April 4, 2012

Towson Scores Final Four to Come Back on UMBC

from staff reports

TOWSON, Md. – Senior Sean Maguire scored with 17 seconds remaining to push the No. 19 Towson men's lacrosse team past crosstown rival UMBC, 12-11, Wednesday evening at Johnny Unitas® Stadium.

The Tigers, who have won five straight games to improve to 7-3, scored the final four goals of the game over a 7:30 span to pull off their second dramatic come-from-behind victory in a row.

"It's gratifying that we are finding ways to win," said Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen. "However, we need to put four quarters together."

Sophomore Thomas DeNapoli and senior Carl Iacona led Towson with three goals each. DeNapoli, who also added an assist, now has 10 points in his last two games.

The Tigers, who trailed at Hofstra on Saturday by a score of 9-3 with less than 12 minutes remaining in the game before roaring back, found themselves three goals (11-8) behind UMBC midway through the fourth quarter.

DeNapoli ignited the Towson rally by scooping in a shot that never left the ground, but squeaked by Retriever goalkeeper Adam Cohen for his second goal of the night. After the teams exchanged possessions, it was DeNapoli again with his 15th goal of the season to pull the Tigers to within 11-10 with 3:43 remaining.

Junior Matt Hughes then found the back of the cage off a feed from senior Matt Lamon to tie the game with 1:06 left. The Tigers won the ensuing face-off and UMBC's Ian Gray was called for a cross-check, giving Towson a man-up opportunity.

Senior Michael Brashears then found Maguire, who scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season with just 17 seconds remaining. It was the first lead for the Tigers since holding a narrow 6-5 advantage early in the third quarter.

"Coach Gilardi kept telling us to get the ball to the middle," said Maguire. "Mike (Brashears) fed me the ball, I turned and fired low just like the scouting report said, and it went in."

The final face-off of the game was won by the Tigers after Iacona scooped the groundball after a scrum to seal Towson's fifth straight victory.

Tiger goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage was marvelous in the cage, making a career-high 17 saves.

"Andrew (Wascavage) was fantastic," said Nadelen. "His extreme effort of 17 saves kept us in the game. He made saves almost every way possible. He used his stick, elbow, face, and foot, everything he had."

UMBC (3-5) took a 1-0 lead midway through the first quarter when Scott Jones scored off a pass from Joe Lustgarten. The Tigers tied the game at 1-1 with 6:30 left in the first period when Brashears scored off a pass from DeNapoli.

With 4:41 remaining in the first quarter, Iacona gave the Tigers a 2-1 lead when he scored on a 15-yard rocket out front. After a goal by UMBC junior Scott Hopmann tied the game at 2-2, Iacona's second goal gave the Tigers a 3-2 lead with 14:10 remaining in the first half.

The Retrievers bounced back and tied the game at 3-3 when sophomore Conor Finch scored off a pass from Lustgarten with 12:23 left in the half. With 3:52 remaining in the half, Hopmann scored his second goal to give the Retrievers a 4-3 advantage. With 1:03 left in the half, the Tigers tied the game for the fourth time as Iacona matched his career-high with his third goal of the game as he scored off a pass from Lamon.

That set the stage for a wild third quarter. DeNapoli and Hughes scored back-to-back goals in the opening minutes to give the Tigers a 6-4 advantage.|

However, UMBC responded by scoring three goals in a two-minute period to take a 7-6 lead. With 9:52 left in the quarter, sophomore Zach Linkous scored an extra man goal to pull UMBC within 6-5. Just seven seconds later, sophomore Matt Gregoire scored off a pass from Jones to tie the game at 6-6. With 7:52 left in the quarter, Jones put UMBC ahead when he took a pass from Rob Grimm and scored on the crease.

Less than a minute later, the Retrievers extended their lead to 8-6 on Hopmann's third goal of the game. But, the Tigers came right back and tied the game again. Current CAA Rookie of the Week Justin Mabus tallied a goal from the right side to pull the Tigers to within 8-7 before Andrew Hodgson's unassisted goal tied the game at 8-8.

The teams headed into the fourth quarter tied at 8-8, the sixth tie of the contest. The Retrievers immediately took momentum back, scoring three consecutive goals to go up 11-8 with 8:30 remaining. Gregoire tallied his second of the night and Jones posted back-to-back tallies to cap the run and give the road team a three-goal advantage.

Towson was outshot 42-30, but Wascavage balanced that stat out by making 17 saves to just seven for UMBC.

The Tigers will be seeking their first six-game winning streak since the 2004 season when the travel to second-ranked Massachusetts on Saturday. The CAA clash is set to begin at 1 p.m. from Garber Field in Amherst, Mass.


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