Towson shows heart but no mercy in win Clune, Ford lead attack in 24-13 rout of Hartford

March 15, 1998|By Mark Hoeflich | Mark Hoeflich,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The evolution of the Towson University attack continued yesterday with the ongoing emergence of Matt Clune and Spencer Ford in a 24-13 win against Hartford in an America East game at Minnegan Stadium.

Clune, the lone senior on attack, collected five goals and three assists and displayed the leadership needed on a young team. Ford added four goals and four assists and gave Towson another offensive threat as it looks ahead to the toughest part of its schedule.

The win also carried a little redemption for the Tigers, whose loss to the Hawks in the final game last year gave Towson its first losing season in 16 years.

"We showed what this team should be doing every game, especially with the leadership from guys like me and Clune," Ford said.

After a listless effort on offense against Maryland a week ago, the Tigers (2-1, 1-0) played with more purpose yesterday against the winless Hawks (0-3, 0-1).

Behind Clune and Ford, Towson moved the ball well around the perimeter, which created several good scoring chances from close range. Towson finished with a 64-36 advantage in shots and dominated possession by winning 30 of 40 faceoffs and collecting 63 percent of the ground balls.

Add in that 13 players scored at least a point -- including four goals from converted midfielder Steve Preis -- and it was exactly the kind of effort coach Carl Runk needed with his Tigers playing their next three games against ranked teams (Syracuse, Loyola, Hofstra).

"We were able to hold on to the ball a lot more," said Runk. "We were in position to maintain control and when the guys can do that, we've got the shooters."

The Tigers took control in the third period and it was Clune and Ford that got Towson rolling. The two combined for three goals and three assists as the Tigers reeled off six of the first seven goals of the second half to extend an 11-8 halftime lead to 17-9.

Ford later converted off a pass from Clune and Towson had its largest lead at 21-10 with 13: 03 left.

"The third quarter was a nice one for us," said Runk. "Clune and Ford make us go, and when they move without the ball, we become a threat."

Said Ford: "We forgot our heart and hustle last week, but we came out [yesterday] totally different."

Towson had plenty of opportunities to put Hartford away in the first half, but the Hawks rallied three times from three goals down. Keith Anzelone (five goals) was most responsible for bringing the Hawks back and his two unassisted goals late in the second period tied the game at 7.

The Tigers, however, never trailed the rest of the way.

Pub Date: 3/15/98

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