Towson falls to Delaware in CAA final

Lack of NCAA tournament berth could spell end for Tigers coach

May 08, 2010|By Edward Lee | The Baltimore Sun

Now, the waiting begins -- not for the Towson men's lacrosse team, but for head coach Tony Seaman.

For the second time in as many seasons, the Tigers offered up a flat performance, scoring just once in the second and third quarters of the Colonial Athletic Association tournament final before trying to mount a rally that eventually failed in a 12-9 loss to visiting Delaware before an announced 2,189 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.

The Blue Hens (10-6), who last won the CAA title in 2007 when they beat the Tigers, 10-7, in Towson, sewed up the automatic qualifier and will join the field of 16 in the NCAA tournament when the bracket is revealed tonight.

The Tigers finished the season with a 7-8 record and may have also lost their coach in the process. Under Seaman, who is in the final year of a three-year contract, the team has missed the postseason in four of the past five years, and Seaman had to present his case to the administration after last season to remain Towson's coach for a 12th year.

On Friday, Seaman was named the Colonial Athletic Association Coach of the Year after the team overcame a 1-5 start to go 4-1 in the conference and clinch the top seed in the league tournament.

Speaking after the game, with athletic director Mike Hermann in attendance, Seaman lobbied for another chance.

"You should really direct that to Mr. Hermann," Seaman said when asked if the team's accomplishments warranted another year for him. "Of course, I do. I'd be crazy not to. I think we've proved our worth all the way around. I think it's a great staff, and I think our kids do great in the classroom. They probably have stayed out of trouble more than any other year that I've been here. They're good kids. You really just hope that everybody who's in charge will take a lot of things into consideration. Could be monumental. I could be the only Coach of the Year to ever be let go. But we'll see what happens."

Seaman, who boasts a career record of 260-156 in 29 years as a head coach, said he is itching to coach again.

"I've always hoped that I was going to be the one to decide when this thing was going to be over, and to know it and realize it and to step away. But I'm really not ready to do that," he said. "We've got maybe our best recruiting class that I've ever had coming here next year -- offensively. And we don't lose a whole lot. So I think it's going to be a pretty good team, and I'd love to be a part of it."

Towson opened the first quarter with a 3-1 advantage, but trailed, 9-4, after three quarters. The offense finally came alive in the final period, scoring three goals in a span of 2 minutes, 14 seconds. But Delaware senior attackman Curtis Dickson, who led all scorers with five goals, scored his fourth and fifth goals in a 42-second span to regain a four-goal cushion.

The Tigers scored twice more, but were shut out over the final 7:01.

Senior midfielder Will Harrington paced Towson with two goals and one assist, while junior attackman Tim Stratton added three assists.

In addition to scoring five goals, Dickson became the school's all-time leader in career goals with 162. He also registered his 12th hat trick of the season -- tops in the nation -- and extended his point streak to 56 consecutive games.

Junior goalkeeper Noah Fossner, whose mother died of cancer earlier in the week, finished with a season-high 16 saves, including stoning Stratton, who was alone on the crease for a full five seconds. Fossner was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

"As a 22-year-old kid -- and I'm still a kid at heart -- losing the person who gave birth to you is a big deal even if you're not thinking about it," Fossner said. "It's still a physical and emotional thing."

Notes: Harrington, fifth-year senior midfielder Christian Pastirik and junior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte were named to the All-Tournament team. ... Harrington scored a goal in each of the team's 15 games.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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