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Tigers overpower Hobart, advance in NCAAs

By: Myles Nelson

Towson MLAX

In a dominant performance, the Towson Tigers defeated the Hobart Statesmen 18-5 to advance in this year’s NCAA Tournament. After being limited to four goals in their CAA Championship win, the Tigers scored six in just the first quarter. The win sends the Tigers to Denver where they’ll take on the defending national champion, in a first round contest.

“I couldn’t be more pleased and more proud of our players and the way we came out,” Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen said. “I thought we had really good focus. We were aggressive but poised at the same time at both ends of the field. Especially on faceoffs, which I think was a deciding factor through most of the game, for us to be able to maintain possession and excited to get an NCAA tournament win on our home field and be able to advance in the tournament.”

The first score of the game came from Hobart’s Mark Darden on an assist from Chris Aslanian. It was all Towson after that. Through the rest of the quarter, Towson would go on a 6-0 run. Ryan Drenner scored three times in the opening quarter, giving him an early hat trick. All three goals were unassisted. The Tigers just buried the goal with shots, attempting 17 in the quarter. Towson’s first goal of the game came from Spencer Parks. On that possession alone they fired three shots at the goal, before Brian Boleweicki assisted Parks on the fourth. Mike Lynch and Joe Seider scored in the quarter as well.

Seider struck again with 14:05 left in the half, after Ben McCarty was wide right on his shot attempt. Nearly halfway through the second quarter Sean Donnelly scored for Hobart, assisted by Frank Brown. Parks turned it over, and Stanton Gilbertson scooped it up for Hobart. After a successful clear, Brown recovered the groundball leading to the Donnelly goal. Hobart only took nine shots in the half, compared to 27 by Towson.

Alec Burckley won the opening faceoff of the third quarter. It took McCarty three shots to score an unassisted goal, adding one more to Towson’s lead. Hobart would win the ensuing faceoff, but the possession would end with Mike Lowe forcing Aslanian to turn it over. After they cleared it, Jon Mazza would fire a shot at the goal. He missed wide left. He got it back, and this time he scored with 10:54 left in the third. A Gavin Llewellyn turnover led to Tyler Konen assisting Bolewicki on his ninth goal of the season. Towson won the next faceoff, and this time it was Parks that scored on the assist from Tyler Young. Mazza and McCarty both tacked on scores before the period ended.

Towson scored three more times within the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, giving them a 16-2 lead. Two of them were by Drenner and Mazza. Matt Wylly scored his second goal of the season on an assist from Ian Kirby. Tyler Mayes caused a turnover that led to Seider assisting Matt Leonard on his first goal of the season. After the game Drenner was asked how it felt to see guys like Leonard, who don’t get to play as much finally get a shot.

“It’s great. We see every day at practice what they can do, it’s always great to see them out on the field against another jersey,” Drenner said about seeing players like Leonard getting a shot when they usually don’t get many opportunities.

This was the Statesmen’s first tournament appearance since 2004, and it showed. Towson played like a team that had been here before.

“Our guys haven’t been in this position before and they have so I think that when we talked as a coaching staff we were very anxious to see the way that I our guys came out and played today, wondering if the fact that this is a NCAA game would change the way our guys viewed it and it did, it did a little bit,” Hobart head coach Greg Raymond said. “So we’re just immature in that way, there’s no way around that. We haven’t been here before and they have. You could see the maturity in the way that they played this game.”

Hobart was simply overmatched. They fired 17 shots in the game. Towson fired 17 in the first quarter, with 51 in the game. It was the first time they had 50 shots since 2008. This was Towson’s 15th win of the season, a new school record. Sunday they’ll face Denver at 3 p.m. at Paul Barton Lacrosse Stadium.

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Myles Nelson

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