No. 16 Towson holds off determined UMBC, 8-6

Retrievers tie it in 2nd half before Tigers pull away

College Lacrosse

April 06, 2005|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,SUN STAFF

Towson University blew a three-goal lead in the middle of the second half, but the 16th-ranked Tigers regained their composure against crosstown rival UMBC and put away the Retrievers, 8-6, last night before 1,067 at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Tigers (6-3), who overcame UMBC's slow-down offense as much as their own lapses, gave up three unanswered goals and found themselves in a 5-5 tie with 10:25 left in the game, after Retrievers sophomore attackman Drew Westervelt scored both of his goals to start the fourth quarter.

But Towson, which won its second consecutive game, responded with three straight scores, including two from sophomore attackman Bobby Griebe over the next five minutes, to silence UMBC (3-5).

First, freshman midfielder Brian Vetter beat Retrievers senior goalie Kevin Cepelak by skipping a 10-yard shot past him with 9:28 left in the game. Then, after UMBC junior attackman Brendan Mundorf missed a shot on top of the crease, Griebe made the Retrievers pay with a point-blank shot at the 7:18 mark, then took a perfect feed from Vetter and gave Towson an 8-5 advantage with 5:21 to go.

"I thought we played good defense the whole time. We had a couple of mental lapses and let them back in the game, but we came back when we were down," said Towson coach Tony Seaman, whose team took only 22 shots, thanks mainly to UMBC's long possessions. "[The Retrievers] do their thing, which is a horrible thing to watch, but we handled it."

For the Tigers, it marked the second victory since Seaman made several changes in his lineup after a 1-3 stretch, including a disheartening, 11-5 defeat against Colonial Athletic Association rival Delaware.

Junior Steve Mull has moved from midfield back to attack. He had an assist - one of seven for Towson - while operating deftly behind the net. Freshman Kyle Fiat has shifted to the second midfield line, joining sophomore Nick Williams, who hurt UMBC with his quickness and an early goal. In addition, senior long-stick middie Ryan Cocchi returned to action after missing the past month with a high ankle sprain.

For UMBC, which had won three of its past four games and thinks it can contend for an America East Conference title and an automatic NCAA tournament bid, it was a lost opportunity to maintain momentum in an emotional, non-league contest. The Retrievers, who never led last night, are now 11-25 against Towson.

"We lacked discipline. We were selfish on offense. When teams turn up the heat, you've got to stay focused. Six goals from our offense is really disgraceful," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman, who watched Mundorf, the third-leading scorer in the nation as of last week, get held to one goal for the second straight game. Towson senior defenseman Adam Cummins checked Mundorf for most of the evening.

The Retrievers out-shot the Tigers, 35-22, but could manage only four goals in a six-on-six setting. Two UMBC goals came in extra-man situations.

UMBC 0 2 1 3 - 6

Towson 1 2 2 3 - 8

Goals: UMBC-Gallagher 2, Westervelt 2, Hyland, Mundorf; T-Engelke 2, Griebe 2, Bacon, Williams, MacMullan , Vetter. Assists: UMBC-Hyland 2, Solazzo Mundorf; T-Mull, Bacon, Williams, Fiat, Engelke, Vetter, Griebe. Saves: UMBC-Cepelak 9; T-Sothoron 7.

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