PHILADELPHIA – The Towson men’s lacrosse (7-7, 3-2 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) team scored six straight goals in the second half but the Tigers’ comeback fell short as No. 17 Drexel (10-3, 5-1 CAA) claimed a 14-11 victory on a windy Saturday afternoon at Vidas Field.
Junior Thomas DeNapoli recorded his sixth hat trick and second five-plus goal game of the season with six goals. Sophomore Greg Cuccinello added a pair of goals for Towson. Robert Church and Ryan Belka led Drexel with four goals.
“Drexel played very well offensively and took advantage of our mistakes on the defensive end,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “We had a decent first half and gave them a couple opportunities to get back in it with costly penalties. They came out firing in the third quarter, and we couldn’t earn a possession, which allowed for their run. I was proud of how our guys battled back from down eight goals to get within three, but we just couldn’t erase such a big deficit with the way we played earlier.”
DeNapoli opened the scoring just 44 seconds into the game, when he rolled right about 15 yards out and beat Drexel’s Cal Winkelman low. He posted the game’s second goal, again unassisted, at 12:07 and netted a hat trick at 4:18 in the first quarter when he ripped a shot while curling right around the goal. Drexel got on the board with a minute left in the first frame on a goal from Church.
DeNapoli picked up where he left off at 4:37 in the second off a Brian Bolewicki pass, but the Dragons answered with three straight goals from Belka (two goals) and McIntosh to even the score at 4-4 at 1:58. The Tigers briefly retook the lead, 5-4, with 43 seconds left in the first half when senior Matt Hughes buried a shot from junior Andrew Hodgson. But the Dragons knotted it the score again with 9.5 second left on Belka’s third goal of the day.
Drexel had an explosive third quarter, scoring eight goals to take a 13-5 lead at 4:32. The Dragons held the Tigers scoreless for 12:05 before Hodgson snapped the Dragons’ rally with a goal off a feed from DeNapoli. The junior’s tally started a six-goal Towson run that continued into the fourth quarter and featured goals from DeNapoli (two goals), Cuccinello (two goals) and sophomore Justin Mabus. The run helped Towson cut Drexel’s advantage to 13-11 with 6:57 remaining in the game.
On Saturday, April 20, the Tigers host Saint Joseph’s on Senior Day at 7 p.m. at Unitas Stadium to wrap up the regular season.
NOTES: DeNapoli posted his sixth hat trick of the season … DeNapoli and Hodgson stretched points streaks to 15 games … Wascavage stretched a 10-plus saves game streak to 15 games … This was the second time in 2013 DeNapoli has scored six or more goals in a game … Drexel went on a nine-goal run over the second and third quarters while Towson scored six straight over the third and fourth quarters.
College Men’s Lacrosse: Towson 11, No. 17 Drexel 14
Towson (7-7, 3-2 CAA) 3-2-3-3/11
No. 17 Drexel (10-3, 5-1 CAA) 1-4-8-1/14
GOALS: TOW – DeNapoli 6, Cuccinello 2, Hodgson, Mabus, Hughes; DRE – Belka 4, Church 4, McIntosh 2, Saputo, Frederick, Brown, Prosser. ASSISTS: TOW – Bolewicki, Hodgson, DeNapoli; DRE – Church 3, McIntosh 2, Saputo. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (12, 40:28, 13 GA), Graves (2, 19:32, 1 GA); DRE – Winkelman (11, 60:00, 11 GA). SHOTS: TOW – 46; DRE – 42. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 27; DRE – 35. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 12-29; DRE – 17-29. CLEARS: TOW – 13-14; DRE – 13-17. EMO: TOW – 0-1; DRE – 1-3. ATT: 953.