Towson rallies to stay in first
The Tigers (11-3, 5-0 CAA) pulled off a massive comeback, rallying from four goals down in the final 20 minutes of play to stun the Drexel Dragons (9-5, 2-3 CAA) 11-10 and stay perfect in Colonial Athletic Association play.
Ashleigh Rohrback connected on the game-winning goal with just 29 seconds to play to complete the rally for Towson, who has five straight wins since a disappointing 13-3 loss to Maryland on March 27.
“We knew coming in that they [Drexel] were a dangerous team, really balanced and they’re just a great team with a great defense,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said. “They play well as a team and we had to grind the game out today. We had to make some changes and get better on the draw and claw our way back from the deficit.”
Sophomore Andi Raymond had another standout game, recording five points just two days after registering a career-high eight points in the Tigers’ 16-9 victory over Hofstra. Raymond scored twice, including the game-tying tally with 5:21 left to play, and assisted on three others, giving her a team-high 43 points this season.
“Andi continues to be a solid quarterback for us, as well as Ashleigh Rohrback,” LaMonica said. “With those two initiating a lot of our offense, it opens the door for other players to be successful. That’s what any coach would look for, that balanced offense that’s ready to exploit and take advantage of opportunities.”
Ashley Waldron got the rally started for Towson by connecting on her 10th goal of the season just minutes into the second half. After two Drexel free-position shots that stretched the lead back out to four, the Tigers went on a 4-0 run to tie the game. Kelly Custer scored twice in that run, and Raymond assisted on Rohrback’s 16th marker of the year before dishing off to Rhiannon Coogle one minute later.
“Kelly had a great weekend, and between her and Ashley Waldron, we had huge success on the draws,” LaMonica said. “Those two have done a phenomenal job on the draws lately, and Kelly just continues to be a driving force on offense. She’s really getting into a rhythm now. She’s been a little bit quiet, but she’s opening up her game and we’re starting to see what she’s really capable of.”
Rohrback finished with five points on the afternoon, giving her 28 points in 2012. Custer picked up her second straight hat trick, also scoring three times Friday against Hofstra. Tiger goalie Mary Teeters was pulled from the game in the first half after allowing five goals in the first 15 minutes of play. Teeters returned at halftime and surrendered just three goals in the second stanza to pick up her 11th victory of the season.
“There were never really any signs of panic and they remained composed,” LaMonica said. “When we needed to take advantage of our offensive opportunities, we found some looks that were working for us, which we were able to exploit. We were able to find some answers that way and the girls just keep chipping away and were able to come out with a win. The fact that we’ve been there before does help.”
James Madison defeated Old Dominion 12-8 on Sunday to keep pace with the Tigers at the top of the CAA standings.
The Dukes visit Johnny Unitas Stadium April 22, as the CAA’s regular season title could potentially hang in the balance. Before that game, Towson entertains George Mason Friday at 7 p.m.
“All it means is that we have two games left to go. We have to be focused on one game at a time. We can’t get casual or complacent, and that will be the message we’ll continue to send to our players. We have two games left, and we don’t know what those teams are going to bring. We just have to continue to play our game and stay committed to our goals.”