This time, Towson hangs on for victory

The Baltimore Sun

Towson's women's lacrosse team ran up a big lead against James Madison yesterday, but unlike Friday night, the Tigers didn't let it get away.

The No. 16 Tigers scored the first six goals and held the Dukes scoreless in the first half to power a 12-7 victory in a Colonial Athletic Association contest and their final regular-season home game before an announced 1,188 at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The win keeps the Tigers (10-4) in first place in the CAA at 4-1, just a half game ahead of No. 12 George Mason (10-2, 3-1), which came from behind to defeat Towson, 13-10, Friday.

While the Tigers' defense held tight in the first half yesterday, their offense also looked better, playing much more patiently than Friday, when Towson squandered a four-goal lead. The more deliberate strategy kept the ball in Towson's possession longer, and that helped the defense, too.

"We've been playing a lot of defense in the games," senior goalie Mandy Corry said, "and I think it's partly because our team's so fast this year that we can score on the fast breaks. But it hurts us sometimes when we play that much defense, so we worked a lot on attack this weekend, and our attack really settled it and made smart passes."

In the first half, the Tigers limited the Dukes (5-8, 1-3) to seven shots, and Corry saved all four they put on goal, finishing with seven saves.

Attacker Annie Wagner scored three goals, but by the time she put the Dukes on the board 1:06 into the second half, the Tigers were up 6-0. Wagner scored again, and Kim Griffin made it 6-3 with 24:10 to go.

Nine seconds later, the Tigers ended the run. Hillary Fratzke, who tied a career high with five goals, won the draw on a foul, raced to the goal and fed Nikki Marcinik. Britt Woodfield added a free-position goal to push the Tigers' lead to 8-3.

The Dukes cut the margin to 8-5 with 15:59 remaining on back-to-back goals from Jaime Dardine, but the Tigers shut them down for the next 11 minutes.

"One of our objectives coming from Friday was to play consistently, to stay consistently strong mentally, no matter what was going on, and I think because they did that, you could really see it physically pay off on the field," said Towson coach Missy Doherty, who earned her 50th career victory.

James Madison 0 7 - 7

Towson 6 6 - 12

Goals: JM-Wagner 3, Dardine 2, Griffin, Stone; T-Fratzke 5, Kendall 2, Woodfield 2, Marcinik, McNamara, Taylor. Assists: JM-Haller; T-Taylor 2, Bauer, Fratzke. Saves: JM-Kelly 14; T-Corry 7.

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