TOWSON, Md. – It was a tight game through the first 45 minutes, but the Towson University men’s lacrosse team exploded for eight goals in the final frame en route to a 17-9 win over visiting Drexel University Friday night.
The Tigers (4-6, 1-1 CAA) collected their first Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) win of the season as Johnny Giuffreda and Matt Sovero reset their career highs with five and three goals, respectively. Brendan Sunday tied his career best with a hat trick as well.
Drexel (4-6, 0-2 CAA) had a natural hat trick in the first quarter from Marshal King, but he was the only Dragon with multiple goals.
How it Happened
Towson roared out to a 3-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game. Phil Wies got the scoring started at 12:07, spinning around his defender and beating Chre Teitelbaum to the top corner.
Grant Maloof got the second goal at 11:05 before Giuffreda tagged the third goal of the game on a Wies feed.
King single handedly tied the game at 3-3 with a trio of goals in a five-minute span. Matthew Varian assisted on the third marker with 55 seconds left in the frame.
Towson got the game’s third three-goal run in the first six minutes of the second quarter as another trio of Tigers scored. Sunday got the ball rolling at 13:47 on a dodge from the wing before Sovero scored his first of the night on a Maloof feed at 12:17. Timmy Monahan capped the run with an unassisted marker at 8:34.
Drexel broke up the run with a Varian goal as he was falling down at 8:34.
Towson cracked off another two goals to finish the first half, both from Sovero for his first career hat trick. Both goals were similar as he scored on the run, blasting his shots past Teitelbaum’s left ear.
Towson held an 8-4 advantage at the break.
Jake McLean extended Towson’s goal spurt with his fourth of the year at 13:52 of the third quarter, with Sovero hitting him with the assist.
Drexel controlled the third quarter, out-scoring Towson 2-1 with goals at 8:55 from Varian and 2:13 from Reid Bowering. Marshal assisted both goals.
The fourth quarter, however, belonged to the Tigers as Towson potted eight goals and allowed just three. The Dragons scored two goals just five seconds apart from Cam Harris and faceoff man Jimmeh Koita, but Towson answered with markers from longstick midfielder Koby Smith and another Giuffreda goal.
Drexel got its final goal of the night at 10:39 of the fourth from defender Matt Klinges on a Cam Harris assist.
The Tigers reeled off six-straight goals to ice the conference game. Sunday, Giuffreda and Jean-Luc Chetner scored in succession in a three-minute stretch. Sunday got his second hat trick of the year at 6:20 of the final from before Giuffreda capped the night with back-to-back goals.
Behind the Numbers
Towson’s offense came alive after a three-goal performance last week at Hofstra.
The Tigers snapped a three-goal slide while picking up their first conference win of the year.
Towson out-shot Drexel 46-35, the most shots of the season, while putting 24 of those chances on goal. The Tigers ripped off 17 shots in the fourth quarter and another 10 came in the third frame.
Shane Brennan made 10 saves in goal for the Tigers while Teitelbaum stopped seven, including five in the final period.
Towson struggled at the faceoff X early before winning eight of the final 12 draws. Koita won 15 of the 30 chances while Towson’s Alex Woodall collected 11 wins on 22 chances. Steven Stillwell also went 50 percent, winning four draws.
The Tigers served five penalties, but limited the Dragons to just one extra-man goal, which came from King in the first quarter. Towson failed to score on its four chances.
A key to success for Towson was limiting turnovers; the Tigers had just 10 misuces while Drexel coughed the ball up 17 times. Close defenseman Chad Patterson forced three Drexel turnovers.
The Friday night game was Towson’s highest offensive performance since hanging 18 on Hobart during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. It was the second-most goals in a CAA game in the Shawn Nadelen Era (2012).
Towson improved to 10-2 as a Division I team when playing on April 6, including an 8-1 mark at home on this date.
The Tigers have won their last six meetings against Drexel, with the last loss coming during the 2015 regular season.
Up Next for Towson
Towson hits the road for the final time this regular season, heading the Amherst, Massachusetts next weekend.
The Tigers and the University of Massachusetts square off at Garber Field at 1 p.m.
The Minutemen improved to 2-0 in league play after gutting out a 9-8 win at Delaware Friday night.