TU holds off UMass, 6-5
Towson bounced back from last week’s loss and upset the No. 11 Massachusetts Minutemen, 6-5, on Saturday.
The win gives the team an automatic bid in the Colonial Athletic Association playoffs.
“Can’t even describe how big of a win this was, especially coming off of the loss last week,” junior midfielder Greg Cuccinello, who led the team with two goals in the game, said.
UMass (7-3, 1-1 CAA) started off the game with a quick goal, but senior attacker Thomas DeNapoli scored right after to tie the game at one.
Cuccinello followed up with two goals of his own to give the Tigers (8-3, 2-1 CAA) a 3-1 lead in the first quarter.
The Minutemen battled back in the second quarter, though, with two goals from attacker Nick Marino.
But the Tigers got goals from freshman attacker Joe Seider and sophomore midfielder Ben McCarty to take a 5-4 lead into halftime.
Seider opened up the third quarter with his team-leading 19th goal of the season.
The Minutemen held the Tigers scoreless after Seider’s goal, but the defense and sophomore goalie Tyler White buckled down and held on to the lead.
“[Tyler White] played his best game of the year when we needed him most,” DeNapoli said.
White finished the game with 16 saves and helped the Tigers secure their second conference win.
White and Towson’s defense held off a Minutemen offense that came into the matchup averaging 12.5 goals per game.
“Tyler started out slow but did a complete 180 and came up huge for us in the second half,” captain defenseman John Fennessy said. “By him playing well really allows the defense to not have as much pressure on us and in
turn makes you that much better.”
The defense came up big for the Tigers, but Cuccinello talked about the offensive struggles.
“Offensively we were incredibly sloppy and turned the ball over way too much,” he said.
“Tyler White and our defense buckled down and shut them out.”
DeNapoli spoke after the game about how execution was the reason the Tigers came away with the win.
“I think we did a good job matching their toughness and intensity and executed the game plan our coaches put together,” he said. “Hopefully we continue getting better and keep this rolling into our next game.”
The Tigers will finish the season off with three straight home games and will start the stretch with the Penn State Nittany Lions (4-6, 0-2 CAA).
This will be the first matchup between Towson and Penn State since last year’s CAA Championship game in which the Tigers won 11-10.
The Tigers will take on the Nittany Lions on Saturday.
Saturday’s matchup from Johnny Unitas Stadium is scheduled to face-off at 7 p.m.