Towson junior attacker Andi Raymond didn't have much to say after her team's 11-6 victory over UMBC Wednesday at Johnny Unitas Stadium. As her teammates and coaches talked about her squad's season-opening win, Raymond sat quietly at the end of the podium.
She did her talking on the field.
Despite missing all of last season to injury, Raymond came out firing on all cylinders, leading her team with four goals and an assist during the victory. Ashleigh Rohrback, the co-Colonial Athletic Association player of the year, added two goals and three assists for the Tigers.
The duo had a hand in seven of the team's 11 goals.
"We have a pretty good feel of how each other work even though we've been off for over a year now," Rohrback said of her chemistry with Raymond. "Off that first goal, it was just kind of a spark and it clicked."
With 28:37 to play in the first half, Rohrback found Raymond cutting and hit her on the doorstep, setting up an easy goal to put the Tigers up 1-0.
Four minutes later, Towson senior midfielder Katie Leech stripped Retrievers freshman Mackenzie Reese in UMBC's offensive zone and hit Rohrback as she blazed down the right sideline. As Rohrback made her way toward the net, she found junior attacker Taylor Moore alone in front of the goal to make the score 2-0.
But UMBC captain Kristen Bilney, who finished with four goals, responded just over a minute later, catching a long pass from Ali Carpenter and burying a one-on-one opportunity in the top left corner of the net.
Towson controlled the ensuing draw, but a turnover by Moore gave UMBC the ball back. Bilney was fouled by a Towson defender and was awarded a free-position shot. She put the ball into the top right corner of the net, erasing the Tigers' early lead.
"You're gonna have those first-game jitters and the need to just settle into the game," Towson coach Sonia LaMonica said. "That was evident at that point, and then we regained our composure and started to play our game."
With 11 minutes to play before halftime, Raymond dodged from behind the cage and scored unassisted. Bilney hit a free-position shot just over two minutes later to tie the game at 3.
From there, it was all Towson.
The Tigers received goals from Rohrback and freshman attacker Gabby Cha before half to give Towson a 5-3 lead at the break. Rohrback hit Raymond to open up scoring in the second half, and then freshman Samantha Brookhart put an underhanded laser through the legs of UMBC goalie Anna Barnett to make the score 7-3 with 25 minutes to play.
Bilney squeaked a free-position shot past Towson goalie Kelsea Donnelly to bring the Retrievers to within three goals. But that was as close as they would get.
As the Tigers were pulling away, UMBC began putting more pressure on Donnelly in net. The Retrievers took 16 shots in the second half, four times as many as they took in the first half.
"That's something I think I need to be more careful with," Donnelly said. "They're just gonna start throwing it in when you don't expect it. That's when I really need to pay attention, because they'll just turn around and shoot."