The 30th meeting between the 6th ranked Terrapins of Maryland and the 18th ranked Tigers of Towson, pitted the two perennially ranked clubs against each other in a surprisingly clean game despite adverse field conditions. The heavy rain from the previous night did not seem to affect the playing surface enough to lead to the kind of penalty ridden mud wrestling contests that are common to March. Both offenses displayed high levels of patience in 6 on 6, which was needed to beat strong goalie play from both teams. In the end, however, the Terrapins’ young trio of attackmen put on another strong performance en route to a 12 to 7 victory. Towson hung with Maryland up until the 4th quarter, where the Tigers could not find an answer to great settled defense from the Terps, and where freshman attacker Ryan Young notched two of his four assists.
Maryland struck first with an unassisted tally by junior midfielder Jeremy Sieverts. He simply beat his man on the left wing and finished right handed on Towson goalie Billy Sadtler. Maryland won the ensuing face-off and the two teams traded possessions before the first penalty of the game came against Towson. Senior long pole Ryan O’Donnell drew the flag for a slash, which gave Maryland the first EMO for the day. Sadtler and his man-down unit proved up to the challenge though, as they turned aside some good looks from the Terps and kept the score 1 to 0. The good feeling did not last long however, as Maryland struck again. This time the goal came from junior middie Dan Groot with the assist courtesy of a pretty feed from behind by Ryan Young. Towson’s first score was an unassisted drive and finish by freshman midfielder Matt Hanzsche, which was created by good ball movement to catch the Maryland defense in transition. The Tigers got some chances to equalize on a long possession that lasted until about 3:14 left in the 1st, but some great settled defense from Maryland, and strong play from starting keeper Jason Carter, kept the Tigers from capitalizing. Maryland then extended its lead with some hustle from their d midfield. After moving the ball up the field, sophomore long pole Brian Farrell got the goal off an assist from freshman middie Dan Burns. Scores by long poles often lead to momentum shifts, but Towson’s Seniors did well to answer back quickly with a goal from Senior attacker Blake Best assisted by his classmate Jonathan Engelke. This rounded out the scoring for the first quarter with Maryland up 3 to 2.
Maryland would also get the first score of the second quarter as well. Dan Groot scored his second of the game, this time off of a feed from fellow middie Jeremy Sieverts. The play was created by a great dodge and dump by Ryan Young from behind, who then worked the ball around, with Groot eventually finishing the play.
Despite the two goal deficit Towson continued to play deliberate, patient offense, which it seemed that Maryland was controlling. The lack of production brought a timeout call from Coach Seaman, who must have said something right as his team answered with a goal; this one coming from junior attackman Randall Cooper assisted by Jonathan Engelke, his second assist of the game. It was then up to the Towson defense to turn away another Maryland EMO attempt which brought a great save from Sadtler followed by the Maryland shooter falling into the crease. Towson Ball. Two minutes later, the Tigers would pull even on an impressive bull dodge by Sophomore attackman Eric Boyle. He did a great tightrope walk of the crease with his d man all over him and finished in tight to even things up at 4 goals apiece. The tie did not last long however, as Maryland Middie Jeff Reynolds scored unassisted to give Maryland a 5 to 4 lead heading into the locker-room for halftime.
The second half brought goal keeper switches for both Clubs, as Brian Phipps replaced Jason Carter for Maryland, and Matt Antol replaced Billy Sadtler for Towson. Both goalies picked up where their partners left off, turning away most outside shots. Phipps however, had a better second half than his Towson counterpart, do in large part to the quality of the defense played in front of him. Where most of Towson’s scores in the first half came on unsettled situations, the Maryland D would begin to tighten up and prevent more easy looks in transition.
The opening face-off of the second half went to Towson, as the weather started to turn. The change in weather brought a howl of delight from the benches of both teams, as a driving wind and rain came sweeping in. Where footing had been OK at the start of the game, this fresh rain made things a little more slick, with players losing their footing on more than one occasion. The gusting wind also seemed to be a factor in the clearing game, as long looping passes did not stay on course.
The scoring in the third quarter started the same as the first two, with a Terrapin scoring first. Jeff Reynolds found the back of the net again for his second unassisted goal of the game. This one came in transition. However, It only took Towson 11 seconds to answer Reynolds’ goal with one of their own, as Jonathan Engelke beat Phipps off of a feed from freshman attacker Tim Stratton. Engelke had a decent three point outing and led the Tigers in scoring with three points.
Just as quickly as the rain and wind started, it passed with about 10:17 left in the third. The sunshine that followed allowed the fans that stuck around a chance to see some great back and forth lacrosse. Maryland would score the next three goals with scores coming from big freshman Grant Catalino, big senior Will Dalton, and normal sized freshman Travis Reed. The score by Dalton was especially impressive as he swept across the top, left to right, bullying his way through two defenders before finishing right handed. Reed’s goal was more technical as he took a feed from Ryan Young and ripped a low to high shot to Antol’s off stick side.
As they had all game, Towson was able to respond with a run of their own. Towson senior Brian Vetter made an acrobatic finish coming around from behind the goal to finish right handed with 45 seconds remaining in the quarter. The Tigers then took the ensuing face-off and got the ball down to junior midfielder Kyle Smedley, who beat Phipps with a nice fake low, shoot high to pull within two goals of Maryland.
Alas for Towson fans, this is as close as they would get. The Tigers had kept the game close on the strength of their transition game and good goal tending, but the Terrapins put the clamps down in the fourth quarter, preventing Towson from scoring and dominating the face-off x. The Towson man down unit continued its strong showing, turning aside another EMO opportunity for the Terps, and giving their team a chance to get the ball on offense. The Towson offense had possessions in the fourth quarter, but they just could not crack a Maryland defense that really flexed its muscle in the fourth quarter. With as much as 8:18 to go in the game, Towson started to pressure out with the goalie on inbounds plays in an effort to get some momentum going their way. Maryland handled the pressure and started to milk the clock.
With 7:22 to go in the game, Maryland’s Catalino scored the goal of the game as he weaved his way through the Towson defense, going through the slide man and maintaining possession with some nifty stick work before finishing with a fake high shoot low to cap a long, time-killing possession. Not long afterward, long pole Brian Farrell would score his second goal of the game after hanging around the backside pipe and backhanding a feed from Ryan Young. Young would finish off his day with one more assist, again finding Dan Groot for the goal.
Unlike the earlier runs of the day, this last run by the Terps went unanswered, as the Tigers were unable to score in the fourth quarter despite having possessions and an EMO opportunity with time winding down. The transition game that had fueled their offense earlier in the day was not as effective in the final quarter.
Life does not get any easier for the Tigers as they host Virginia next weekend, so they will have to hope to rebound quickly in time to face the undefeated Cavaliers. For the Terps, they have a Friday night date with another intrastate rival, the Retrievers of UMBC.
|Ryan Young||(0, 4)|
|Dan Groot||(3, 0)|
|Grant Catalino||(2, 0)|
|Jeremy Sieverts||(1, 1)|
|Jeff Reynolds||(2, 0)|
|Brian Farrell||(2, 0)|
|Will Dalton||(1, 0)|
|Travis Reed||(1, 0)|
|Dean Hart||(0, 1)|
|Dan Burns||(0, 1)|
|Brian Phipps||7 (0.700)|
|Jason Carter||6 (0.600)|