This time, Towson's right on target in 15-10 victory over No. 8 Loyola

Tigers take early 7-2 lead in `best game' of season

College Lacrosse

March 30, 2003|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Towson coach Tony Seaman grew increasingly frustrated watching his team's shooting problems this season. The Tigers found plenty of shots, getting 65 in one loss and 41 in another, but just couldn't score often enough.

That problem ended yesterday when No. 14 Towson scored seven goals in the first quarter at No. 8 Loyola. That period sparked the team's best overall performance this year and helped the Tigers to a 15-10 victory over the Greyhounds before 1,136 at Curley Field.

Towson (3-3) jumped to a 7-2 lead and later stopped a Loyola rally that saw the Greyhounds cut the lead to two before the Tigers scored the game's final three goals for their first win over a Top 10 team in two years.

"We really shot well for the first time this season," Seaman said. "We just finally put it in the goal. That's our best quarter and our best game this season."

Seaman said there wasn't any special work done on shooting in practice, but the coach did emphasize the importance of good ball movement and converting shots.

The Tigers often beat the slides of Loyola (5-2) with quick passes, repeatedly finding the open man and getting shots that Greyhounds goalie Mark Bloomquist often could do little about.

"Today everything seemed to be going in," said Towson's Drew Pfarr, who had two goals and three assists. "We knew we had to come out hard and put the pressure on them offensively. It's the only way to beat them."

Towson scored its first seven goals in a period of 11:43 to turn a 1-0 deficit into the 7-2 lead. The Tigers got two goals and one assist each from Alex Fountain, Matt Florio and Ryan Obloj during that run. The key goal was likely the final one, when Todd Spear (two goals) scored with one second left in the period after a perfect Kenny Lynch pass.

The Tigers took a 9-4 halftime lead and were cruising until Loyola rallied in the fourth quarter. Gunnar Goettelmann (three goals) sparked a four-goal Greyhounds run and sliced the lead to 12-10 on a goal with 10:30 left. But Towson tightened on defense and went back to controlling the tempo on offense and scored the final three goals in the last 4:57.

Towson repeatedly took advantage of Loyola mistakes, then stayed in command by not giving the Greyhounds any openings. Loyola made numerous miscues and turnovers in its own end, helping the Tigers get scoring chances and goals.

The Tigers were successful on all clears through the first three quarters and finished with 32 of 35 overall, while the Greyhounds failed on 11 of their 28 clears.

"We made a lot of mental mistakes, and we made a lot of physical errors," Loyola coach Bill Dirrigl said. "One turnover leads to another leads to another and leads to another and leads to a goal."

The Loyola offense had problems from the start, when top scorer Chris Summers missed a wide-open shot 14 seconds into the game and got hurt when a Towson player's knee drove into his thigh and gave him a deep bruise.

Summers limped off the field and was done for the day. Dirrigl said they'll watch his status during the week.

Towson 7 2 3 3 - 15

Loyola 2 2 4 2 - 10

Goals: T-Pfarr 2, Fountain 2, Obloj 2, Florio 2, Spear 2, Mull 2, Lochte, Monaco, Zumpano; L-Brundage 3, Goettelmann 3, Case, Baxter, Othman, Shek. Assists: T-Pfarr 3, Fountain, Obloj, Florio, Zando, Lynch; L-Brundage 2, Case 2, Dupuis, Georgalas, White, Einhorn. Shots: T 41, L 29; Extra-man: T 1-3; L 0-7. Saves: T-Sothoron 9; L-Bloomquist 9, Rodgers 1.

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