TOWSON, Md. — A 7-2 fourth quarter was not quite enough for the No. 9 Towson University men’s lacrosse team Saturday afternoon. The Tigers fell 14-10 in a Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) showdown with No. 19 University of Massachusetts at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium.
The Tigers (7-4, 2-1 CAA) fell behind 10-2 in the first 30 minutes before out-scoring the Minutemen 8-4 over the final two quarters. Brendan Sunday led the game with five points on four goals and one assist. Alex Woodall went 18-of-28 at the X along with eight ground balls.
UMass (8-4, 2-1 CAA) was backed by 17 saves from keeper Sean Sconone. Jeff Trainor and Gabriel Procyk finished with hat tricks as Chris Connolly logged four points on three helpers and one goal.
How it Happened
UMass struck first in the first 90 seconds of the game after Towson’s Zach Goodrich was called for a hold. Procyk scored on the extra-man chance. Towson tied the game two and a half minutes later as Sunday found the back of the net for the first time.
The Minutemen capitalized on one-on-one plays and scored six unanswered, unassisted goals. Kevin Cutinella scored, followed by back-to-back goals from Charlie O’Brien. Ben Spencer ended the first quarter scoring with 48 seconds to play before Kevin Tobin scored at 12:30 of the second. Procyk got the final goal of the run at 8:19 of the second.
Sunday ended the run with his second to make it 7-2, but the Minutemen logged three more goals to end the first half. Trainor scored back-to-back goals followed by Procyk’s third with five seconds to play in the half for a 10-2 UMass lead.
The Tigers wasted little time scoring in the third quarter as Koby Smith collected a loose ball and hit Brody McLean in transition for a goal to make it 10-3.
UMass got back-to-back goals from Connolly on the man-up and Spencer at even strength for a 12-3 lead with 1:56 left in the third quarter.
Greg Ey halted the small run with a marker at 14:20 of the fourth, but reigning CAA Player of the Year Isaac Paparo scored 12 seconds later for a 13-4 lead.
Down but not out, the Tigers showed resiliency and made it a game again with five unchecked goals from four different sources. Tim Montgomery started the run on an inside feed from Drew Laundry. Sunday continued the run followed by Matt Sovero’s first goal of the season at 10:23 of the fourth. Luke Fromert cashed in on a man-up chance with 8:43 to play as Timmy Monahan slid a pass over for a five-hole goal.
Sunday capped the run with nearly half the quarter to play as he drove from the endline and scored. Trainor got the final goal for the Minutemen with 2:35 to play before Fromert posted his second of the day at 2:13.
Behind the Numbers
Towson out-shot the Minutemen 52-34, but the Tigers were thwarted 17 times by Sconone. Towson got nine saves from Tyler Canto in goal.
The Tigers won the ground ball battle 29-24, including 19 in the second half. Woodall finished with a game-best eight.
The program’s career faceoff wins leader added 18 to his total in 28 chances. He faced one opponent Saturday, Tom Meyers, who won 10 draws and had five ground balls.
Towson had a near-perfect clearing day, gaining the zone 17 times on 18 chances. The lone failed clear came later in the game.
The Tigers turned the ball over just eight times, with only four miscues in the second half. UMass had 16 turnovers, five of which were caused. Goodrich led Towson with three forces.
Up Next for Towson
The Tigers begin a two-game road swing to cap the regular season next weekend.
Towson makes the quick trip up Interstate 95 next Saturday for a clash with Delaware.
Game time is set for noon at under-construction Delaware Stadium.