Raymond returns with four goals in Tigers win
Andi Raymond sat out all of last year due to injury, so Wednesday’s 11-6 win over cross-town rival University of Maryland, Baltimore County was special for the senior attack. She started her 2014 campaign with four goals and one assist, giving her team an instant boost.
Raymond and teammate senior attack Ashleigh Rohrback contributed to seven of the team’s 11 goals, combining for six goals and four assists. Rohrback led the team in points in 2013, and Raymond did the same in 2012.
Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said she is excited to have the two offensive threats together again.
“I’m enjoying watching the two of them working together. It’s entertaining,” LaMonica said. “It’s definitely wonderful as a coach to have Andi back out, Ashley being such a leader for us last year and the two of them being together as that one-two punch. We’re excited that as the backbone of our offense.”
Raymond, who played in her first game since May of 2012, won’t savor the moment. She said she’s already looking to the next game.
“It’s good [to be back], especially with the win, you can’t complain,” Raymond said. “I just go out and play, if it happens like it did [Wednesday], that’s great. But you got to move on to the next one.”
Towson wasted no time getting momentum going on offense, scoring its first goal of the season less than 90 seconds into the game. Raymond found the back of the net off a pass from Rohrback.
The Tigers added another goal to its lead, but the Retrievers responded with two goals of their own to tie the game at 2-2. Midfielder Kristen Bilney scored two goals in less than two minutes, one off a free position play and another from an assist by teammate Ali Carpenter.
Towson kept the offensive pressure on the UMBC defense, but could not break through until 10 minutes after Bilney’s goal. Raymond got on the board again to make it 3-2 with just over 11 minutes remaining in the first half.
Raymond and Rohrback contributed to the first four goals, a chemistry that Rohrback said did not take long to get back.
“I think we have a pretty good feel of how each other works even though we’ve been off for a year now,” Rohrback said. “After that first goal, it was kind of a spark and it just always clicked.”
Bilney made it a hat trick just two minutes later, receiving a pass from senior Shannon Harkey and beating Tiger junior goalie Kelsey Donnelly.
The Tigers took the offensive momentum into halftime, as they went on a 2-0 run, including five shots.
With just under eight minutes remaining in the opening half, Rohrback broke through the UMBC defense and scored her first goal of the season. Exactly one minute later, freshman attack Gabby Cha tallied her first career goal and put Towson up 5-3 going into halftime.
The Tigers outshot the Retrievers 15-4 in the half, but Retriever goalie Anna Barnett had eight saves to keep her team within two goals.
Towson continued the offensive outburst into the second half, putting two more goals on the board in the first five minutes of play.
Raymond and Rohrback combined again just over two minutes into the half, giving Raymond the hat trick and the Tigers a 6-3 lead. Freshman Samantha Brookhart gave the Tigers a four-goal advantage two minutes later with a shot that bounced below Barnett and into the goal.
After another Bilney goal, her fourth of the game, Towson junior attack Taylor Moore beat the UMBC defense and scored her second goal of the game to put the home team up 8-4 with just over 20 minutes left.
The Retrievers got to Donnelly in the minutes after Moore’s goal, but she recorded a save to keep them from cutting into the deficit. Instead, sophomore defensive midfielder Breanna Hamm got a free position chance and added to the Tiger lead with 14:13 remaining.
Three minutes later, Rohrback score the goal of the game behind the back, beating Barnett on the top left corner of the goal to put Towson up 10-4. Raymond was credited with the assist on the goal and tacked on her fourth goal with 8:10 left in the game.
The away team tacked on two late goals, but could not pull any closer to the Tigers.
“I think it’s just great to get that first game under your belt and to come out with a win is a step in the right direction. [Our schedule] is pretty brutal. It’s an exciting schedule and I think it provides a great opportunity for our program. I’m very confident in our players and leaders and it’s an exciting season ahead.”
No. 20 Towson will have a tough road ahead, hosting No. 10 Georgetown on Saturday and traveling to No. 2 Syracuse on Sunday, March 2.