Towson vs. Drexel
April 29, 2009
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. – Junior goalkeeper Rob Wheeler made a career-high 17 saves, including nine in the first half, as the second-seeded Tigers (7-9) held third-seeded Drexel University (7-8) scoreless for over 52 minutes to advance to the Colonial Athletic Association Championship Game with a 10-2 semi-final victory at Johnny Unitas® Stadium on Wednesday evening.

With the victory, the Tigers will advance to the CAA Championship Game on Saturday night and will host fourth-seeded Villanova University at Unitas Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

“Rob Wheeler was perhaps the best goalkeeper in the United States of America, if not the world, tonight,” Towson Coach Tony Seaman said. “He saw every shot and was unbelievable.

“I thought all of our kids played well tonight,” Seaman added. “But, Rob was simply incredible.”

After a slow start in the first quarter, the Tigers jumped out to a 2-0 lead when senior attackman Bill McCutcheon and sophomore attackman Tim Stratton scored consecutive goals in a 39-second span.

The Tigers added goals from junior midfielders Brock Armour and Pat Britton in the second quarter to give Towson a 4-0 advantage at the intermission.

Led by four goals from junior midfielder Will Harrington, the Tigers upped their lead to 9-0 in the third quarter. Harrington scored four of the Tigers’ five goals in the stanza while Britton contributed his second goal of the game, converting a Stratton feed with 5:29 remaining.

The Dragons broke their 52 minute, 15 second scoring drought with 7:45 remaining in the fourth quarter as sophomore attackman Kevin Stockel scored off a feed from freshman attackman Kyle Bergman to narrow the margin to 9-1.

With 3:45 remaining, junior attackman Colin Ambler scored off a pass from junior Greg Casey. But, the Tigers secured the victory just 32 seconds later when Stratton tallied an unassisted goal.

Wheeler, who had 10 saves in the Tigers’ 7-4 victory over Drexel on March 28, recorded the highest single-game save total for a Towson goalkeeper since Reed Sothoron posted 18 saves against Virginia during the 2004 season.

“I got a lot of help from my defense early and that really got me a lot of confidence,” Wheeler said. “Once I got going, I felt unstoppable. If the defense can keep those shots outside early, I feel like I can have this type of game any day.

“All of the guys in front of me were simply tremendous tonight,” Wheeler added. “I sat down this week and thought if this team wants to make a playoff run, it needs to start with a hot goalie.”

Meanwhile, Harrington posted his third four-goal game of the season to lead the Tiger offense, which outshot Drexel by a 33-32 margin. Stratton added two goals and an assist while Britton contributed a pair of goals.

Freshman goalkeeper Mark Manos made 11 saves in a losing effort for the Dragons, who had a three-game win streak snapped.

The CAA Championship Game will be broadcast in the Baltimore area on WTMD-FM 89.7 with Spiro Morekas and Greg LaCour providing the play-by-play. The winner of Saturday’s game will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA® Division I Men’s Lacrosse Championship.

College Men’s Lacrosse: Towson University 10, Drexel University 2 (CAA Semi-Final)

Drexel (7-8) 0-0-0-2 / 2
Towson (7-9) 2-2-5-1 / 10

Goals: DREX – Colin Ambler 1, Kevin Stockel 1; TOW – Will Harrington 4, Tim Stratton 2, Pat Britton 2, Bill McCutcheon 1, Brock Armour 1. Assists: DREX – Kyle Bergman 1, Greg Casey 1; TOW – Brock Armour 1, Bill McCutcheon 1, Tim Stratton 1. Saves: DREX – Mark Manos 11 (60:00, 10 goals allowed); TOW – Rob Wheeler 17 (60:00, 2 goals allowed). Shots: DREX – 32; TOW - 33. Extra-Man Opportunities: DREX – 0 for 2; TOW – 1 for 5. Attendance: 899.

Post-Game Notes:

· Wednesday’s game between the Tigers and the Dragons marked the 40th all-time meeting between the two teams ... With the win on Wednesday, the Tigers are now 36-4 against the Dragons, including a 2-0 record in the CAA Tournament.

· The Tigers tied a CAA Tournament record by allowing just two goals in Wednesday’s semi-final ... In 2003, the Tigers defeated Drexel by a 17-2 margin in a semi-final game at Unitas Stadium.

· The Tigers played their 10th CAA Tournament game on Wednesday night and are now 8-2 all-time ... The Tigers also have a 7-2 mark at home in the CAA Tournament.

· The Tigers will be making their fifth appearance in the CAA Championship Game ... They have a 3-1 all-time record in the CAA Championship Game ... They won the 2003, 2004 and 2005 CAA Championships while dropping a 10-7 decision against Delaware in the 2007 title game.

· The Tigers also improved to 3-1 all-time as the second seed in the CAA Tournament.

· The Tigers are now 48-10 (.828) since the beginning of the 2002 season when scoring 10 or more goals ... The Tigers have reached the 10-goal mark in five of the last seven games.

· Going back to the Tigers’ 7-4 victory on March 28, the Tigers had held Drexel scoreless for a span of 78 minutes, 32 seconds ... The Tigers held the Dragons without a goal for the final 26:11 in the 7-4 win before Wednesday’s streak of 52 minutes, 15 seconds.

· The two goals allowed by the Tigers matched the fewest goals allowed in Coach Tony Seaman’s tenure ... The Tigers allowed just two goals in the 2003 semi-final win over the Dragons.

· The two goals scored by the Dragons marked a season low for Drexel ... It was their lowest output since a 3-2 win over Binghamton on March 1, 2008.

· With the victory over Drexel on Wednesday night, Towson Coach Tony Seaman moved into a tie for 14th place on the NCAA Division I career wins list with legendary Syracuse Coach Roy Simmons, Sr. ... Seaman now has a 253-147 career record, including an 89-74 mark at Towson.

· Harrington now has three “hat tricks” this season ... The Tigers have won all three games when he has scored four goals.

· Harrington tallied his seventh multi-point game of the season against the Dragons on Wednesday night ... It was also his sixth multi-goal game of the year.

· In addition to Wednesday night, Harrington scored four goals in wins over Sacred Heart and Delaware ... Harrington has scored 16 of his 23 goals in the month of April.

· Harrington also matched a Towson CAA Tournament record with his four-goal effort ... On May 2, 2007, Bobby Griebe had four goals in a semi-final win over Hofstra.

· Stratton recorded his eighth multi-point game of the season with his three-point effort against the Dragons ... He also had his third multi-goal game of the year, but the first since the Tigers’ April 4 win over Sacred Heart.

· Britton had his third multi-goal game of the season ... He has also scored 10 of his 14 goals this season at home.

· Senior midfielders Randall Cooper and Justin Schneider had their point-scoring streaks snapped against Drexel ... Cooper had a point in each of the Tigers’ last six games while Schneider had recorded a point in five straight games prior to Wednesday.

· With three ground balls in the Tigers’ win over Drexel, senior midfielder Mitchell Rosensweig moved into 10th place on the Tigers’ career ground balls list and has 212 in his career.

· Wheeler’s 17 saves against Drexel marked the second-highest total by a Tiger goalkeeper in CAA Tournament history ... On May 5, 2004, Sothoron had 24 saves in a win over Hofstra in the CAA semi-finals ... The Tigers won that game by a 6-5 margin.

· Wheeler has now made 10 or more saves in eight games this season.