DURHAM, N.C. — Despite a four-goal performance from Brendan Sunday and a 19-of-24 day at the faceoff X from Alex Woodall, the No. 5 Towson University men’s lacrosse team fell 12-10 at No. 2 Duke Saturday afternoon at Koskinen Stadium.
Sunday finished his day with five points behind four goals and one assist. Woodall won nine of the 11 faceoffs in the second half and led the game with 16 ground balls. Tyler Canto made 16 saves in goal for Towson. Turnovers hurt the Tigers (5-2) as Towson committed 25, including eight in a crucial fourth quarter.
Duke (7-1) had three goals from Brad Smith while Joey Manown contributed two. Manown added two assists to his day as well.
How it Happened
After a feeling-out period that lasted the first half of the opening quarter, the Blue Devils scored first as Smith scored the first of the game at 7:42 on a feed from Reilly Walsh.
The Tigers tied the game for the first time at 6:35 as Grant Maloof shook his defender off at the top of the box and stung home a bouncer to make it 1-1. The Blue Devils regained the lead at 5:22 of the first on a clean-up goal from Manown, who got the loose ball after a Canto save.
The Tigers scored back-to-back goals across the quarter break as Brody McLean got his first of the day with 97 seconds to go on a feed from Monahan, who then scored 56 seconds into the fresh frame for a 3-2 Towson lead.
Duke went on a three-goal run in a two-minute span for a 5-3 lead as Jake Seau, Kevin Quigley and Jordan Ginder all scored. Towson answered back at 3:52 of the second quarter on Monahan’s second goal of the day with Maloof on the extra-man assist.
The Blue Devils regained a two-goal lead, 6-4, on Smith’s second, but Towson got the final two goals of the opening 30 minutes from Greg Ey, his first career tally. Sunday ended the first half with an ankle-shattering move from behind the goal and a sprawling dive to make it 6-6 with 63 seconds on the clock.
Sunday continued his second early in the third period as he and Alex Woodall connected just six seconds in off the draw to break the stalemate. Five minutes later, the Tigers took advantage of a 6-on-4 as Nick DelBene potted his first of the season on a Maloof assist.
The Blue Devils re-tied the game to end the third quarter with goals from Manown at 6:44 and Cade Van Raaphorst at 6:26 to make it 8-8 at the end of the frame.
Duke broke the 8-8 tie with back-to-back goals in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter from Joe Robertson and Garrett Leadmon. Manown assisted the former.
Towson cut it to 10-9 with 5:59 to play in regulation on Sunday’s third of the afternoon but the Blue Devils scored twice in the final two minutes to take a 12-9 lead on Smith’s final goal and one from John Prendergast with 36 seconds to play.
Down but not out and with a capable faceoff specialist, Towson made it a two-goal, 12-10 game with 19 seconds left, but Towson could not complete the miracle comeback.
Behind the Numbers
Duke out-shot the Tigers 40-35, including 10-6 in the final quarter. The Tigers out-shot the Blue Devils 10-9 in the third quarter.
Canto made 16 saves, stopping five in the final 15 minutes. Duke’s Turner Uppgren made five saves on the afternoon as Towson put 15 of its 35 shots on goal.
Woodall finished the day with 19 faceoff wins on 24 tries, an 80-percent afternoon. He collected 16 of Towson’s 26 ground balls while facing off against three different Blue Devils.
For the first time this season, the Tigers were out-ground balled 31-26, due in part to the Tigers miscues in the second half. The Tigers cleared eight times on 14 qualifying chances.
Despite the loss, Towson still leads the all-time series 7-4.
Up Next for Towson
After spending the last two weekend in North Carolina, the Tigers return home to Johnny Unitas ® Stadium next Saturday.
Towson hosts No. 10 Denver for its sixth game against a ranked opponent this season.
Game time is set for noon and will be the CAA Game of the Week on Lax Sports Network.
The Pioneers (4-2) were idle this weekend after their game at Ohio State was cancelled due to weather in Denver.