Breaking News:

So Much Sports Baltimore has officially shut down on August 7, 2017, but would like to thank all of our readers, writers and everybody who helped make this website possible.

Towson beats Hofstra to claim CAA’s top seed

By: Ryan Callinan

On Senior Day, senior midfielder Tyler Young netted a career-high four goals at Johnny Unitas Stadium to propel the No. 16 Towson Tigers men’s lacrosse team to a 10-8 victory over the No. 9 Hofstra Pride and to a regular season CAA title and the top seed in the upcoming playoffs that come with it.

“Special,” Young said, describing his performance on Senior Day. “Especially with all my family coming down from Pennsylvania. And just to be able to get a win; it doesn’t mean anything unless you get a win, and to get a win makes it that much more special.”

Young and the rest of the Towson offense benefited from the dominance they owned in the possession game. Alex Woodall’s masterful performance from the faceoff X provided the Tigers with a relentless attack on the Hofstra net. Woodall won 14-of-33 faceoffs in the game and was 9-for-12 in the second half. He was no match for the bevy of players Hofstra sent to deal with the sophomore faceoff man.

The eruption from the Pride bench and fans when they won their first faceoff of the game at the beginning of the second quarter should have been taken as a sign of respect to Woodall, and also, a foretelling sign of how difficult it would be to win possession from the X.

“I think he (Woodall) did a good job,” Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen said. “I think they threw three different guys at him, two shorts and a long… He did a good job of controlling it, mixing up where he was putting the ball.”

The times when Hofstra did gain possession, Towson’s defense held strong against a capable attack led by Josh Byrnes. Towson’s Chad Patterson shadowed the senior attackman nearly all game and held him to only one goal on five shots. Byrne had 35 goals coming into the game.

“He’s (Byrne) is extremely talented, so you have to put a lot of focus on him when he has the ball and obviously where he is off-ball,” Nadelen said. “Fortunately, we were able to get just a piece every now and then because he was getting his hands free in decent spots, and those are usually automatic for him… We, fortunately, forced him to cough it up before he really got a good release off.”

Although Towson opened the majority of the attack in the first quarter and outshot Hofstra 11-6, the period ended with the team’s tied at 1-1 on the scoreboard. It looked as though it could be a low-scoring affair with both teams forcing turnovers and tough outside shots; however, goals by Brendan Kavanaugh and Ryan Tierney provided Hofstra with a 3-1 lead three minutes into the second quarter.

Towson struck back with goals from Joe Seider and Young to level the score with 11 minutes remaining in the first half, but once again, both defenses clamped down and refused to let either side pull away.

Hofstra looked as though they were going to take a one-goal lead heading into halftime after Byrne’s lone goal of the game, but a Towson timeout with just under 30 seconds left allowed the Tigers to set up an offensive play that resulted in a momentum-swinging goal by Ryan Drenner with four seconds left on the clock, tying the game a 4-4.

Drenner’s goal would be the first of five straight for Towson. Hofstra’s defense looked to be feeling the effects of their team’s lack of possession and was a step slower than they were during the first 30 minutes of the contest.

“It felt like we were on defense the entire time,” Hofstra head coach Seth Tierney said. “We need to do a better job of when we do have it- for two reasons: one, obviously scoring, and if the games going to go like this again, we need to give our defense a break. We were on our toes for long periods of time.”

As Hofstra’s defense tired, lanes began opening up for shooters like Young, who scored three of his four goals in the second half. He scored the second half’s first two goals on rifles from outside that Hofstra’s goalie, Jack Concannon, couldn’t react quickly enough to stop.

The Pride showed some resolve when Dylan Alderman netted two of his team-high three goals to start the fourth quarter and edged his team to within two goals, but another laser by Young found the back of the net with eight minutes remaining and increased the lead to three. From there, the Tigers’ possession game was solid as they managed to limit the visitor’s chances in the final minutes and secure a well deserved 10-8 win.

Other notable performances included Seider’s three goals and Drenner’s two goals and three assists. Also, defender Tyler Mayes put in a strong defensive effort and scooped up four ground balls.

The win improved Towson’s record to 8-4 overall and 4-1 in conference play and earned them the No. 1 seed entering the CAA playoffs, which are set to kick off Thursday, May 4 at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Towson will play Drexel at 5 pm in the first semifinal while Hofstra will take on UMass in the second semifinal game.

The following two tabs change content below.

Ryan Callinan

Staff Writer
Ryan Callinan was born with a passion for sports. He grew up playing soccer, basketball, and baseball; all sports he enjoyed, but it was soccer that he excelled at the most. HIs talent in soccer earned him a scholarship to Calvert Hall College High School, where he made varsity all four years and won two MIAA Championship. Then he earned a scholarship to play at UMBC for coach Peter Caringi. Two unfortunate knee injuries cut his soccer career short, but that’s when he found a love for writing. He ended up transferring to Towson University, graduated with a degree in English and worked his way to becoming a sports writer. After joining So Much Sports he was inspired to further pursue his graduate degree in journalism at Towson University. So while maybe his dream of becoming a pro soccer player won’t be realized, his might still be able to cover pro soccer teams. The sport it still his true love.

Comments are closed.