Tigers’ season ends against UMass
In the opening round of the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, Towson fell to the top-seeded and No. 1-ranked University of Massachusetts Minutemen 10-3 to lose its fifth consecutive game. Colin Fleming scored four times and Art Kell added three more for the Minutemen, who outshot the Tigers 30-20.
“We had a tough time trying to locate the ball off of rebounds off of the faster turf,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “We didn’t have a great deal of energy in the first half. That allows them to get a few more balls off the ground and to get a few more shots.”
UMass was also successful in securing 27 ground balls and winning nine of the 15 face-offs.Fleming scored the first two goals for UMass before adding his third goal right before halftime, helping UMass build a 6-0 lead at the end of the first half.
Five of those goals came in the second period.
“The one that really hurt us was the one [goal] at the end of the first quarter,” Nadelen said. “We were controlling the tempo of the game. It gave them some momentum going into the second quarter and some confidence. I think that really propelled them in the second quarter.”
Sophomore midfielder Andrew Hodgson put the Tigers on the scoreboard at the start of the third period.
His goal was quickly followed by one from senior attack Sean Maguire to cut the lead to 6-2.
UMass responded by scoring three straight goals, two coming from Fleming and Kell.
Senior attack Matt Lamon scored with six minutes left in the game to cut the UMass lead to 9-3.
But the play of Kell proved to be too much for the Tigers, who put one more in the net, sealing the 10-3 victory for the Minutemen and advancing them to the next round of the CAAs. This is the second time this season that UMass has beat Towson. The Minutemen defeated the Tigers in April by a score of 14-3. UMass also improved its record to 4-2 over Towson.
The loss marks the end of an up-and-down season for the Tigers. After a 2-3 start, Towson won five straight to become nationally ranked before the disappointing end to the season.
“I’m real proud of the way this team handled this year,” Nadelen said. “We asked them to do a lot of different things. The guys that were in it to the end here bought in and did everything that we asked of them. I can’t say that this season was a success because we didn’t accomplish our goals. The way we ended it with some bad losses just shows that we have a lot of room to catch up on and a lot of work to do.”
Towson will be losing 10 seniors next season. The team will rely on the play of its 26 underclassmen to step up.
“I really hope that our younger guys really understand what our seniors did for them,” Nadelen said. “It takes a group of guys to buy in to how things need to be done and the effort and commitment needed to do that.”