TOWSON, Md. – Using a hot start and jumping out a 5-0 lead at halftime, the No. 17 Towson men’s lacrosse team topped Hobart 9-6 Saturday afternoon. It was the Tigers’ first game at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium in nearly a month after Towson was on the road for its last five games.
The Tigers (5-2) blanked the Statesmen in the first half while taking a 5-0 lead thanks to four goals from four different sources in the first quarter. Hobart (3-3) made a run at the Tigers, out-scoring Towson 6-4 in the second half but the hot start kept the comeback bid at bay.
“I’m excited to get a win against a tough team,” said Towson’s fourth year head coach Shawn Nadelen. “Hobart showed some good resolve, especially at the faceoff position. It got them a lot of possession time. I’m glad the way we started the game, starting out hot, getting that five goal lead at halftime. We came out decent in the second half but obviously allowed them to creep back into it, putting us under some pressure. I thought our guys did a good job for the most part, staying pretty poised, making some nice plays and getting the ball into the offensive end.”
Towson got goals from six different players in its first game against Hobart since 1980. Ryan Drenner, Andrew Hodgson and Spencer Parks potted a pair each. Joe Seider, Tyler Konen and Alec Burckley all notched one goal. Drenn and Hodgson had three-point games with one assist each while Seider and Mike Lynch also had one assist.
Hobart got a pair of goals from Taylor Vanderbeek as Frank Brown, Matt Opshal, Max Romm and Zach Reed all had one. Tewaarton Award candidate Alex Love was limited to just two assists, despite a game-high nine shots.
Coming into Saturday’s game, the Tigers’ scoring defense was ranked eighth in the country. Despite losing starting defender Andrew Cordes, Towson held its opponent to single digit goals for the sixth time this season. Tyler White backstopped a defense that saw Hobart turn the ball over 14 times. White made 10 saves for Towson while his counterpart, Jackson Brown, stopped seven Tiger shots.
Faceoffs were a tail of two halves as Burckley, who scored his first career goal, went four-of-seven in the first half. Hobart won nine of the 12 draws in the half thanks to a 12-of-15 outing from J. Andrew Spallanza. Burckley finished at 50 percent, winning five of his 10 chances while longstick Pat Conroy went two-of-nine.
Towson ripped off the first five goals of the game, with Konen, Parks, Burckley and Hodgson all scoring in the first, followed by Seider early in the second. Hobart’s defense cooled the Tigers’ hot start as the rest of the quarter went scoreless as the teams combined for just nine shots in the second stanza, with only three by Towson.
The visiting Statesmen tallied four of the next five goals, scoring back-to-back to open the third quarter from Opshal and Reed. Drenner tallied his seventh of the year at the midway point of the third before Hobart struck twice early in the fourth, cutting Towson’s lead to two, 6-4.
Parks and Hodgson, who now has at least one point in his last 26 appearances, tacked on insurance goals within a minute of one another midway through the fourth period. The Statesmen again scored back-to-back marks from Vanderbeek and Romm, making it a two-goal game again, 8-6. Drenner tucked away the game’s final goal, splitting a triple team as Hobart sent Brown out of the cage to play defense. Drenner’s shot was nearly blocked by a Statesman, but it found the back of the net to seal the Tiger’s second win at home in three games.
The Tigers play their second-straight home game Tuesday night as they welcome Ohio State University to Johnny Unitas ® Stadium. Action is set for 7 p.m. and can been seen on the Towson Sports Network.