Towson High blended a strong goaltending performance and solid defense with a patient offense, as they went on the road for an 8-4 triumph over Loch Raven on Wednesday evening.
The defense, anchored by goalie Colby Hogan (14 saves) and long sticks Drew Turner, Brian Pflaum and Josh Ritter held Loch Raven (2-7) scoreless until 2:22 remained in the first half.
By that time, the Generals’ offense had built a 6-0 lead on the strength of five second-quarter goals.
Sophomore AJ Bosse (game-high 4 goals) scored the only goal of the first quarter and added two more, along with John Lockwood (2 goals, 2 assists) in the second quarter.
Charlie Kibbe also scored in the second quarter for the Generals (4-3).
“There’s nothing better than cheering on your offense,” senior defender Turner said. “It really gets you to play your best when your offense is playing well too.”
Mike Ferris (team-high 3 goals) broke the ice for Loch Raven with 2:22 left until intermission, and he added another with five seconds left to make it 6-2.
“It was a defensive struggle.” Towson coach John Cummings said. “We couldn’t put our shots on goal in the first quarter, but they started falling for us in the second.”
Loch Raven came out firing early in the second half, but Hogan came up with tough saves on shots by Nick Demski and Ferris.
The Generals responded with a long possession, that included five shots that couldn’t get past Raider goalie Brandan Glorioso (9 saves).
After a Raider shot off the post, the home team finally cut the deficit to 6-3 when Vasili Sidou assisted Bryce Spruill with four minutes left in the third period.
But Towson’s Dustin Lovely won the ensuing faceoff, and it let to a feed from Noah St. John to Jack Ware for a 7-3 lead.
Ferris converted another Sidou feed to make it 7-4 with 7:53 left in regulation, but Bosse dunked Lockwood’s helper from behind the net and the lead was back up to four.
Hogan made four saves in the final six minutes to stave off any Raider rally.
“He had his best game of the season today, no doubt about it,” Cummings said.
Cummings also praised the play of four-year senior starter Turner.
“He’s one of my senior captains, one of the leaders on this team and I need that from him, because we’ve got some young guys out here and without him, we struggle a little bit,” Cummings said. “He’s big for our defense.”
Turner was just happy to see the entire team jell as a unit.
“We had to win this game and we knew we had to win this game as a team,” Turner said. “We really came together and I was impressed.”
:Loch Raven coach John Hanley appreciated his team’s effort in the second half, but knew they needed more ball control to get back in the game.
“We came out (in the second half) a little more aggressive, focusing on getting the ground balls,” Hanley said. “We wanted to push out on their hands a little bit and not let them dictate what they wanted to do on offense and that gave us more possessions and more opportunities to get the ball down on offense and score.”
But the scores were few and far between.
“That was the frustrating thing,” he said. “We sort of felt like we left it on the table. We were there and we had every opportunity and things didn’t go our way today.”
Loch Raven hopes that changes on Friday when they face an Eastern Tech squad Towson defeated 14-2 on Monday.
Towson hosts five-time defending state champion Hereford on Friday.