Tigers start season with weekend split
Coming off of a disappointing 2-1 loss on Friday in their season opener against the Loyola Greyhounds (1-0-0), Towson (1-1-0) bounced back with a 3-0 victory over the Iona Gaels (0-2-0) on Sunday at the Tiger Soccer Complex.
With the determination for victory, the Tigers kept possession for most of the half in Sunday’s game.
There were plenty of opportunities, but Towson was unable to finish the ball and both teams went into the half scoreless.
In the second half, Towson continued to test Iona’s keeper. In the 51st minute, senior forward Emily Banes got a header off of a cross from senior midfielder Amanda Novy, giving the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Banes took a powerful shot from 16 yards out, passing Iona’s keeper and adding another goal to the Tigers score.
“Emily Banes did a fantastic job finishing two chances for herself early in the half,” Head Coach Greg Paynter said.
The Tigers continued to rally in the 65th minute when Banes assisted to Ponce for the final goal of the game.
“Our girls came out focused and paid attention to the details,” Paynter said. “It’s a good reward for the young ladies who have worked so hard.”
After her phenomenal play in Sunday’s game, Banes was named the Women’s Soccer Player of the Week by the Colonial Athletic Association.
This is Towson’s first CAA Women’s Player of the Week since October 2011 and Banes first conference honor since 2010.
Friday’s game did not go as well for Towson.
Junior midfielder Katie Ponce threatened early in the game for Towson in the fourth minute with a shot from the left side, testing the Greyhounds keeper.
The midfielder threatened again in the 34th minute with a shot off the crossbar.
The Tigers controlled possession for a large part of the first half against the Greyhounds, but ended the half scoreless.
“Ponce did an outstanding job in the midfield creating opportunities,” Paynter said. “She really manufactured great scoring opportunities for us.”
Loyola took advantage of the Tigers in the second half, scoring two goals.
The first goal came from forward Charlotte Miller in the 68th minute with a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box, giving the Greyhounds a 1-0 lead.
Six minutes later, forward Katelyn McFadden kicked the ball in the net off of a corner, putting up another goal against the Tigers.
“We went down 2-0 and we battled from then on harder then we battled from the first half,” Paynter said.
There was hope for the Tigers in the 78th minute when junior midfielder Katlyn Axenfeld ripped the ball from 16 yards out, bouncing off of a Loyola player and into the net, giving the Tigers there first goal.
The Tigers outshot the Greyhounds 10-9, but were unable to pull out the win.
“We need that intensity from the beginning of the game, not just the very last 15 minutes,” Paynter said.
Towson returns to the field on Friday at 7 p.m. in Virginia against the Radford Highlanders.