Tigers capture CAA title
With the victory, their 15th win of the season, the Tigers set a new school record. Towson has won nine in a row, which is also a new school record.
“I’ve said it a number of times this season, but the amount of pride I have in this team is through the roof,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said. “Particularly in those closing minutes of the game, to be playing man-down on defense and the defense to hold that team from evening the score. This is simply an incredible showing of heart and desire, and it shows how hungry these girls were today for that win. I’m thrilled for them.”
Senior goalie Mary Teeters made seven saves, but none bigger than the one she made with less than 30 seconds remaining in the contest, thwarting a final Dukes rally and securing the Tigers’ ninth one-goal victory of the season. Teeters was named as the CAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player following the victory. Teeters deflected a lot of the praise following the victory, instead shifting the focus onto the play of the defense in front of her.
“My defense played great. I honestly don’t know how long JMU had the ball at the end of the game, but it felt like forever. My defense did a great job of keeping them out,” Teeters said.
The senior co-captain also noted that collecting such an award is a great honor not just for her, but for the school.
“It’s a really huge honor, especially because the CAA is getting better every year. So to have that honor is really huge and bringing it home to Towson feels great,” she said.
The Tigers exacted a bit of revenge on the Dukes, knocking off JMU twice in the last seven days to secure the home-field advantage in the CAA Tournament and the league’s berth in the NCAA Tournament. Last season, the Tigers won the regular season title only to lose to James Madison in the conference championship game and miss out on postseason.
The Dukes took a 6-5 lead with 14:25 remaining in the game, and LaMonica called a timeout to try and get her team refocused for the stretch run. From there on out, the Tigers went on a decisive 3-1 run to seal the victory.
The Tigers controlled 12 of the 17 draws in the game, an area of play that they’ve been working on improving all season.
“I think we’ve been getting stronger each game, learning and building from each win and some of those early losses,” LaMonica said. “We’ve just continued to show that resilience. These players, they just play tough, and I don’t think that showed any more clear than today.”
Andi Raymond continued her stellar season, collecting a game-high four points by scoring her 31st goal of the season and picking up three assists. LaMonica pointed out that big things are still in store for the sophomore attack.
“I think it shows great things for the time to come and for the future of our program,” LaMonica said. “Andi’s just a sophomore, and this is her first year of playing significant time, and that’s allowed her to get that experience, to develop, and to continue to grow.”
Towson will host the Monmouth Hawks on Saturday evening at Johnny Unitas Stadium in an NCAA Tournament Play-In Game at 7 p.m.