No. 17 Bucknell overwhelms Towson in 4th, wins 13-9

No. 17 Bucknell 13, Towson 9

February 27, 2010|By Mike Preston |

Towson University opened its new season just as the Tigers finished their last one.

A year ago, Towson outhustled and outplayed most teams. The Tigers usually played well for three quarters, but they couldn't finish.

For nearly 50 minutes Saturday, Towson outplayed visiting Bucknell, but the Tigers were held scoreless in the fourth quarter and surrendered six straight goals in a 13-9 loss at Unitas Stadium.

The act is getting old.

"We've been here before," said Towson coach Tony Seaman. "All I can say is Merry Christmas. This was a gift."

Towson led 9-7 at the end of the third quarter, and the Tigers could have put Bucknell (2-1) away early in the fourth, but sophomore attackman Stephen Norris and senior midfielder Will Harrington dropped passes outside the crease.

And freshman attack Matt Hughes got stuffed on a one-on-one with goalie Sam Finnell with 3 minutes and 45 seconds remaining in the game.

"I thought it was important that we got through the first quarter because they had already played two games," Seaman said. "We played well for three quarters, and we handled that team, but we just didn't get it done."

Towson looked like a team playing its first game of the season. The Tigers committed 18 turnovers and failed on five of 19 clears.

Another problem for Towson was Bucknell senior attackman Tim Brandau, out of McDonogh. Brandau finished with career high six goals and two assists. He scored the first three goals of the fourth quarter, including the one that put Bucknell ahead, 10-9, with 5 minutes and 26 seconds remaining.

Towson pulled goalie Rob Wheeler with about two minutes left in the game, but Bucknell answered with two goals for a 12-9 lead with 1:14 remaining.

"That was a lot of fun," said Brandau. "I grew up in Rodgers Forge and was on this campus a lot. It was fun being here when you lived right down the street." Seaman wasn't laughing, and neither were the Tigers. They play a loaded Stony Brook team on Saturday followed by Maryland, Navy, Virginia and Loyola.

"It doesn't get any easier," Seaman said.

Towson actually scored first as Hughes, who beat John Collett from behind at the right of the goal with 11:54 remaining in the first quarter.

But Bucknell scored twice in the final five minutes for a 2-1 lead at the end of the first quarter. Junior midfielder Ryan Klipstein scored on an assist from Charlie Streep with 4:56 left, and sophomore attackman Billy Eisenreich scored a minute later.

The Tigers, though, went on a four goal spurt in the second quarter, and these shots were bombs. Bucknell slouched on defense, and the Bison paid for it.

Christian Pastirik, Carl Iacona, Kevin Lalley and Will Harrington all hit long shots for Towson, which led 5-2, with 2:43 remaining in the half.

It was like a clinic with Towson players getting their hands free, and taking two or three steps before ripping shots. Bucknell changed goalies replacing Kyle Feeney with Finnell. Brandau scored off a faceoff with 2:33 to break Bucknell's scoring drought and bring the Bison to within two goals at the half.

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