Towson vs. Delaware
March 25, 2006
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. - Towson shook off two quick Delaware scores and then snapped a 4-4 tie with some sharp shooting in the waning moments of the second quarter to take a three-goal lead into halftime and never looked back as the Tigers beat the 13th-ranked Blue Hens 11-7 in a Colonial Athletic Association scrap Saturday night in Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The win improved the Tigers' overall record to 4-3 and 2-0 in the league while the Blue Hens, the defending regular season CAA champs, fell to 8-2 and 0-1 in the conference. The Tigers have won 29 of their last 30 games when scoring in double digits.

"Two people were outstanding for us tonight," said Tigers' head coach Tony Seaman, "Matt Eckerl and Mark DeGroat."

Eckerl went head-to-head with Delaware's Alex Smith, the top faceoff man in the nation who entered the game winning 75 per cent of his draws. Eckerl was 11-8 against him. DeGroat, still showing some rust from a red shirt year, came up with several key saves, making seven in the game. It was his best effort of the season.

The early going was a contest of runs. The Blue Hens jumped on top 2-0 on goals by Adam Zuder-Havens and Cam Howard in the first 2:35 of the game.

Towson countered with a 4-0 run on goals by Brian Vetter, Keith Obloj, Bobby Griebe and Kyle Baton within a five span. Delaware then answered with Vincent Giordano and Zuder-Haven to tie it up and put an end to a wild first quarter.

Scoring wasn't as fast and furious in the second quarter until Nick Williams opened Towson's flood gate with an unassisted goal at the 7:31 mark to break the tie. Justin Schneider put Towson on top 6-4 when he tallied off a feed from Casey Cittadino. Eckerl then won the ensuing draw and raced downfield to score unassisted eight seconds later.

Not to be outdone the Blue Hens answered nine seconds later with Zuder-Havens taking a pass from Dan Deckelbaum on the crease to stop Towson's run.

But the last score of the half would belong to Towson when it got the goal back when Cittadino found Phil Griilo alone on the left side for an 8-5 Tiger lead.

Both teams were more deliberate in the second half. Marty Kupprion scored for the Blue Hens with 7:06 left in the third quarter when a shot by Giordano was deflected off his stick into the goal. Towson didn't tally until the final 11 seconds when Batton beat Blue Hen goalie Tommy Scherr on a sneak play off a long pass from Bacon to give Towson a 9-6 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Early in the fourth period Obloj gave Towson its largest lead of the contest with an unassisted zinger from 15 yards out for a 10-6 Tiger advantage at the 12:51 mark.

Howard hoped to ignite a Delaware rally when he scored two minutes later on a feed from J.J. Moran to close the gap to 10-7 but an extra man goal by Towson's Todd MacMullan 50 seconds later seemed to defuse it. That ended the scoring.

Batton, starting in place of the injured Steve Mull, and Obloj led Towson with two goals each. Zuder-Havens paced the Blue Hens with three goals. Towson outshot Delaware 37-24. Scherr played well in the nets for the Blue Hens, making 14 saves under the barrage.

Towson is back in action again next Friday night when they travel to Hempstead, N.Y. to meet the 5th-ranked Hofstra Pride at 7:30 in a key CAA contest. Delaware makes the short trip to Drexel next Saturday afternoon.