The comeback tour for the Towson men's lacrosse team rolls on.
Seven players scored goals as the host Tigers collected their second consecutive win by holding off UMBC, 10-7, before an announced 2,850 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Wednesday night.
Paired with Saturday's 9-7 triumph over Delaware, the victory gives Towson (3-5) its first two-game winning streak since March 2009, when the team strung together three straight victories over Robert Morris, Bucknell and Drexel. And it comes at a most opportune time, as the Tigers gear up for four of their next five games against Colonial Athletic Association opponents.
"It's a big step, especially going into the conference with a couple wins under our belt," junior attackman Tim Stratton said. "Knowing how to win is something huge that you need to have going into conference play."
The Tigers didn't make things easy for themselves.
After taking a 5-3 lead into halftime, Towson went on a 3-1 run, bookended by goals from junior midfielder Pat Britton.
With its biggest lead of the game at 8-4 with 6:50 left in the third quarter, Towson then watched as senior midfielder Kyle Wimer's two goals sparked a 3-0 run by the Retrievers (1-7) in a span of 9 minutes, 32 seconds to pull to 8-7.
But Stratton scored his second and third goals of the game to cement the win for the Tigers.
"We're not the smartest bunch of guys in the whole world, but we hung in there," Tigers coach Tony Seaman said.
The Tigers won 13 of 21 faceoffs, marking the first time in four games that the team had succeeded on more than 50 percent of draws in a single game.
Towson parlayed that success into taking 37 shots to UMBC's 27. The offense also went 2-for-3 on its extra-man opportunities. Senior midfielders Christian Pastirik and Will Harrington converted the extra-man chances for the Tigers, who had been successful just 27.8 percent (10 of 36) of the time before Wednesday night.
Stratton paced Towson with four points on his second hat trick of the season and an assist. Harrington added one goal and two assists, and junior goalkeeper Travis Love made 11 saves.
Wimer led UMBC with two goals and two assists, and sophomore attackman Shane Ryznar scored twice. Freshman goalie Adam Cohen finished with 12 saves, but it wasn't enough as the Retrievers dropped their sixth consecutive game.
UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said the offense wasn't patient enough when the team had rallied to within a one-goal deficit in that fourth quarter.
"I just felt like we don't understand the importance of possessing the ball and working for high-quality shots," he said. "We come back and get it to one goal and then we rush things and we have guys taking ill-advised shots. We've got a lot of young guys that are playing right now, and they're going to make mistakes, but we're two-thirds into the season now and guys should know what they're doing."
Notes: Towson freshman defenseman Ben Strauss did not play because of a bruised knee suffered during Monday's practice. "He's a lot better today than he was yesterday," Seaman said of Strauss, who ranked second on the team with seven caused turnovers and had collected 13 ground balls in five starts. "Went down, and we think the two bones came together. No ligament damage. So it's [a matter of] when he can play with the soreness that he has right now." ... When the Tigers scored the game's first three goals in a span of 9:33, it appeared that Zimmerman would regret his decision to bench senior defensemen Bobby Atwell, Matt Kresse and Lance Ophof for the first quarter. But sophomores Tim Shaeffer and Aaron Verardi and freshman Lucas Wood appeared to settle down. "I just felt like after the Stony Brook game, we weren't real sharp defensively, and we've got some guys waiting in the wings, and I wanted to give them a shot," Zimmerman said of the benching. "And I think they did a good job." ... When the Retrievers' Ryznar scored with 1:42 left in the first quarter, it ended a 42-minute, 17-second scoreless streak against Towson dating to the 61-second mark of the third quarter of Saturday's game against Delaware. ... Britton, who missed Towson's victory over Delaware because of a concussion, played against the Retrievers and scored two of the Tigers' three goals in the third quarter. UMBC 2 1 3 1 - 7Towson 3 2 3 2 - 10Goals:
UMBC-Ryznar 2, Wimer 2, Doub, Jones, Latham; T-Stratton 3, Britton 2, Harrington, Hughes, Lalley, Lamon, Pastirik. Assists:
UMBC-Lustgarten 2, Wimer 2; T-Harrington 2, Armour, Pastirik, Stratton. Saves:
UMBC-Cohen 12; T-Love 11.