Towson vs. Penn State
May 10, 2003
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. - - Senior attackman Todd Spear of Towson University (9-5) scored a game high three goals, all in the first half as the Tigers jumped out to a 10-2 halftime lead en route to an 11-6 victory over visiting Penn State University (7-7) in the first round of the NCAA Division I Tournament at Minnegan Field at Towson Stadium on Saturday night.

With the win, the ninth-ranked Tigers advance to the NCAA Quarter-finals where they will face number one-ranked Johns Hopkins University on Sunday, May 18 as part of an NCAA Quarter-final doubleheader at Towson Stadium.

In their first round win over the Nittany Lions, the Tigers jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first 7:39 of the game. After junior midfielder Brian Myers scored an unassisted goal with 9:11 left in the first quarter, senior Hunter Lochte scored off a pass from senior Ryan Obloj for a 2-0 lead with 7:43 left. Just 22 seconds later, Myers^ second goal of the game put Towson ahead, 3-0.

Making its first NCAA Tournament appearance ever, Penn State cut the deficit to 3-1 on a behind-the-back goal by freshman Nate Whitaker off a pass from senior Luke Oglesby with 5:22 left in the first period.

With 2:57 left in the quarter, Spear^s first goal of the game put Towson ahead, 4-1. An unassisted goal by junior Drew Pfarr with 2:41 remaining in the first quarter gave Towson a 5-1 lead. The Nittany Lions made it a 5-2 game when freshman John Eremus scored as time expired.

But, Towson took command in the second quarter as the Tigers scored five goals while holding Penn State scoreless. Spear^s second goal of the game made it a 6-2 lead with 13:47 left in the half. Then, senior Zak Smith won the ensuing faceoff and scored an unassisted goal just five seconds after Spear^s goal, giving the Tigers a 7-2 lead. Junior Alex Fountain scored off an assist by freshman Steve Mull to put Towson ahead, 8-2, before Spear scored his third goal off a pass from senior Brad Monaco with 3:07 left in the half for a 9-2 lead. Junior Ben DeFelice capped off the dominant first half when he scored an unassisted goal with 2:40 remaining.

The Nittany Lions scored the first goal of the second half when sophomore Will Jones tallied with just 50 seconds elapsed in the third quarter for a 10-3 Tiger lead. Lochte^s second goal of the game, off a pass from Spear, put Towson ahead, 11-3, with 13:31 left in the third quarter.

However, Penn State rallied and scored three straight goals as Whitaker and Jones each scored their second goal of the game. With 5:35 left in the third quarter, an extra man goal by Eremus cut the Towson lead to 11-6. From that point on, the game was defensive struggle.

Led by sophomore goalkeeper Reed Sothoron and senior defensman Adam Baxter, the Tigers shut out the Nittany Lions the rest of the way. Sothoron finished the game with 13 saves, including four in the fourth quarter. Baxter led the Tigers with eight ground balls.

The Tigers, who did not score in the final 28:31 of the game, outshot the Nittany Lions by a 44-31 margin. Towson also owned a 54-35 edge in ground balls. Towson dominated faceoffs, winning 14 of 20 in the game, including six of seven in the second half. Smith was 8-2 on faceoffs for the Tigers.

The win was the 12th NCAA Tournament victory for Towson Coach Tony Seaman, tying him for the ninth place with Don Zimmerman on the all-time list for NCAA Tournament coaching wins.