Les­son learned, Tigers rally for win

No. 14 Tow­son faces early mul­ti­ple-goal deficit again but roars back to deal No. 20 Blue Hens first con­fer­ence loss

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - LACROSSE - By Edward Lee

NE­WARK, DEL. — Not again.

For the sec­ond con­sec­u­tive game, the Tow­son men’s lacrosse team found it­self star­ing at a mul­ti­ple-goal deficit af­ter one quar­ter. Un­like that loss to No. 15 Mas­sachusetts on April 13, how­ever, the No. 14 Tigers bat­tled back and scored 11 goals over the next 30 min­utes to out­last No. 20 Delaware, 14-12, be­fore an an­nounced 1,113 at Delaware Sta­dium on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

Tow­son not only im­proved to 8-4 over­all and 3-1 in the Colo­nial Athletic As­so­ci­a­tion, but also tagged the Blue Hens with their first con­fer­ence loss. Delaware (10-3, 3-1) is now tied with the Tigers for first place in the league but has ceded the all-im­por­tant head-to-head tiebreaker to Tow­son.

The Tigers are in the hunt for the CAA reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onship and the right to host the con­fer­ence tour­na­ment be­cause they found their rhythm in the sec­ond quar­ter. Trail­ing 5-2 af­ter the open­ing quar­ter, the of­fense scored four goals in a span of 61 sec­onds. Af­ter the Blue Hens scored twice to re­as­sume a 7-6 lead, Tow­son closed the first half with a pair of goals for an 8-7 lead.

“We just knew that we had to get back into the game,” said senior mid­fielder Grant Maloof, who led all scor­ers with a game­high six points on a ca­reer-best five goals and one as­sist. “We had to cre­ate our own spark. The of­fense started get­ting hot. We had an ex­tra-man op­por­tu­nity that we cashed in on, and that re­ally jump-started our whole of­fense for the rest of the half and through­out the third and fourth quar­ters.”

Three of the Tigers’ scores in the four-goal run to be­gin the sec­ond quar­ter were de­liv­ered by a man-up unit that con­verted all four op­por­tu­ni­ties. With senior mid­fielder Thomas Aloe serv­ing a full one-minute penalty for cross-check­ing with 13:42 re­main­ing and then fresh­man de­fense­man Kevin McCormick flagged for a 30-sec­ond de­lay of game penalty for rolling the ball away, Maloof, senior at­tack­man Bren­dan Sun­day and ju­nior at­tack­man Brody McLean scored be­fore Aloe could re­turn to the field.

“We were mov­ing the ball, and they had a tough time ro­tat­ing and find­ing our guys,” said Sun­day, who had five points on four goals and one as­sist. “Brody got in­side a cou­ple times, Grant had a cou­ple step­downs. They just seemed like they were a lit­tle slower to go than nor­mal. So we were just run­ning our sets to the best of our abil­ity.”

For coach Shawn Nade­len, Tow­son’s re­sponse to the first-quar­ter hole was a com­fort­ing de­par­ture from the 14-10 set­back to the Min­ute­men, who turned a 5-1 ad­van­tage into a 10-2 rout by half­time.

“We needed to set­tle down,” he said. “I felt like we were maybe a lit­tle too emo­tional or not as fo­cused as we needed to be. We just needed to get some rhythm, get some mo­men­tum. I thought that was kind of the big­ger piece com­ing out of that first quar­ter, that we just needed to set­tle down.”

Af­ter the Tigers went on a 7-0 spurt over an 11:58 stretch span­ning the sec­ond and third pe­ri­ods, Delaware mounted a come­back with four unan­swered goals to close to 13-11 with 8:07 left. But ju­nior goal­keeper Tyler Canto (10 saves) turned back point­blank chances by fresh­man at­tack­man Jake Govett and ju­nior at­tack­man Bryce Reid, and senior mid­fielder Timmy Mon­a­han added an in­sur­ance goal with 5:57 re­main­ing.

“I get su­per-ex­cited when I make those saves be­cause nine out of 10 times, I know that they’re go­ing to go the other way and they’re go­ing to get that goal,” Canto said. “So just to bring that energy back to us, it’s just a great feel­ing.”

Tow­son also got a sig­nif­i­cant lift from ju­nior face­off spe­cial­ist Jack McNallen, who re­placed senior Alex Woodall af­ter he won the first five draws but left with what ap­peared to be a blood­ied lip. McNallen went 14-of-23 with a game-high nine ground balls, in­clud­ing a 9-of-10 stretch in the sec­ond and third quar­ters.

Blue Hens coach Ben DeLuca, who em­ployed four dif­fer­ent play­ers on draws, sounded en­vi­ous of the Tigers’ abil­ity to call up another pro­lific face­off spe­cial­ist.

“The fact that they were able to call up another guy who was so ef­fec­tive speaks to their depth,” he said. “We did as much as we could to make some ad­just­ments, but they weren’t enough.” Tow­son

Delaware

Goals: T—Maloof 5, Sun­day 4, B.McLean 2, Mon­a­han 2, Fromert; D—DiSi­mone 4, Eisele 4, Fini­gan, Govett, Jack­son, Kitchen, Miller. As­sists: T—Mon­a­han 2, Fromert, Maloof, B.McLean, J.McLean, Sun­day; D—Fini­gan, Kitchen, Kurtz, Reid. Saves: T—Canto 10; D—DeLuca 8.

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