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Last-second loss

6 April 2014 By Matt Hamilton, Associate Sports Editor No Comments
Palace’s goal with 27 seconds left downs Towson

Drexel attacker Kelly Palace found the back of the net with 27 seconds remaining to give her team a 9-8 win and squander Towson’s chances of a comeback in Sunday’s conference game in Philadelphia.

The Tigers (7-6, 2-1 Colonial Athletic Association) trailed 6-2 in the first half, but took an 8-7 with 8:24 left in the game. However, the Dragons closed the game with two goals and the Tigers missed a few chances, leading
to their first conference loss in five games.

“We had a feed-in and we just dropped the pass and didn’t get the shot off,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said. “They were able to get down and set up and had a nice, driving goal. That’s sports. It’s unfortunate because we
had a couple of opportunities.”

Drexel began the game on the offensive, as midfielder Emily Duffey scored on a free position shot just over three minutes into the game. Towson got a response with 24:27 left in the first half when senior attack Andi
Raymond beat Drexel goalie Teresha Bradley for her 32nd goal of the season.

The Dragons won the ensuing draw and midfielder Milan White gave her team the 2-1 with a goal off the pass from Palace. The goal came just 49 seconds after Raymond’s tally.

After gaining another draw control, Drexel found the net again when attacker Alissa Watts got a shot past Towson goalie Kelsey Donnelly to make it 3-1. Watts and Palace both had three goals in the game.

Drexel kept the pressure up and took a three-goal lead with 17:44 remaining in the half, as midfielder Joelle Hartke scored off another free position attempt. Palace added to the lead off an assist from midfielder Amanda
Norcini, just 1:27 after Hartke’s goal.

Just 32 seconds after the Dragons pushed the lead to 5-1, Raymond score her second goal off a free position attempt. Watts, though, made it 6-2 with her second goal off an assist from Hartke.

“They came out on fire, they were hungry,” LaMonica said. “I didn’t feel the same way about how we played on the field and the scoreboard reflected that. We came out flat.”

The scoring halted for over 10 minutes, but Towson put together a four-goal run that spanned over halftime to tie the game. Freshman attacker Gabby Cha added a goal before halftime to cut the deficit and begin the streak.

The Dragons outshot the Tigers, 10-6, in the first half and led 4-3 in ground balls.

Towson took momentum out of the break, scoring just 31 seconds into the second half. Junior attacker Taylor Moore tallied her 21st goal of the season after a Drexel turnover. Four minutes later, freshman midfielder Colby
Unkle received a pass from Cha and made it 6-5.

The Tigers were on the man advantage with a little over 21 minutes remaining, when Unkle scored her second straight goal off an assist by Raymond to complete the comeback. However, Watts made it a hat trick off a pass
from Norcini to give the Dragons the 7-6 lead.

The teams traded chances over the next seven minutes, until Cha and Raymond teamed up to tie the game again. Raymond found Cha, who scored her 19th goal of the season.

“It has been really great to have a freshman come in and [contribute] offensively,” LaMonica said. “[Cha] is a very skilled player. When she’s confident she has the ability to be a great finisher and she’s doing it on a
consistent basis.”

Three minutes later, sophomore Breanna Hamm gave Towson the lead on another free position attempt. With less than nine minutes left, Towson had its first lead of the game.

However, Palace and Norcini connected for the last two goals, the first with 6:02 remaining and the second to win the game with 27 seconds left.

“I believe our team will respond and be ready to step out for the next game,” LaMonica said. “We’ll use this to motivate and reel them back in and work them outside of practice. We have a few more games to go in the
season, and we will bounce back.”

Towson will close out its CAA season with home games this weekend against William & Mary and James Madison on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

The game on Friday is set to start at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s game will start at 1 p.m.

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