It’s been nine long years for Towson men’s lacrosse against Loyola nine years since the Tigers last defeated their cross-town rival which rose to prominence and won an NCAA championship in the meantime. The momentum was in full force just two years ago when Loyola handed Towson a 20-4 drubbing, a game Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen won’t soon forget. They were able to run us off the field Nadelen said. In the first quarter, they had a 9-1 lead. That was not a fun press conference. Nearly a decade of dominance ended Wednesday at Ridley Athletic Complex. The No. 11 Tigers used a strong defense, anchored by goalie Tyler White, and timely scoring to defeat the No. 6 Greyhounds 10-8 for the first time since 2007. There’s no doubt it feels good to finally beat Loyola after a stretch of not beating them, and that’s a credit to Loyola Nadelen said. I thought our guys did a good job handling the start of the game, coming out fast and being able to keep the pedal down and earn a win against a team that has had the upperhand against us recently.
Neither team led by more than two goals until the fourth quarter, when senior Ben McCarthy beat Loyola goalie Grant Limone low to give Towson the 8-5 lead with 10:09 remaining. The Greyhounds fought back to cut the lead to 8-7, but White came up with a huge save with less than two minutes remaining to stop the momentum and give the Tigers possession. White finished with 16 saves on 41 shots. They all like to get their shots off White said of Loyola’s offense. I like to think that I skewed their shots a little bit and made them think before they shot. But I think the defense in front of me played extremely well and gave me favorable shots that I wanted to see. Junior attackman Joe Seider, Towson’s second-leading scorer coming into the game, beat Limone four times twice in both halves to lead the way. Three of Seider’s four goals came off of feeds from junior attackman Ryan Drenner. Drenner found Seider open in front of the crease twice, exposing the Loyola defense and setting up and easy finish. Drenner leads the Tigers with 16 points on eight goals and eight assists.
He has the best eyes I’ve played with Seider said of Drenner. His head up is always up; he’s really looking to pass the ball. I was open on the crease a lot and he got it to me He played so well today. Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey gave the Tigers credit for fighting throughout a game in which they lost the ground ball battle 32-19 and turned the ball over 11 times. They came out here and they hustled and scrapped and shot the ball very, very well Toomey said. When you look down and see the ground ball battle and the clearing battle that we had, typically those are numbers you would think would be favorable But Tyler White was as advertised against us today. Towson had the advantage on faceoffs early on, after multiple violations were called on Loyola in the first quarter. Toomey said the violations made his players apprehensive, allowing Towson junior midfielder Alec Burckley to win six first-half faceoffs. Both teams held to form in terms of faceoff percentage. Towson, which stood at 57 percent before the game, went 12-for-21 and Loyola, which had a 45-percent mark, finished 9-for-21.
The Greyounds, though, took advantage of their three first-quarter faceoff wins. Freshman Pat Spencer, a Boys’ Latin (Md.) product, scored twice finishing one loose-ball scoop with a behind-the-back shot to help his team jump out to the early 3-1 lead. Loyola (3-1), which had beaten two consecutive ranked teams coming into Wednesday, now will travel to Holy Cross on Saturday looking to rebound. Towson (4-0) will host UMBC on the same day, trying to stay undefeated. Recently Laurel resident and senior basketball player Dominque Johnson became the first student-athlete at Towson University to wear a microphone during a practice session for a special feature for the Towson Sports Network. She was the logical choice, according to her head coach, Nikki Reid Geckeler. That is her personality. I call her sunshine. She definitely brightens up a room Reid Geckeler said. A former student at Laurel Elementary and Eisenhower Middle School, Johnson wore the microphone at practice leading up to a game against the University of Delaware in Colonial Athletic Association action.