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Strong second half lifts Towson past Loyola

Emily Gillingham contributed everywhere, scoring a goal, having an assists, causing two turnovers and taking two draws against Loyola.

Emily Gillingham contributed everywhere, scoring a goal, having an assists, causing two turnovers and taking two draws against Loyola.

A strong second half performance carried the Towson women’s lacrosse team to a 4-0 start since the 2010 season as they outlasted local rival and No. 20 Loyola, a team coming off a dramatic double overtime upset of Johns Hopkins, for a 9-5 victory. The win was also Towson’s first against a ranked team since 2014 and first over Loyola since 2013.

Loyola responded to Towson’s 3-0 run to start the game with to send the game to halftime with the score tied, but Towson was able to out-score the greyhounds 6-2 in the second half. Towson’s balanced offensive attack had Loyola playing defense most of the time and when the Greyhounds did have the ball, Towson’s new zone defense continued to hold up.

“I thought today was a game of momentum swings,” Towson head coach Sonia LaMonica said. “We came out strong, they came back and then we took control in the second half. We continued to do a good job on the draws for the most part and our defensive zone was really strong and made some big stops for us. Our attack played good team defense and shared the load with the scoring being so balanced.

Freshman goalkeeper Angie Benson was faced with only seven shots on goal from the Greyhounds. She made two saves in the second half. Loyola goalkeeper Molly Wolf did not have nearly as a quiet game. She was hammered in the game, fighting off 19 shots on goal. She saved 10 of them, but the Tigers slipped six of nine past her in the second half to pull away for the victory.

Wolf, who made five saves in overtime against Johns Hopkins, was tremendous in the first half to keep Towson from breaking the game open. In the first 10 minutes she saved four shots, including three free position shots by Towson. But with 15:45 remaining, Kaitlyn Montalbano was able to draw first blood for Towson after spinning inside the eight and scoring low.

Just under two minutes later Maddy Lesher was issued a yellow card and the Tigers were able to take advantage of the man-up situation with an immediate free position goal from freshman Carly Tellekamp. Michaela Duranti continued Towson’s run off a feed from Emily Gillingham; putting the Tigers ahead 3-0 with 10:41 remaining in the first half.

Loyola was able to respond with a 3-0 run late in the first half. Towson defender Tianna Wallpher was called for a foul with six minutes left. Maddy Blakeman missed the ensuing free position shot wide, but Loyola kept the possession alive and Cami Whiteford dished the ball back to Blakeman for the score.

Margaret Filippelli won the ensuing draw for Loyola and just 45 seconds they scored again as Sabrina Tabasso send a perfectly placed pass to Frankie Kamely and the sophomore attack put it high in the net. Towson won the next draw, but turned the ball over immediately to set the Greyhounds with another possession. They drew a foul on Montalbano and Filippelli scored her first goal of the year off the free position shot to tie the game at 3-3.

Towson came out swinging in the second half, however, and was aided by a yellow card on Whiteford that went through the break. Loyola had a chance to kill their man-down situation, but Nadia Podo caused a turnovers and Michelle Gildea finished the possession with a goal off a pass from Samantha Brookhart.

Filipelli took the draw and immediately passed the ball up the field to Blakeman as she re-tied the game in just a matter of seconds. But Towson scored quickly off the next two draws. Breanna Hamm on the ensuing draw and Towson never let possession go before Montalbano scored her second goal of the game and for the eighth time this season. Just 13 seconds after Gillingham won the next draw, she scored off a free position shot following a foul called on Amy Abdalla, giving the Tigers a 6-4 lead.

After the early flurry of action nearly 10 minutes went by before there was another score, but once again the Tigers took advantage of a free position show as Katie Sciandra increased Towson’s lead to three.

Hannah Savage ended Towson’s three-goal run just a minute later after causing a turnover near the crease on a clear, but Towson scored two more goals later to secure the victory. Duranti and Gildea both scored their second goals of the game at the end.

Towson out-shot the Greyhounds 26-17 and scored three times off free positions shots. Loyola was held to just 1-for-9.

Towson will host Georgetown at 3 pm on Saturday. Loyola will travel to Penn State for a 1 pm game.

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Corey Johns

Editor in Chief
You could say Corey was born to become a sports journalist. His father won a national championship coaching college soccer. His mother is a baseball fanatic who hasn't missed seeing an Orioles game since 1983 (literally, sometimes it's annoying). His great uncle was a big-time boxing promoter and his maternal grandfather was once a department head at the Baltimore Sun. Basically, sports and journalism run through his blood. He played just about every little league sports there was when he was a kid and was a multi-sport athlete in high school; even playing in the first-ever high school sanction Rugby game in the country. Eventually he retired from sports as an undefeated Maryland state Rugby champion as a high school senior. Perhaps lack of athletic talent has more to do with the retirement, but he will tell you that it more had to do with a great desire to jump right into media. Upon his graduation from University of Maryland, Baltimore County as a triple communications major, Corey started the So Much Sports network and has continued to grow his websites and continues to work to make them premier sports media outlets.

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