Tigers' win improves postseason chances

Towson 8 UMBC 7

College lacrosse

April 06, 2006|By KENT BAKER | KENT BAKER,SUN REPORTER

In a game that offered the winner some insurance of gaining a postseason selection, No. 12 Towson staved off a tying bid by No. 13 UMBC in the final two minutes and scored an 8-7 lacrosse victory before 1,318 last night at UMBC Stadium.

It was a pivotal contest for both teams should they not win their respective conference tournaments, particularly for the Tigers, who are probably going to have to face Hofstra - a squad which beat them in overtime last Saturday - in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.

"Things are wide-open," Towson coach Tony Seaman said of the potential postseason Division I picture after Virginia, which appears to have spread-eagled the rest of the field. "The No. 15 is going to have a legitimate shot at the No. 2. That's why this game was so big for both of us."

Midfielder Nick Williams, the starting tailback on the Tigers' football team, pumped home the game-winner with 2:30 remaining in the game after Keith Obloj fired a feed over the goal from behind.

"I just threw it as hard as I could at the goal and it went in," Williams said. "I got lucky."

UMBC (4-4), which had rallied from two goals down to tie at seven on fourth-quarter scores by Brendan Mundorf (three goals and an assist) and Evan Kay (two goals) applied the pressure down the stretch but couldn't force overtime.

Towson goalkeeper Mark DeGroat made two excellent saves, one on Mundorf, before the Retrievers had one last push with three seconds to go. But they never gained control of the ball and Towson (5-4) scored its third win in the past four starts.

"I had the right side covered up and I got my hands on it," DeGroat said of his biggest stop against Mundorf. "It hit me in the gloves."

The Tigers' Phil Grillo, who played his first season for UMBC, celebrated a return to his former campus with three goals, two of them in the opening period when Towson pushed ahead 4-1. By halftime of an extremely close battle, the Retrievers had countered to tie at 4.

Again Towson used its faceoff edge (13-5) and ground ball-hawking to counter UMBC's only lead (5-4) to notch three straight scores and forge ahead entering the final quarter.

UMBC again fought back in a quest for a third straight win, but fell short.

"We lost to a good team," said UMBC coach Don Zimmerman. "But we didn't help ourselves out. You've gotta do all the little things against a good team and we didn't. I don't know if we were hungry enough for this game."

"This is the time of year he [Williams] starts to catch up because of being around that football game," said Seaman.

kent.baker@baltsun.com

Towson 4 0 3 1 - 8

UMBC 2 2 1 2 - 7

Goals: T- Grillo 3, Williams 2, Vetter, Obloj, Fiat; UMBC- Mundorf 3, Kay 2, Kimener, Gallagher. Assists: T- Mull, Obloj, Vetter; UMBC-Mundorf, Kimener. Saves: T- DeGroat 12; UMBC- Blevins 7. A- 1,318.

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