Towson can't turn back Hofstra's second-half charge in 12-5 loss

Pride score all six coals in the third quarter, Tigers unable to answer

April 02, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

In the span of a 15-minute third quarter, Towson went from hopeful to humbled.

Clinging to a 3-3 tie at halftime, the host Tigers could only watch as No. 10 Hofstra erupted to score all six goals in the third quarter and cruise to a 12-5 rout in a critical Colonial Athletic Association contest before 1,404 at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday.

The last time the Tigers had welcomed a top-10 opponent to Towson, they pulled off a 9-8 upset of then-No. 4 Stony Brook. This time, there would be no such inspiring outcome as the Pride proved to be too much.

"They certainly showed why they're considered one of the best teams in the country in the second half today," Tigers coach Tony Seaman said. "We contributed to that by making some very poor decisions."

Towson sunk its own cause by committing 11 of its game-high 14 turnovers in the second half. That contributed to the offense taking just 10 shots over the same span.

For the game, the Tigers were outshot, 37-30, but more importantly, only 13 of those attempts tested Hofstra junior goalie Andrew Gvozden (eight saves).

"We had our chances," said junior attackman Matt Lamon, who paced Towson with two goals. "We either hit the kid or didn't put them on cage. They were getting their second chances. They were going the other way when we missed it or hit the kid."

There were two lead changes in the first half, including the Tigers overcoming a 2-1 deficit with a pair of goals from senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte and Lamon in the second quarter.

But Lamon's goal with 2:09 left in the period would be the last time Towson had the advantage.

Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Steven DeNapoli scored with 1:59 left in the second quarter to send the teams into intermission deadlocked. Hofstra (8-1 overall and 2-1 in the CAA) ran away in the third quarter, scoring four times in a span of 2 minutes, 29 seconds near the end of the period.

The Tigers finally answered when junior attackman Sean Maguire converted a feed from Mezzanotte 29 seconds into the fourth quarter, snapping a scoreless drought of 23:38. But by then, the game was out of reach.

"I thought we were sluggish, not sharp," said Pride coach Seth Tierney, whose squad was paced by senior attackman Jamie Lincoln's game-high five goals. "I thought that we worked a little bit harder in the second half, and the residual effect of hard work is a little bit of luck. … We had a game plan. We didn't follow it the way we wanted to, but the guys stayed with it, and we're certainly happy to be 2-1 in the CAA."

Towson dropped to 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the CAA. With just five contests left on the schedule — including showdowns with conference rivals No. 17 Massachusetts, Penn State and No. 18 Drexel — the Tigers badly need some wins to qualify for the four-team CAA tournament.

"It means I get another opportunity in my career to go on a five-game winning streak," senior goalkeeper Travis Love (11 saves) said. "It's happened before, it can happen again."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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