Ben McCarty (South Carroll) scored a career-best six goals to lead Towson to an 11-8 victory over Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association men's lacrosse semifinal Wednesday night at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
The Tigers (9-7) face the host, top-seeded and No. 9 Penn State, in Friday's championship at 3 p.m.
McCarty's six goals led all scorers. Andrew Hodgson scored twice and Justin Mabus had three assists. Andrew Wascavage made 14 saves for Towson. Robert Church led Drexel (11-4) with five points (three goals, two assists).
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McCarty opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 11:27 when he beat Drexel's Cal Winkelman top left. Drexel quickly equalized at 10:41 when Garrett McIntosh received a feed from behind the goal and sneaked a shot past Wascavage high left.
But the Tigers reeled off two quick scores to take a 3-1 lead at 8:26 when Thomas DeNapoli notched his 39th of the season and McCarty found the back of the net again. Drexel's Hank Brown kept the Dragons in it with a tally at 7:51. Rob Zoppo (Calvert Hall) added a goal for Towson at 3:18 off a pass from classmate Cory Dobyns to increase the Tigers' lead to 4-2.
Towson opened the second quarter with an extra-man opportunity goal from Hodgson, assisted by Mabus, after Drexel was called for delay of game. Matt Hughes made it 6-2 with his sixth goal of the year at 11:52 when he scored from just outside the crease.
McCarty notched his first career hat trick at 5:38 in the second to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead, and added an extra-man goal from just outside the crease off a dish from Mabus at 1:14.
Hodgson took a pass from DeNapoli and fired a shot from distance past Winkelman to put Towson up 9-3 at 12:36 of the third quarter. However, Drexel mounted a comeback over the next four minutes. The Dragons' fourth goal came off an odd play. Drexel committed a turnover but the ball was checked out of a Tiger defender's stick and rolled in the goal. It was credited to Church at 11:25. He scored twice more: at 8:50 when his bounce shot skidded in and six seconds later off a faceoff.
But McCarty scored his fifth goal at 8:00 to keep Towson in front, 10-6. The Dragons didn't go away. After Towson was called for offsides, Chris Frederick caught a pass just outside the crease and scored. McIntosh scored his second at 3:05 in the third on an extra-man chance to inch the Dragons to within 10-8.
McCarty equaled his season goal total (six) when he scored on a man-up opportunity at 10:37 in the fourth off a pass by Mabus pass to make it 11-8. The Tigers held Drexel scoreless in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Stevenson 23, Lebanon Valley 7: The host Mustangs (16-2) powered through a Commonwealth Conference semifinal, scoring eight of the first nine goals against the Flying Dutchmen (11-6).
Stevenson hosts Widener in the conference championship Saturday at 7 p.m.
Pat Candon and Peter Green (Hereford) each scored three goals for Stevenson, which led 15-3 at halftime.
Merchant Marine 6, Goucher 5: The host Gophers (8-8, 6-0) put together a three-goal rally in the fourth quarter but lost to the Mariners (9-7, 3-3) in a Landmark Conference semifinal.
Pierce Ingram led Goucher with two goals and two assists.
Merchant Marine broke a 1-1 first-quarter tie by scoring the next five goals over the second and third quarters.
Dickinson 14, Washington College 7: Brian Cannon had five points (three goals, two assists) and the host Red Devils (16-0) downed the Shoremen (12-4) in a Centennial Conference semifinal.
Sid Looney scored two goals for Washington College. Dickinson opened with a 4-0 run and Washington College answered with a 3-0 run in the first quarter.
Looney tied the game on his first goal, unassisted with 10:12 left in the first half. Dickinson scored the next three and Washington College never got closer than two the rest of the way.