Towson's run can't prevent 13-7 loss

Tigers own third period, but Hofstra has its way otherwise

TU falls to 3-4

April 07, 2002|By Jeff Zrebiec | Jeff Zrebiec,SUN STAFF

For about 6 1/2 minutes in the third quarter yesterday, Towson's lacrosse team looked like the Tigers of last year.

They dominated on faceoffs. Junior Danny Cocchi scooped up every ground ball in sight and started the transition game. The Tigers' long sticks got into the scoring act, and a true offensive threat, junior Kyle Campbell, ripped a shot into the top corner of the net.

However, those moments were fleeting for Towson. For the rest of the game, the Tigers reverted to a team that makes far too many mistakes, looks lost at times offensively and plays with no sustained sense of urgency.

As a result, the 13th-ranked Tigers, who trailed 6-0 at halftime before tying the game at 7 in the third quarter, fell to 12th-ranked Hofstra, 13-7, yesterday in a Colonial Athletic Association game at Towson University Stadium.

"It's been a very frustrating four or six weeks, very frustrating, and this kind of typifies that," said Towson coach Tony Seaman, whose team fell to 3-4 (1-2 in the CAA) and all but sealed its NCAA tournament fate. "We haven't had 60 minutes out of these kids all year."

Towson was held scoreless until junior Ryan Obloj scored 10 seconds into the third quarter. Overall, the Tigers, who did not score in the last 13:50 of last week's loss to Loyola, had been kept off the board for over 44 minutes in the past two games.

The Pride (7-3, 3-1) took advantage of Towson's 20 first-half turnovers in taking the 6-0 lead at intermission. Junior attackman Jim Femminella scored twice in the second quarter, beating freshman goalie Reed Sothoron, who played an entire game for the first time all season.

But after Hofstra's Scott Dooley scored the second of his three goals at the 11:59 mark, giving the Pride a 7-1 lead, the Tigers finally awoke.

Collin Meerholz scored at 8:06 mark, junior Hunter Lochte sored a minute later and then Meerholz scored again, beating senior goalie Jack Alaimo (seven saves) to cut the Pride's lead to 7-4 with 6:36 to play.

Campbell then scored off an Alex Fountain assist before the run-and-gun Tigers really turned back the clock with two straight goals in 15 seconds by junior close defender Neil Adams to tie the game at 7.

Both of Adams' goals came in transition off faceoffs, an area in which the Tigers dominated all day, winning 19 of 23.

"We got some energy for the first time in a while, then they got a couple ones and it broke our back," said Seaman.

Hofstra, which collapsed late in fourth-quarter losses to Loyola and Johns Hopkins, outscored the mistake-prone Tigers 6-0 in the fourth quarter.

"Being up 6-0, we knew it was going to be a 60-minute game," Pride coach John Danowski said. "[Towson has] great athletes, a great coaching staff. They were a final four team last year, and they weren't going to quit.

"We told [the Pride] just to relax and play. Don't get too high; don't get too low. You have to be poised and play for 60 minutes. ... We've learned some lessons."

Senior attackman Tom Kessler scored the goal that gave Hofstra an 8-7 lead with 12:43 to play, before Dooley and Kevin Dougherty scored within a 35-second span to put the Tigers away.

With his goal early in the fourth, Kessler broke a 26-year-old record to become the all-time leading goal scorer in Hofstra history.

Hofstra 2 4 1 6 - 13

Towson 0 0 7 0 - 7

Goals: H-Dooley 3, Femminella 2, Defendini 2, Dougherty 2, Kessler 2, Donaghy, Harris; T-Adams 2, Meerholz 2, Obloj, Campbell, Lochte. Assists: H-McTigue, Harris, Kessler, Dooley, Connelly, Morrison; T-Fountain 2, Smith, Reppert, Cocchi. Saves: H-Alaimo 7; T-Sothoron 8.

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