TOWSON, Md. – Towson Lacrosse (7-2, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) held Delaware (5-4, 0-2 CAA) scoreless for over 30 minutes en route to an 11-8 comeback win over the Hens on Saturday evening at Unitas Stadium.
After Delaware ended the first quarter with a 5-1 lead, the Hens increased their advantage to 8-4 just 1:18 before halftime on an unassisted goal from Beau Jones. But that was UD’s last tally of the evening as Towson outscored Delaware 7-0 over the final two periods.
Eight Tigers scored in the victory. Junior co-captain Greg Cuccinello, freshman Ryan Drenner and sophomore Ben McCarty each tallied two goals. Junior Justin Mabus posted a career-high five points on one goal and a career-best four assists. Steve DeLargy and Jeff Heath each had two goals for UD.
“All credit goes to Delaware; they came out firing at the start,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen. “We weren’t as focused as we should have been. Obviously it was a huge, huge turnaround for our guys in the second half and I couldn’t be more pleased and proud of our team.”
Towson started the game flat, while Delaware came out charging. The Hens scored the first five goals of the game before Mabus found the back of the net at 4:49 in the first quarter. He assisted senior Thomas DeNapoli’s extra-man goal at the start of the second quarter when UD was called for pushing.
Delaware stayed out in front of the Tigers, extending its lead to 7-2 on a goal from Tom Holland at 6:33 in the second frame. Drenner and Cuccinello scored back-to-back goals at 4:23 and 3:14, respectively, before Jones posted UD’s last goal of the night.
During the break Towson shook off its lethargy and stepped up its defense, limiting the Blue Hens to six total shots in the second half.
“I don’t think we shot that well,” said Cuccinello, of the first half. “What really got us going in the second half was being a man down [after a team penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct] and getting the stop. As an offense, we draw a lot of confidence from our defense. We kept getting stop after stop. We knew that if we kept shooting, they’d fall eventually.”
Freshman Joe Seider, McCarty and Cuccinello each scored in the third quarter before senior Max Siskindevened the game at 8-8 at 1:54 in the third. Siskind picked up an uncontrolled Delaware save and scored falling down from point-blank range. It was his team-leading fourth EMO goal of the season. McCarty notched the game winner at 10:25 in the fourth.
Next up, Towson travels to Hofstra on Saturday, March 29 for a 7 p.m. face-off.
NOTES: Towson is now 10-3 all time in CAA season openers … Towson and Delaware have now played six straight times in the Tigers’ CAA opener and Towson has a 5-2 overall record against the Hens in league openers … 32 games between TU and UD have been decided by three goals or less … Towson is 20-12 in those match ups.
COLLEGE MEN’S LACROSSE: Delaware 8, Towson 11
Delaware (5-4, 0-1 CAA) 5-3-0-0/8
Towson (7-2, 1-0 CAA) 1-3-4-3/11
GOALS: TOW – Cuccinello 2, Drenner 2, McCarty 2, Mabus, DeNapoli, Seider, Siskind, Grimaldi; UD – DeLargy 2, Heath 2, Kean, Kormondy, Jones, Holland. ASSISTS: TOW – Mabus 4, Cuccinello 2, Drenner; UD – DeLargy, Finigan, Keane, Kormondy, Martinelli. SAVES: TOW – T White (3, 60:00, 8 GA); UD – C Peaks (4, 60:00, 11 GA). SHOTS: TOW – 41; UD – 20. GROUND BALLS: TOW – 27; UD – 21. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 8-21; UD – 13-21. EMO: TOW – 2-4; UD – 1-3. CAUSED TURNOVERS: TOW – 5; UD – 2. ATT: 1076.