TOWSON, Md. – For just the second time in Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) men’s lacrosse history, a program has won three-straight conference tournaments. And both of those honors belong to the Towson University men’s lacrosse team.
Top-seeded Towson (10-4) knocked off fourth-seeded UMass 9-4 on Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas ® Stadium as the Tigers punched their ticket to the NCAA Tournament for a third straight season and 14th time as a Division I program. No other program in CAA history has three-peated as the Tigers do so for the third time since joining the conference in 2002.
Four Tigers were named to the CAA’s All-Tournament Team, with midfielder Mike Lynch, faceoff specialist and close defenseman Chad Patterson earning a spot. Senior goalkeeper Matt Hoy was tapped as the Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player, becoming the second-ever Tiger goalie (Andrew Wascavage, 2013) to earn the honor.
Towson awaits the NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Sunday evening at 9 p.m. to learn when, where and who the Tigers will play next. The Selection Show will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
How it Happened
Tyler Young got the scoring started at 13:10 in the first quarter. Young collected a rebound after Ryan Drenner banged a shot off the crossbar.
UMass responded a minute later to tie the game up as Grant Consoletti buried a pass from Gianni Bianchin. The Minutemen capitalized on an extra-man opportunity after a slashing charge to Sid Ewell.
Towson scored three-straight goals to close out the first quarter with a 4-1 lead over UMass. Zach Goodrich scored unassisted to start the run coming down in transition, followed by a Joe Seider goal from Drenner. Drenner curled the crease and hit Seider, who then scored behind the back for a 2-0 Tiger lead.
Mike Lynch extended his goal streak with his 16th of the year on a pass from Tyler Konen up top.
After a slow start to the second quarter, UMass cut the lead to two goals as Ben Spencer hit Dan Muller with a feed for a man-up goal at 5:47 after a slashing call to Jack Adams.
Drenner struck late in the first half to extend Towson’s lead back to three goals with 1:19 left in the stanza.
Muller snagged his second goal of the game on a pass from Consoletti to start the third quarter. That would be the last goal that the Minutemen scored until under a minute remaining in the game.
Towson responded with a four goal run kicked off by a 30 second goal by Lynch with Konen with 20 second left in the third quarter. Alex Woodall won the faceoff and raced down the field for his fourth goal of the season just six seconds into the final stanza. An own goal by UMass with 7:51 remaining gave Towson an 8-3 lead. Drenner scored his second of the game unassisted with just under a minute left in the game.
UMass scored the final goal of the game as Consoletti got one past Hoy with 11 seconds remaining.
Behind the Numbers
Despite UMass outshooting the Tigers 31-29, Towson held an advantage in the shooting accuracy, putting 20 of its tries on goal compared to UMass’ 12.
Hoy tallied eight saves in net for the Tigers, while adding three ground balls and a career-best two caused turnovers. Hoy’s counterpart, D.J. Smith tallied 11 saves for the Minutemen.
Faceoffs were split evenly as Woodall and Noah Rak each won eight of the game’s 16 chances.
UMass capitalized on man-up opportunities, winning two of its four chances. The Minutemen were well disciplined as Towson did not have a man-up advantage in the game.
Towson claimed its third-straight CAA title, becoming not only the first conference school to three-peat but the only one to do so twice. The Tigers extended their CAA record for total championships to seven.
Towson earned the CAA’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Tournament for a third-straight season.
The Tigers got its 10th win of the season with the victory over UMass. Towson earned double-digit wins for a third-straight season and the fourth time in Nadelen’s tenure at the helm. It is the first time in Towson’s Division I history (1980-present) that the Tigers have won 10-plus games in three-straight seasons.