Towson offense has to step up vs. Del.

Tigers have been outscored 134-117

May 07, 2010|By Mike Preston

It was only minutes after Towson University's 13-6 semifinal conference win over No. 17 Massachusetts, and Tigers coach Tony Seaman already had his mind shifted toward Delaware.

The Tigers (7-7) will host the Blue Hens (9-6) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday for the Colonial Athletic Association men's lacrosse championship. To win, the Tigers might have to match firepower with the Blue Hens, who have outscored their opponents 171-149 this season. Delaware is averaging 11.2 goals a game, while Towson is averaging nine and has been outscored 134-117.

"We haven't done anything, though," Seaman said. "We did the same exact thing a year ago against Drexel and lost against Villanova in the finals. So Saturday against Delaware is going to be the key. They have some people who can beat you one-on-one. I am hoping No. 7 [Towson goalie Travis Love] shows up and has another big night."

Delaware is led by attackmen Curtis Dickson (57 goals, three assists), a senior All-American, and sophomore Grant Kaleikau (14, 21). Senior midfielder Martin Cahill also has 30 goals and three assists for the Blue Hens.

While Love has to have a big game, Seaman needs his offense to step up for a second straight game. Freshman attackman Matt Hughes had three goals for the Tigers against Massachusetts, and midfielders Carl Iacona and Will Harrington also had two goals each.

Harrington, from Friends School, has the big outside shot.

"Harrington made the trip around the college universe before he came to us," Seaman said. "He went to Maryland first. My son played against him all four years in high school in basketball and lacrosse. I've always said this kid is so tough. If he could ever learn how to play lacrosse, he would be really hard to handle. He really has come along this year."

Win ground balls, win games

As much as some things change, there is one constant in lacrosse.

The team that wins ground balls wins most games, and that's why teams need blue-collar, gritty athletes.

With playoff hopes on the line Saturday for both teams when Johns Hopkins (6-7) travels to Loyola (9-3), Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala has several concerns, but one that is major.

"Loyola is a team that is well coached and knows who they are and how they want to play," Pietramala said. "Rarely do they stray from that. On defense, they are not anxious to slide and really make opponents earn those slides. In addition, they have a talented goalie that is saving close to 60 percent of his shots. On offense, they utilize a possession style of play which becomes even more dangerous because of the high level of success they have had at the faceoff X this season."

"Maybe most impressive is how hard they play," Pietramala said. "For Johns Hopkins, the emphasis must be on ground balls. Each one will be crucial."

UMBC needs a goalie

UMBC ended its season with an 11-7 loss to Albany in an America East semifinal Wednesday night.

The Retrievers have a bright future, but head coach Don Zimmerman might need to look for a goalie. The Retrievers used three this season, and when that happens, that means you don't have one good one.

Each of the goalies — Adam Cohen, Kevin Kohri and Brain McCullough — had a save percentage under .430.

Goucher playing for title

Salisbury and Stevenson grab most of the Division III headlines around here, but Goucher (13-3) will be playing for the Landmark Conference championship Saturday at 1 p.m. when the Gophers host Catholic (12-3).

Goucher beat Catholic, 10-7, two weeks ago, and Gophers coach Kyle Hannan expects another tough game Saturday. Goucher's forte is defense, and the Gophers have held teams to fewer than five goals four times this season.

Long-pole midfielder David Jadin and Justin Dunn led the defense along with R.J. Lucas and Paul Taylor, both from Texas.

The Gophers could have three more Texans on the roster next season.

"The sport is doing very well in Texas," Hannan said. "I've been down there working camps for the past three years, so I have established some relationships with some coaches and players."

Cottle should be appreciated

Maryland coach Dave Cottle gets criticism from a certain corner of Terps fans, but he has a 98-44 record during his nine seasons in College Park, and the Atlantic Coast Conference has become the nation's toughest conference.

In 28 seasons as a head coach, Cottle has a 278-114 career record with a .709 winning percentage.

If Maryland doesn't want him, Penn State would.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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