Towson vs. Umbc
April 9, 2003
The Game Story:
TOWSON, Md. - - Towson University received a harsh lesson Wednesday night on the importance of putting together a complete game as the University of Maryland Baltimore County built an early lead and then hung on to beat the Tigers 10-9 on Minnegan Field in Towson Stadium. The 9th-ranked Tigers came out in the first half and gave an uninspired performance, turned things around and then totally dominated play in the second half, but it wasn^t enough as the 17th-ranked Retrievers (5-3) refused to buckle under the late pressure.

Tiger head coach Tony Seaman has stressed all season the importance of shot accuracy, something that Towson had in its previous three performances and something that it clearly didn^t last night. Towson outshot UMBC 43-25 but the Retrievers were more accurate. ^I thought we played as poorly as we can play,^ Seaman said. ^You say to yourselves ^We^re ranked higher than we^ve been all year^ and then you come out and don^t play for a half.^

Trailing 7-2 to open the second half, the Tigers came out with a renewed sense of urgency and it showed on their opening push. Towson (4-4) scored just 15 seconds into the half when senior Hunter Lochte took the ball from Kevin Rutledge on an extra man. Towson scored again a little over a minute later to slice UMBC^s lead to three, thanks to a goal from Kenny Lynch. The remainder of the half belonged to Towson, surrendering just three goals the rest of the way. Despite dominating play UMBC goalie Tim Flanagan came up with seven saves in the fourth quarter to ensure the win. The closest the Tigers came was with three minutes to play when Todd Spear (3 goals) netted the game-tying goal, making it 9-9 with 3:50 left to play. But a goal 70 seconds later from UMBC^s Josh Gerber, coupled with solid defense from Flanagan dashed Towson^s hopes of the come-from-behind win.

The Tigers, who had recorded 44 goals during the previous three games, couldn^t find the back of the net for the first 27:21 of the game, until the 2:39 mark of the second quarter after they were already trailing by six.

The Retrievers took advantage of Towson^s sub par play and scored four times in the opening stanza to take a shutout lead into the second period. UMBC moved the ball around in the Tigers^ zone with relative ease in the opening half, exploiting Towson^s defense for seven first-half goals.

Towson tried to get things going late in the second, tallying two straight scores. But as soon as momentum seemed to be shifting the Tigers^ way, UMBC retaliated right back with a goal of its own, making the score 7-2 heading into the break.

The Tigers are back in action again Saturday night at 7:00 pm when they travel to Villanova for a key matchup between two Colonial Athletic Association unbeatens. A Towson victory would assure the Tigers of a top seed and the home field advantage in the upcoming CAA Tournament. The Retrievers host North Carolina at 1:00 pm on Saturday.