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 back-to-back 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." Towson coach Tony Seaman said. "But we handled that. We came back when we were down."

For the Tigers, it marked the second victory since Seaman made several changes in his lineup.

Junior Steve Mull moved from midfield back to attack and contributed an assist. Freshman Kyle Fiat has shifted to the second midfield line, joining sophomore Nick Williams, whose athleticism helped him hurt UMBC with two early goals. In addition, senior long-stick middie Ryan Cocchi returned to action after missing the last month with a high ankle sprain.

For UMBC, which had won three of its last four games and hopes to contend for an America East Conference title, it was a lost opportunity in an emotional, non-league contest.

"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 entering this week, get held to one goal for the second straight game.

Towson jumped out to an early, 2-0 lead and took a 3-2 lead at halftime.

Both teams spent most of the first half working the ball around the perimeter of zone defenses, and each team had trouble getting off good shots on goal.

Williams scored the game's first goal after splitting two UMBC defenders and beat Cepelak from five yards out with 11:18 to go in the first quarter. When the Retrievers were not milking the clock with some extended possessions, they were missing on several low shots, two of which were stuffed by Reed Sothoron during the quarter.

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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