Tigers capture CAA regular season title in 2 OT
“Kelly was getting doubled up top and she had nowhere to go, so I felt like I had to help my teammate out,” Hogan said. “She did a great job of getting her arms free, being pressured like that. It kind of just happened.”
Hogan controlled the draw for Towson to open the second overtime, which came as a bit of a shock to the junior midfielder.
“I got the ball and I was kind of shocked that it was in my stick so I just ran away from everyone as fast as I could and just got the ball back to Mary,” Hogan said. “Mary did a great job of clearing the ball out, she took her time and she was really patient, and we were able to get it down on offense.”
When the Tigers gained possession inside JMU territory, it was Custer who made the big play, working away from a double team and finding a cutting Hogan for the game winner. Custer had a hat trick for the fourth straight game and now has 27 goals this season. After a trying start to the season, she got it going and helped the Tigers win all of their league games.
“My teammates really help build me up,” Custer said afterwards. “They can see I’m not having the best game, they’ll really be there for me. They know my potential and they know what I can do. It helps to feed off of others and I always knew my role and what I had to do to help us win.”
In the first overtime, James Madison got the ball first, controlling one of their 14 draws, and worked the clock down to inside of one minute. Ashley Kimener was fouled with just two seconds left in the first part of the initial overtime, and converted a free-position shot as time expired.
After the teams switched sides of the field, Towson won the draw and worked the ball down into the attacking end of the field. The Tigers were doubled up on the draw controls in the game, but their head coach never lost faith in her team’s ability to come up with a control when it mattered most.
“The first 10 seconds after a draw, it’s all about out-hustling, anticipating and boxing out and coming up with the draw, so we put out the personnel that we felt most comfortable with to get that ball and we were able to do that,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said.
The Tigers worked the clock down at the end of the first overtime and Custer eventually ended up with the ball in her stick and was fouled. As she stepped up to take the free position shot, she couldn’t get the trash talking from her opponent out of her head, but buried the goal nonetheless.
“The girl was really talking smack, she told me I charged her and I just kept thinking, ‘I have to finish this,’ and I was thinking in my head where the goalie wouldn’t be and I just threw it as hard as I could, because I don’t have the hardest shot, so I just had to get it in there,” Custer said.
The Tigers also got three goals from Ashley Waldron, giving the junior 17 this season. Olivia Turner, Sarah Appelt and Ashleigh Rohrback each scored for Towson, which finished the regular season on a seven-game winning streak.
Towson will host its second consecutive CAA Tournament this weekend, but the matchups on Friday will be pushed to the Soccer Complex to accommodate Tigerfest, which will be held at Unitas Stadium. LaMonica she said she isn’t worried about playing on a field other than their own this late in the season.
“It’s a beautiful field out there, it’s going to be a nice, intimate setting and I’m excited to be down there,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and we’ll be ready to step out and give our best game on Friday.”
Custer also made it known that regardless of where on Towson’s campus the game takes place, they intend on protecting their turf.
“We’re undefeated at home, so we can’t let anybody come in here and take that from us,” Custer said.
The Tigers will take on fourth-seeded Drexel Friday afternoon.