Towson shut down by George Mason
For the third consecutive game, Towson (4-8-1, 2-4-1) was shut out in a Colonial Athletic Association match, this time falling to George Mason 3-0 at home Wednesday.
The Patriots (10-4, 3-3 CAA) scored with just over three minutes remaining in the first half and started the second half by scoring two more goals in four minutes against freshman goalkeeper Felix Petermann.
John Gardner got the scoring started for George Mason in the 42nd minute of the first half after Zak Haapaoja sent a cross in from the right side of the field, putting the Patriots up 1-0 at the half.
After being held in check in the first half, Taylor Morgan, who made Third Team All-CAA last season and came into the game tied for first in the CAA with nine goals, sealed the game for the Patriots with two goals. He now has 11 on the season.
“He’s a strong player,” Towson Head Coach Frank Olszewski said. “We didn’t exactly deal with him the way we needed to deal with him. He got his opportunities and he took advantage of them.”
Olszewski and sophomore co-captain defender Daniel Grundei credited some of Morgan’s opportunities to a lack of execution in the defense.
“We weren’t tight enough in the back,” Grundei said. “We just didn’t do it well enough. We didn’t handle him well.”
The Tigers now find themselves on the fence as to whether they will make the CAA Tournament.
To qualify for the CAA Tournament, they will have to win at least two out of their remaining three games.
Two of those games are against teams ahead of the Tigers in the CAA standings: Old Dominion, who Towson plays Saturday night, and Northeastern.
“We know to make the tournament we have to win two out of these games,” Grundei said. “ODU is probably our best opponent coming at us right now. No matter what, we have to win two out of three.”
Although Old Dominion cannot make the CAA Tournament because it is leaving the CAA for Conference USA next year, they are still eligible to qualify for the NCAA Tournament.
“They’re still going to be pushing for an at-large in the NCAA Tournament,” Olszewski said. “They’re going to quite a team to deal with.”
If the Tigers want to make the CAA Tournament, they know they have to put this loss behind them and prepare for their next three games, which take place in an eight-day span.
“We just got to regroup a little bit,” Olszewski said. “It will come down to the mentality more than anything.”
Kickoff against Old Dominion is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday night in Norfolk, Va.