BALTIMORE, Md. - Junior Andrew Hodgson and sophomore Ben McCarty teamed up on the game-winning goal in overtime as Towson men’s lacrosse (5-5, 1-0 Colonial Athletic Association (CAA)) defeated Delaware (2-7, 0-2 CAA), 7-6, Friday evening at Delaware Stadium.
For just the second time all season, Towson scored first and took a 2-1 lead into the second quarter. However Delaware scored five straight goals to take a 6-3 lead midway through the third quarter. The Tigers scored back-to-back goals in the fourth to trim the Hens’ lead to 6-5 with 8:09 remaining in the game and got last-minute heroics from sophomore Greg Cuccinello, who scored with 2.6 seconds left in regulation on a dribbler to send the game into overtime. Hodgson buried a high-low shot past the Delaware keeper from 13 yards out for the game winner with 1:45 showing on the clock in overtime.
Towson is now 4-2 in CAA season openers against the Blue Hens.
“Our team played tough all night but missed some good opportunities in the first half,” said head coach Shawn Nadelen. “I was proud of the way we dug in during the fourth quarter and overtime to earn the win against a strong Delaware team.”
Sophomore Cory Dobyns and Hodgson led the Tigers with two goals. Sophomores Justin Mabus and Cuccinello and junior Thomas DeNapoli each scored a goal for Towson. Redshirt sophomore Rob Zoppo, Hodgson, DeNapoli and McCarty each added an assist. Senior Andrew Wascavage made 13 saves in net for TU. Ian Robertson and Nick Diachenko each posted two goals for Delaware. Connor Peaks made 11 saves for UD.
Towson and Delaware split the face-offs eight apiece, and the Tigers outshot the Blue Hens 42-27 and picked up 29 ground balls to UD’s 27.
Dobyns scored his 16th of the year just outside the crease off a feed from Zoppo at 8:40 in the first. Mabus notched his second goal in two games when he scored unassisted just over two minutes later. Diachenko followed with the Blue Hens’ first of the game at 4:14. DeNapoli extended his points streak to 11 games when he notched the Tigers’ third goal of the half at 12:31 in the second for a 3-1 Towson lead.
But Delaware scored the next three straight goals to lead at the break. The Hens continued to generate offense at the start of the third. Robertson scored his second of the game after a failed Towson clear to give UD a 5-3 lead at 10:38 then assisted on Beau M. Jones’ goal at 6:05.
The Blue Hens extended their lead to three goals when Jones and Robertson teamed up to beat Wascavage high left. Dobyns ended a 29:54 scoring drought for the Tigers with an EMO tally at 12:37 in the fourth. Hodgson’s unassisted goal with 8:09 to go in the game inched Towson within one, 6-5.
Cuccinello’s ninth goal of the year forced overtime, and the Tigers won the opening face-off in the extra period. McCarty rifled a pass to Hodgson who was waiting 13 yards out and ripped his shot past Peaks for the winner.
Towson returns home to Johnny Unitas® Stadium to host CAA foe No. 10 Hofstra on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.
NOTES: Towson and Delaware met in the Tigers’ CAA opener for the sixth time and fourth straight … Towson is 4-2 in those games … Thomas DeNapoli extended his points streak to 11 games with his goal in the first quarter … After not scoring in the first eight games, Justin Mabus has now posted a goal in back-to-back games … Towson scored first for just the second time in 2013 … The Tigers suffered through a 29:54 scoring drought in the middle of the game … Cory Dobyns scored his team-leading seventh EMO goal … He came into the week ranked tied for second in the nation in EMO goals … This was the third time this season Towson required overtime … The Tigers are now 2-1 in overtime this season.
College Men’s Lacrosse: Towson 7, Delaware 6
Towson (5-5, 1-0) 2-1-0-3-1/7
Delaware (2-7, 0-2) 1-3-2-0-0/6
GOALS: TOW – Dobyns 2, Hodgson 2, DeNapoli, Mabus, Cuccinello; UD – Diachenko 2, Robertson 2, Fitzgerald, Jones. ASSISTS: TOW – Zoppo, DeNapoli, Hodgson, McCarty; UD – Jones, Robertson. SAVES: TOW – Wascavage (13, 62:15, 6 goals allowed); UD – Peaks (11, 62:15, 7 goals allowed). SHOTS: TOW – 42; UD – 27.GROUND BALLS: TOW – 29; UD – 27. FACE-OFFS: TOW – 8-16; UD – 8-16. CLEARS: TOW – 13-16; UD – 12-15.EMO: TOW – 1-4; UD – 0-4. ATT: 325