High Point, N.C. – Sophomore Cory Dobyns scored four goals in his first outing as a Tiger, but the Towson men’s lacrosse team (0-1) opened 2013 with a 9-7 loss at High Point (1-1) Friday afternoon in Vert Stadium.
It was High Point’s first-ever win in collegiate lacrosse. The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead before Towson tied it at 2-2. With the score at 3-3, HPU went on a three-goal run to hold a 6-3 lead at the start of the second half. The Tigers scored three goals in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers held off the late Towson charge. HPU out-shot Towson 33-28 and won 13 of 21 face-offs. Both teams were 50 percent in extra man opportunities.
Senior Andrew Wascavage set a career high with six ground balls, and junior Jordan Fortmann caused a career-best three turnovers.
“We did not match the energy from High Point today and made way too many mistakes to earn a win,”said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “Congrats to High Point on their first program win. We needed our veterans to finish the plays they were in position to make, and unfortunately, our freshmen played like freshmen today. We will regroup, learn from our carelessness and mistakes and get ready for Hopkins.”
High Point opened the scoring with 8:24 left in the first quarter when the Tigers went on the penalty kill. The Panthers’ Bucky Smith took advantage of the slashing penalty, scoring low to put HPU on the board first. Just over a minute later, Brad James scored to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.The Tigers tested Panther goalie Austin Geisler early and often in the first quarter but were unable to find the back of the net.
Senior Matt Hughes scored the first Tiger goal of the season when he beat Geisler low left with 10 minutes left in the second quarter. Towson knotted the score at 2-2 a minute and a half later when Dobyns scored a man-up goal – his first goal as a Tiger – off a feed from sophomore Rob Zoppo.
The teams traded goals in the middle of the second quarter. Matt Thistle gave High Point a 3-2 lead with 6:21 remaining before Dobyns scored again off a pass from sophomore Justin Mabus to tie the game at 3-3. But High Point scored two quick goals from Dan Lomas and Smith to run up a 5-3 advantage at the half.
High Point continued to have a hot hand at the start of the third quarter. Lomas rifled a shot past Towson’s Wascavage with the assist to Matt Siegmund to give the Panthers a 6-3 lead three and a half minutes into the third quarter. Towson answered when Dobyns and Zoppo connected again on a man-up chance to make it 6-4 at 9:40. Lomas recorded a hat trick with eight minutes left in the third quarter to keep the Panthers in front by three, 7-4.
Junior Thomas DeNapoli posted his first goal of the season with 9:44 left in the game. He dodged a defender in front of the cage and scored from just outside the crease to cut High Point’s lead to 7-5. Lomas added his fourth goal of the game, off a feed from James with at 8:58 in the final quarter. His underhanded shot beat Wascavage high right to make it 8-5 in favor of HPU. However, Dobyns notched his fourth goal of the game at 6:42 in the fourth quarter when he received a pass from senior Neil Hutchinson and slid a shot past Geisler’s right side.
Towson trimmed High Point’s lead to 8-7 on a goal from junior Andrew Hodgson at 1:35, but the Panthers’ Jamie Piluso won the ensuing face-off and scored a fast break goal just six seconds later for the final 9-7 margin.
Towson returns to action in its home opener against Johns Hopkins at Unitas Stadium at 7 p.m. on February 16.