TOWSON, Md. — It was an instant classic at Johnny Unitas Stadium Wednesday night as the No. 7 Towson University men’s lacrosse team knocked off top-ranked Loyola University 12-10.
The Tigers (4-0) bookended the game with four goals in the first and five in the fourth to collect their first win over the number one team in the country, the program’s first since 1992. Brendan Sunday went off for four goals and one assist while keeper Tyler Canto made 14 saves, including a SportsCenter-worthy stop from the ground. Alex Woodall won 20 of the game’s 26 faceoffs.
Loyola (3-1) had a five-point game from two-time Tewaaraton Finalist Pat Spencer, who finished with four helpers and one goal. Kevin Lindley led the game with six goals. Jacob Stover made 13 saves in cage for the Greyhounds.
How it Happened
Towson, playing at home for the first time since Feb. 9, jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on the top-ranked Greyhounds as Grant Maloof ended a two-game drought with the game’s first at 12:26. Sunday followed along two minutes later with his 12th of the year.
Lindley scored his first of the day to cut the lead in half, but Towson made it 4-1 with back-to-back goals from Sunday and Timmy Monahan. Lindley ended the first quarter with a goal as 48 seconds hit the clock to make it 4-2 Towson.
Sunday logged his third of the day to open the scoring in the second quarter before Lindley made it a two-goal game again, 5-3. Luke Fromert added his sixth marker of the year to redouble Towson’s lead with 9:05 to play in the frame.
That goal was the Tigers’ final strike of the first half as Aidan Olmstead and Linldey scored twice more to finish the second quarter with Towson leading 6-5.
The two teams traded blows in the third quarter as Lindley scored yet again just over a minute into the fresh frame. The defenses took over, along with turnovers both ways, and kept the game scoreless until Sunday ended the drought with a tally at 34 seconds in the third.
Towson regained a two-goal buffer early in the final quarter on a Fromert goal 29 seconds in, fed by Sunday. Lindley and Towson’s Brody McLean went back and fourth before Spencer got his lone goal of the night with 6:19 to play in the game, trimming the Tiger advantage to one, 9-8.
The Tigers got two huge goals from Monahan and McLean, who scored on a Woodall feed off the draw to give Towson a three-goal advantage. The Greyhounds scored back-to-back goals at 3:09 and 2:13 from Scanlan and Alex Johnson to make it a one-goal affair.
Towson had the chance to run out the clock as Maloof banged a shot off the goal frame and reset the shot clock with 1:12 to play. The Tigers played keep-away before Jake McLean scored with just seven seconds to play to seal the 12-10 victory for Towson.
Behind the Numbers
It was an even game throughout as the two teams played even off the turf as both teams grabbed 31 ground balls. Woodall finished with 14 grounders, aided by a 20-of-26 night at the X.
Towson ripped 49 shots against the Greyhounds, who were limited to just 34. Loyola had one quarter with double digit shots, the second, when it had 11.
The second quarter was sloppy both ways as each team turned the ball over seven times. Towson had six miscues in the third before tightening up for just three in the fourth.
Wednesday’s win was the program’s first over a number one team since besting No. 1 Loyola 8-7 in overtime at home. The Tigers wore their gold throwback porthole style jerseys similar to the jerseys worn by the program’s teams in the late 80s and early 90s.
Towson snapped an 18-game losing skid against top-ranked teams while improving to 1-1 against Loyola when the Greyhounds are ranked first.
It was Towson’s third win over a top-20 team this season, with all three of those wins coming against opponents that beat Towson last season (#7 Johns Hopkins, #16 Georgetown, #1 Loyola).
Head coach Shawn Nadelen won his 76th career game, including 17 over opponents ranked in the top 20. The Tigers are 3-0 over Maryland schools this season.
Up Next for Towson
The Tigers are idle this weekend before heading to Charlotte, North Carolina for The Crown Lacrosse Event.
Towson will play two games in three days, first taking on Jacksonville on Friday, March 8 at 5:30 p.m. before drawing Cornell on Sunday, March 10 for a 1 p.m. showdown.