Towson gets burned by Dragons
The Tigers dropped their third straight game Saturday night in a rain-delayed 13-5 defeat to the Drexel Dragons on Senior Night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
“We had a lot of seniors on this team and we have a lot of pride in our seniors. We got to come out firing, there is no excuse for that,” senior attack Matt Lamon, who scored two goals in his final regular season game at Unitas Stadium, said.
Towson is still in position to make the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, as they sit in fourth place in the conference standings. They can control their playoff destiny with a win next Saturday in their season finale at St. Joseph’s, a team that has not won a single conference game in the last two seasons. If the Tigers were to lose next Saturday, they can also get into the tournament with a Hofstra loss the same day at Penn State.
“As I just told our team down in the locker room, it’s one thing if a team outplays you and comes in to your field and outplays you and earns a victory against you. Hopefully that doesn’t happen often in a season,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “It’s even more frustrating when you beat yourselves, and I think that is a lot of what happened for us on the field tonight.”
In the midst of their three-game losing skid, the Tigers have had trouble getting a consistent offensive push. Although in each of the past three games the Tigers have gone into the halftimes down by no more than two goals, Towson has been unable to gain any consistent momentum in the second half. In the last three contests, the Tigers have scored just two goals in the second halves, while their opponents have netted 21 in the final halves.
“We weren’t doing a good job on the faceoffs. We were giving them second and third chances defensively, and we needed to do a better job of finding the ball,” Nadelen said. “We didn’t do a good job correcting those. The offense was sporadic, at best. We talked about some of the things off-ball that we needed to correct, but we just had trouble making the initial dodge and making the reads off of that. Drexel is a good defensive team, and they exposed us with some of our poor decisions.”
The Tigers have been outscored 35-11, as well as outshot 142-68, in the last three games. Against the Dragons, it was obvious which side the momentum was on for the majority of the game, as Towson was outshot 49-16.
“The stat that sticks out is obviously 16 shots,” Lamon said. “We should be getting 10-plus shots a quarter, not 16 shots a game. We didn’t test the goalie, and when we did, the shots went in the net. Coach [Anthony] Gilardi had a tremendous game plan, and when we executed that, we scored goals. Other than that, we weren’t executing the game plan.”
Junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage continues to be the shining light for the Tigers, as he recorded a career-high 21 saves. He has been counted on to make 70 saves in the last four games with an average of 17.5 saves a game in that time span.
“It’s tough to see that many shots in a game. We need to be more efficient on our clears and make good decisions. A lot of mental mistakes on defense tonight,” Wascavage said.
Towson continues to struggle in man-up situations. They had a golden opportunity when they were awarded two extra-man situations for the price of one when Drexel’s Jason Klunder was given a 30 second penalty for interference, then was given another 30 seconds when he left the penalty area one second too early. However, the Tigers could not cash in on either scoring chance.
“Going man-up for back-to-back plays and we don’t take advantage. We take a lot of pride in our man-up, and that is something we will definitely be on top of this week,” Lamon said.