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Navy speeds away with 10-6 win against Towson

Towson TigersUnited States Naval Academy

The Naval Academy broke open a tightly contested game with five straight goals to open the third quarter as the visiting Middies defeated Towson, 10-6, in mens' college lacrosse Tuesday night.

The Tigers (2-3) had taken a one-goal lead at the half, but Navy (3-3) controlled the tempo and dominated the game in the second half.

Navy sophomore midfielder Pat Kiernan scored in the first three minutes of the third period to open the scoring, and then sophomore attackman Tucker Hull followed with back-to-back goals to push the Middies ahead, 4-2, with 8 minutes and 41 seconds left in the third quarter.

While Navy's attackmen did most of the scoring, it was the Middies midfielders that did most of the damage with their dodging and quick passes.

Navy senior midfielder Nikk Davis, who assisted on a Hull goal earlier, assisted on another to junior midfielder Bryce Dabbs with 1:27 left, and senior attackman Taylor Reynolds scored five seconds later as Navy took a 6-2 lead.

Towson senior attackman Matt Lamon halted Navy's scoring spree on a goal with 56 seconds remaining.

Navy, however, opened the scoring with two straight goals in the fourth period, one from Reynolds and another from sophomore Pat Durkin from the right of the goal in the first five minutes of the quarter.

"I think we were kind of rushing things, we weren't real poised," said Reynolds, who along with Dabbs and Tucker each finished with two goals. "We weren't playing our scripted offense. In the second half, we knew we were fine and we could run our offense and get some good looks. We settled down, kept it calm, got some good looks for some individuals and it turned out for the best."

Once the Tigers started collapsing on Hull, the Middies went to Dabbs and Taylor.

"He has great vision and is a versatile player," said Reynolds of Hull. "He can not only finish, but he constantly has his head up. When he attracts a lot of defensive players they aren't worrying about me at the crease and it makes our jobs a lot easier."

The victory was the second straight for Navy. Towson was looking for its second straight home win after beating Mount St. Mary's, 10-8, on March 3.

Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen has been alternating goalkeepers at the half since the third game of the season, but it was strange watching him pull Andrew Wascavage for Travis Love at halftime.

Wascavage had given up only one goal after two periods.

"We expected it," said Hull. "But when you only let in one goal, I have to say I was surprised after holding us down that far. It was actually us not playing well. Then we played well in the second half. If we had done that in the first half, it wouldn't have mattered what goalie was in."

Towson outshot Navy in the second period, 7-3, but Navy goalie R.J. Wickham played well in the period with three saves, two from point blank range. Towson junior attackman Matt Hughes had an unassisted goal with 5:50 left in the period to put Towson ahead, 2-1, at the half.

The first quarter was poorly played by both teams as there were nine turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game. Navy outshot Towson, 5-3, but it didn't make much difference.

The score was tied 1-1 at the end of the first period as midfielder Carl Iacona scored on a low bouncer with 1:53 remaining. Navy sophomore midfielder Erik Hoffstadt scored 51 seconds later to tie the score, on an assist from freshman midfielder Jack Hinderland.

Both teams had extra man opportunities in the first period but failed to score.

mike.preston@baltsun.com

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