Still In Running

College Lacrosse State Men

Tigers Keep Ncaa Tourney Hopes Alive With Rout

April 30, 2009|By Mike Preston | Mike Preston,mike.preston@baltsun.com

Towson kept its bid alive for an NCAA Division I playoff spot with a 10-2 victory over visiting Drexel on Wednesday night in a Colonial Athletic Association semifinal game at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

No. 2 seed Towson (7-8 overall, 5-2 conference) will host No. 4 Villanova in the conference championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Villanova upset top seed Hofstra, 9-7, in Wednesday night's other semifinal. The winner of the conference championship receives an automatic bid to the 16-team NCAA tournament. Villanova defeated Towson, 13-4, earlier this season.

"As mad and frustrated as I was with our loss against Penn [on Saturday], I think that helped us prepare for this game," Towson coach Tony Seaman said. "Everybody played well."

"Our defense was terrific," Seaman said. "When it wasn't terrific, [goalie Rob] Wheeler made the save. Rob Wheeler may have been the best goalie in the United States, if not the world, tonight."

Towson played excellent defense. Starting defensemen Marc Ingerman, Matt Richter and Michael Landy were physical and slid hard and often. The group also did a good job of pushing out on Villanova's attack and giving Wheeler good angles to make saves. Drexel didn't score until Kevin Stockel's goal with 7:45 left in the game. Wheeler finished with a career-high 17 saves.

While Towson dominated the game defensively, the offense was just as effective. Towson controlled the first two quarters and led 4-0 at the half. Freshman attackman Sean Maguire scored the first goal by beating Drexel midfielder Kevin Dart from behind the net with 3:32 left in the first period.

About 40 seconds later, Towson attackman Tim Stratton took a feed from behind goal by attackman Bill McCutcheon at the top of the crease to increase the Tigers' lead to 2-0. Towson outshot the Dragons 14-3 in the first quarter and might have scored more if not for Drexel freshman goalie Mark Manos, who was exceptional. He had five saves, most of them from point-blank range.

But Towson kept up the pace and the barrage in the second quarter. Towson midfielder Brock Armour, working from behind goal, scored from the right side with 8:36 left. Midfielder Pat Britton closed out the scoring for Towson with a runner just inside the restraining line with 6:37 remaining in the period.

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