Towson's Pastirik makes second chance a winner vs. No. 17 Navy

March 17, 2010|By Edward Lee | edward.lee@baltsun.com

Christian Pastirik got a rare second chance to capture the Towson men's lacrosse team's first win.

After missing an open net and hitting the crossbar with less than 30 seconds left in regulation, he made his second opportunity count with six seconds left to lift the Tigers to a 10-9 upset of No. 17 Navy before an announced 1,240 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Tuesday night.

The game-winning play was set up by junior attackman Tim Stratton, who beat his defender and drew a slide, which left Pastirik open on the right wing. Pastirik's shot with 21 seconds left hit the crossbar, and Stratton collected the loose ball.

He passed it to freshman Matt Hughes, who slung the ball to Pastirik, who was parked on the left wing. Pastirik took an overhand shot that went through the legs of Midshipmen junior goalkeeper R.J. Wickham (12 saves) and into the net.

"I just took the shot," said Pastirik, a fifth-year senior transfer from Cornell who is starting in the midfield as opposed to his usual attack position. "I was aiming five-hole, but I think I got lucky there. It caught him a little off guard with the ... angle."

Pastirik, who finished with three goals, almost didn't get a chance to take the final shot because Navy coach Richie Meade was yelling for a timeout before Stratton maintained possession.

"It's unfortunate," Meade said. "We've got 14 seconds left, we're screaming timeout, and the referee's not looking. So we didn't get a timeout, and I really didn't see what happened on the last goal. I know that Pastirik scored."

Pastirik's heroics helped Towson (1-3) avoid a second-half meltdown. Clinging to a 6-5 lead at halftime, the Tigers opened the third quarter with three unanswered goals over a span of 2 minutes, 55 seconds.

But the Midshipmen responded with a 4-0 run book-ended by goals from senior attackman Brendan Connors - the last one coming with 4:11 left in regulation.

Towson junior goalie Travis Love continued his strong play in his first career start. Love, who made seven saves - including six in the third quarter - in the second half of the team's 12-8 loss to then-No. 6 Maryland last Saturday, recorded 14 saves against the Midshipmen.

"I think our goalie was very good tonight," coach Tony Seaman said. "I think he made 14 or 15 saves, and some of them were really tough."

The Tigers also got a strong defensive effort from freshman defenseman Ben Strauss. Strauss surrendered no goals and just one assist to junior attackman Andy Warner, who had been tied with senior midfielder Patrick Moran for the team lead in goals (10) and points (15).

Connors led all scorers with five points on four goals and one assist, and Ryan O'Leary finished with two goals and one assist.

NOTES: Navy senior long-stick midfielder Zack Schroeder started in place of senior Jaren Woeppel, the Patriot League preseason Defensive Player of the Year who has been bothered by a sore hamstring. ... The Mids have lost two in a row for the second time this season. ... Tuesday night's contest resumed a series that had been dormant since April 12, 1997, when Towson won, 14-6. Navy 3 222-9Towson33 31 -10 Goals: N-Connors 4, O'Leary 2, Brosnan, Lennon, Moran; T-Pastirik 3, Stratton 3, Britton 2, Harrington, Ruhl. Assists: N-Connors, Davis, O'Leary, Vernam, Warner; T-Hughes 2, Armour, Lamon. Saves: N-Wickham 12; T-Love 14.

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