Tigers toppled by Blue Jays
Coming off of a disappointing loss last week to High Point, the Tigers were the overwhelming underdog Saturday when they welcomed No. 4 Johns Hopkins to Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The Tigers (0-2) played a tightly contested matchup with the Blue Jays (2-0) for the majority of the game, but ultimately lost 12-6.
“We have a heck of a lot more respect for them than the way they played in the High Point game,” Johns Hopkins Head Coach Dave Pietramala. “I think they came out aggressively, physically and made it known what kind of game it was going to be from the beginning.”
After winning just eight of 21 face-offs against High Point, Towson continued its woes on 50/50 balls by only winning seven of the game’s 20 face-offs.
While faceoff struggles have been an underlying theme of Towson’s season thus far, execution was the main concern against Hopkins.
Despite attempting 38 shots—only two less than Hopkins—the Tigers only managed to score six goals.
Three of the team’s goals occurred in the second quarter and the other three in the fourth.
In all three of the second quarter goals, the shots were from close range.
However, in the second half, Towson had countless open looks from reasonable range but simply couldn’t execute.
Towson Head Coach Shawn Nadelen noted that lack of execution on prime opportunities was the main reason for the team’s loss.
“We had good opportunities from 10-12 yards out but I think we were trying to shoot at too fine of a spot instead of putting good, hard shots on the goal,” Nadelen said.
While the Tigers lost by six goals, the game was within reach in the second quarter. The Tigers trailed 4-3 with nine minutes left in the first half.
However, the Blue Jays regained momentum after a shorthanded goal, the program’s first since 2008.
The two leading scorers for Towson were sophomores Cory Dobyns and Greg Cuccinello. Each attackman scored two goals.
Dobyns, a transfer from Drexel, leads the team with six goals through two games.
Cuccinello said he was pleased with not only his performance against Hopkins, but also the whole Towson attack.
“We had them moving for a while but we just didn’t put our shots on cage,” he said. “We played well but we just didn’t have good shots. We’ll have a good week, we’ll get some extra shots in and be ready.”
Even though the Tigers struggled to convert on many opportunities on the offensive end, they did capitalize on three of five man-up chances.
Defensively, however, the Tigers weren’t as successful. In Hopkins’ four man-up opportunities, the team scored three goals.
All three of the man-up goals for the Blue Jays occurred during a scoring streak that lasted for much of the second and third quarters.
Over a 28-minute span, Hopkins outscored Towson 6-0. The scoring drought for the Tigers began after their third goal, when the game was 4-3 in Hopkins’ favor.
But after the drought ended, Towson found itself in a 10-3 hole with just less than 13 minutes remaining in the game.
The two other goal scorers for the Tigers were juniors Thomas DeNapoli and Rob Zoppo.
The Tigers return to action Wednesday when they host defending National Champion Loyola. The game begins 7 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium.