The Towson men's lacrosse team is beginning to make a habit out of rallying from fourth-quarter deficits.
For the second straight game, the Tigers dug themselves out of a hole with four unanswered goals in the final eight minutes to outlast visiting UMBC, 12-11, before an announced 1,362 atJohnny UnitasStadium in Towson on Wednesday night.
Sophomore midfielder Thomas DeNapoli had a team-high four points on three goals and one assist, senior midfielder Carl Iacona added three goals and junior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage turned aside a career-best 17 shots to help Towson (7-3) extend its winning streak to five.
But senior attackman Sean Maguire's lone goal proved to be the game-winner. He converted a centering pass from senior midfielder Michael Brashears on an extra-man opportunity with 17 seconds remaining to break a tie at 11 and give the Tigers only their second win in the past six meetings with the Retrievers.
"These guys just find ways to win games," Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said. "I just wish we would do a lot better job in the first 31/2 quarters."
The comeback was reminiscent of the Tigers' rally from a 9-3 deficit Saturday against Hofstra. Towson scored six straight goals in the final 12 minutes, then got a tally from freshman midfielder Justin Mabus with 38 seconds left in the second overtime.
"It's nerve-racking, but it's frustrating more so because I know we're capable of playing so much better and we don't do that," Nadelen said. "With these guys, I don't know. Maybe they're used to taking their night classes and getting out of class around 8 o'clock or 8:30, and that's when they start waking up. I'm not sure. I guess I've got to start looking at the class schedule and figure that out. But for us to make a huge push in the CAA, we've got to figure out how to put four quarters together."
UMBC broke a tie at 8 by scoring the first three goals of the fourth quarter. Sophomore attackman Matt Gregoire one-timed a pass from freshman attackman Derek Bertolini, and junior attackman Scott Jones scored his third and fourth goals of the game to give the Retrievers a three-goal cushion with 8:30 left in the period.
But that's when the Tigers began chipping away at the lead. DeNapoli pounced on a loose ball caused by a scrum in the slot and rolled the ball under junior goalie Adam Cohen with 7:30 remaining.
DeNapoli completed his hat trick with a dodge from the left wing with 3:43 left. Then, on a four-on-three, Brashears swung the ball to senior attackman Matt Lamon at the left point and he passed it to junior attackman Matt Hughes near the left post for the equalizer with 1:06 remaining.
That set up Maguire's heroics.
"Coach [Anthony] Gilardi [the team's offensive coordinator] has been harping on getting the ball in the middle, and this time, Brash was on the wing and he saw me," Maguire said. "He got it in there, and I just fired it low — just like the scouting report says."
Jones paced UMBC with a game-high five points on four goals and one assist. Junior midfielder Scott Hopmann had three goals and one assist, and junior attackman Joe Lustgarten finished with four assists.
But coach Don Zimmerman was dismayed that the team could not protect the three-goal advantage in the fourth quarter.
"I'm disappointed," he said. "I thought the fourth quarter, it's been our strong quarter throughout the year. Tonight, we just didn't perform the way we needed to. We made some bad decisions. … I thought we played well enough to win, but we didn't finish. That's something we need to work on."