TU falters in regular season finale
The game that will be remembered from the 2012 regular season is the unbelievable victory at Hofstra on March 31. The Tigers rallied from six goals back in the fourth quarter to take the victory. If not for that miraculous quarter of play, Towson would have missed out on the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament for the second straight season, as the Tigers (7-7, 2-4 CAA) fell to St. Joseph’s (6-9, 1-5) 6-3 Saturday night in Philadelphia. The conference victory was the first in St. Joe’s two-year association with the CAA.
“Our guys took it too lightly, and St. Joe’s definitely came out and took the fight to us and made us work for everything that we tried to get. St. Joe’s definitely earned that win,” Towson Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said.
Fortunately for the Tigers, their current four-week losing streak will not prevent them from reaching the postseason, as Hofstra also fell to Penn State Saturday. Towson and Hofstra both finished a 2-4 in-conference record, but the Tigers own the tiebreaker.
“Now that we are actually in the situation to be in the playoffs, I’m not happy with the way we are playing right now,” Nadelen said. “These next two days of practice, preparing for UMass on Wednesday, is vital as far as understanding where we need to get back to. It’s not so much about UMass. It’s about us getting back to Towson lacrosse and trying to figure out what’s going to help us be successful.”
After the Tigers fell two goals behind by the midway mark of the first quarter, the Tigers evened the score by its end. Freshman midfielder Robby Zoppo scored his ninth goal of the season with 4:11 left in the quarter off an assist from senior midfielder Matt Hanzche, his third of the season.
With a 1:30 left in the quarter, senior co-captain senior midfielder Carl Iacona found the net with an unassisted marker.
After a scoreless second quarter, the Hawks pulled away with an unanswered three-goal quarter to take the lead at 5-2.
With 11:59 left in the fourth quarter, sophomore attack Ryan McGee extended the St. Joseph’s lead to four goals with his third tally of the contest.
As last week’s CAA Player of the Week, McGee finished his season with 39 goals, tied with UMass’ Will Many as the CAA’s goal leader.
“[McGee] was great. He was someone that we definitely emphasized and made sure in the scouting report and the film that we watched so our kids could understand that he is one of the best players in the country, I think, for where he is right now,” Nadelen said.
Senior midfielder Michael Brashears scored the game’s final goal with 6:34 left on a feed from senior attack Sean Maguire.
The CAA Tournament will start Wednesday when the Tigers take on first-seeded, No. 2 Massachusetts in Amherst, Mass., while third-seeded Drexel takes on second-seeded Penn State in University Park, Pa. Faceoffs are set for 7 p.m.