Towson aims to continue hot play Saturday at Hofstra

March 29, 2014 | WNST Staff

TOWSON, Md. - Towson and Hofstra – both receiving votes in the USILA poll – face-off on Saturday, March 29 at 7 p.m. at Shuart Stadium in Hempstead, N.Y.

Opening Face-Off
The Tigers continued their winning ways with an 11-8 decision over Delaware in Towson’s Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) season opener. Hofstra comes into Saturday’s contest after an 11-9 win at Drexel. The Pride have victories over the Dragons and Delaware in conference play.

Updating the Tigers
After spotting Delaware a 5-0 lead, Towson came roaring back to defeat the Blue Hens 11-8 at Unitas Stadium on March 22. The Tigers held the Hens scoreless for the final 31:18 of the game. Junior Justin Mabus led all players with a career-best five points (1g, 4a).

Scouting the Pride
Hofstra started the season 0-2 before putting together four-game winning streak. That streak was snapped by an 11-10 overtime loss to Saint John’s on March 18. All of the Pride’s games so far this season have been decided by two goals or fewer. Hofstra’s 22 CAA goals have been evenly divided over four quarters (5-5-7-5) and the Pride averages 34 shots in two games.

Towson-Hofstra Series History
Begun in 1961, Towson and Hofstra have played each other 44 times. The series pre-dates reliable records; five times the teams played where the sites of the games were unknown. Hofstra leads these meetings, 3-2. The Tigers have historically fared better at home, winning 12 of 19 games played in Towson. Towson won five straight games from 2003 to 2005, but Hofstra proceeded to win six of the next seven games until falling in the 2012 double-overtime thriller.

Last Time Out vs. Hofstra - March 30, 2013 (Hofstra 6, Towson 7)
Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage made a then-season-high 19 saves and Justin Mabus and Andrew Hodgson each scored four points in the 7-6 victory over then-No. 15 Hofstra at Unitas Stadium. It was Towson’s first win over a ranked team in 2013 and first at home since a 9-8 victory over then-No. 5 Brook on March 19, 2011. Wascavage faced 42 shots on the evening, withstanding a late Pride charge and turning away eight shots in the final period. Hodgson and Mabus each had two goals and two assists for the Tigers, who took a sizable 7-4 lead with 6:43 remaining in the game on Mabus’ second tally of the evening. Hodgson’s four points were a career best, while Mabus also notched a personal best with two goals. Adrian Sorichetti had a goal and an assist to lead the Pride.

Three Things to Watch
1. It will be a battle of the two CAA weekly honorees: Player of the Week Drew Coholan and Rookie of the WeekRyan Drenner. Coholan scored eight goals as the Pride went 1-1 last week. Drenner scored five points (3g, 2a) in a 2-0 Towson week.

2. Both teams are careful with the ball. Towson and Hofstra both rank in the top 10 in the NCAA in turnovers per game. The Pride stands third with just 11.88 miscues per game, while Towson is sixth (12.00).

3. Home field advantage is key. Hofstra holds a 13-6 lead at home in the all-time series and is 4-1 at Shuart Stadium this season. Towson has performed better at home in 2014, going 6-0 at The U.

Drenner Earns CAA Rookie of the Week Honors
Freshman Ryan Drenner scored five points in two games to earn Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) Rookie of the Week honors for the week of March 24. The midfielder scored one goal and added one assist in a 10-8 win over UMBC on March 18. His tally was an extra-man goal (EMO) that put Towson ahead early, 3-2. His assist came on an EMO goal that gave the Tigers some breathing room, 9-7, at 4:31 in the fourth quarter. The Westminster, Md. native contributed two goals and one assist in the 11-8 victory over Delaware on March 22. Drenner scored Towson’s third goal and the Tigers’ final goal on Saturday. He assisted the goal that cut UD’s lead to 8-7 at 7:27 in the third quarter. The two goals against the Hens tied his career high and marked the second time this season he has posted a multi- goal game. Drenner has nine goals and nine assists on the year. The rookie is also second on the team in EMO goals (3) and total points (18).

Next Up
Towson remains on the road, heading north to UMass to play the Minutemen on Saturday, April 5 at 1 p.m.

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