Baltimore, Md. – Behind junior Thomas DeNapoli’s seven goals and 10 points, the Towson men’s lacrosse team defeated UMBC, 12-9, Tuesday evening at UMBC Stadium.
The game was close from the start. UMBC scored first and stayed a goal ahead until the Retrievers took a 5-3 lead at 10:55 in the second quarter. But that advantage didn’t last long before DeNapoli scored his first man-up goal of the year just under four minutes later. He tied the game at eight apiece at 2:37 with his sixth goal of the game. That score keyed a five-goal run for the Tigers that sealed the win.
“We were very happy to get the win,” said head coach Shawn Nadelen. “Obviously you need them all but getting a win against a good team and in-state rival is important. It was nice to see us rebound and show we had it in us. Going into CAA play with the way the guys fought tonight was really good to see.”
DeNapoli’s goal total was a career high and marked the first time since 2003 a Tiger had six or more goals in a road game. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage tied his season high with 15 saves. Sophomore Cory Dobynsadded two. UMBC freshman Pat Young led the Retrievers with a hat trick. Each team took 39 shots for the game, but UMBC picked up 26 ground balls to Towson’s 22.
The Tigers’ defense struggled in the first half, conceding four goals in the first quarter, and Towson lost the ground ball battle, 12-5, in that frame.
“I know [the defense] didn’t play the way they wanted in the first half,” said DeNapoli. “But they stepped up big in the second half.”
“Our problem was really picking up ground balls,” said Wascavage. “Ï left some rebounds out there I shouldn’t have. Thomas really carried us through the first half, and we stepped it up in the second half.”
At halftime the Tigers made adjustments and limited the Retrievers to two goals the entire second half. Towson also strengthened its face-off play in the last three quarters. After going 1-for-8 in the first frame, freshman Pat Conroy took over duties at the “X” and went 7-fo-13.
“Conroy’s play was awesome,” continued Wascavage. “Neutralizing [Phil] Poe was big. He’s a good face-off guy. Winning the ball meant keeping the ball down on our offensive end.”
The Tigers finish a four-game road trip and open Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) play on Friday, March 22 at Delaware at 7 p.m.
NOTES: Thomas DeNapoli scored a career-high seven goals for Towson … it marked the first time since 2003 a Tiger had six or more goals in a road game … DeNapoli’s 10 points marked the first time since March 31, 2012 when he did it against Mercer on 3g and 3a …
College Men’s Lacrosse: Towson 12, UMBC 9
Towson (3-5) 3-4-2-3/12
UMBC (2-4) 4-3-1-1/9
GOALS: TOW – DeNapoli 7, Dobyns 2, Bolewicki, Hodgson, McCarty, Bolewicki; UMBC – Young 3, Jones 2, Lewnes Nate, Campbell, Gregoire, Lewnes Neill. ASSISTS: TOW – DeNapoli 3, Mabus 2, Cuccinello, Zoppo; UMBC – Lewnes Nate 2, Campbell, Gregoire, Young. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (14, 60:00, 9 goals allowed); UMBC – DiRito (8, 60:00, 12 goals allowed). SHOTS: TOW – 39; UMBC – 39. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 22; UMBC – 26. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 10-25; UMBC – 15-25. CLEARS: TOW – 11-14; UMBC – 9-11. EMO: TOW – 2-5; UMBC – 0-4. ATT: 545