 15 goals, finishing with a game-high five goals and four assists.

"We got a bad break with Sturm, so I just got in there and tried to do the best I could. I wanted to come through for the team," said Preis, a Calvert Hall graduate. "With Matt [Clune] and Spencer [Ford] on attack looking at the crease constantly, it makes it easy for a crease guy."

Preis (pronounced "price") scored three of his goals during the first quarter, when the Tigers rallied from a 3-1 deficit to take a 6-3 lead.

The Retrievers (0-2), who dropped their opener, 15-12, last week at Navy, scored four straight goals to start the second quarter, and the fourth one, an empty-netter by Turner, put UMBC ahead 7-6 with 6: 20 left in the half.

Towson (1-0) regained the lead momentarily after goals by Franzen and Preis, before UMBC sophomore Jeffrey Ratcliffe (four goals) tied it at 8 with a buzzer-beater.

Towson, which owned a 72-38 advantage in ground balls and a 23-12 edge in faceoffs, scored two goals in an 11-second span early in the third quarter to take an 11-8 lead.

UMBC pulled back to within one when Eric Barger converted one of Dan Marohl's three assists midway through the third quarter, but that was as close as the Retrievers would get.

The visitors cut the lead to two twice in the fourth quarter, but each time, Towson's attack had an answer.

Goalkeeper John Horrigan, who got the starting nod over fellow freshman Geoff Champney, a player Runk says is "equally as good," showed the poise of an upperclassman, turning away 14 shots.

"I'm really happy with the kids because we've faced a lot of adversity and they've stayed right in there," said Runk, whose team will visit Maryland next Saturday. "We've still got a lot of wrinkles to iron out, but now that this one's over, I want to relax just a pinch and enjoy this one before we start preparing for Maryland."

Pub Date: 3/01/98

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