Outmanned physically, host Towson spent the bulk of yesterday's men's lacrosse game against No. 7 Maryland trying to slow the tempo to a crawl.
It was a strategy that helped keep the Tigers in contention until well into the second half. Ultimately, however, the Terrapins' athleticism won out.
Leading by one, Maryland got consecutive goals by Travis Reed, Ryan Young and Grant Catalino in a span of 1:47 midway through the third quarter, opening a lead it never relinquished in a 9-7 win before an announced 3,600 at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
"We were getting a little impatient sitting down at the offensive end just watching them toss the ball around," Catalino said. "Going into the second half, I think we realized ... when we get the ball we have to slow it down and attack. We can't get antsy and go right to the goal."
It marked the Terrapins' 15th straight regular-season victory in the series and eighth straight overall.
Catalino led Maryland (4-1) with four goals and an assist, giving him four career hat tricks. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound sophomore, who teams with 6-6, 260-pound Will Yeatman on the front line, has scored at least one point in 18 straight games.
Justin Schneider and Tim Stratton each scored a pair of goals to lead Towson (1-3).
Towson came out determined to slow the pace of the game to a crawl, and succeeded in doing just that.
"To say we were deliberate is almost not justice," Tigers coach Tony Seaman said. "We were just very respectful of all the firepower they have on the offensive end of the field. So we thought if we could control the ball at our end ... that was going to give us our best shot to win this game."
Despite drawing a handful of warnings for stalling, the Tigers stuck to their game plan, tying the score at 2 midway through the second quarter when Justin Schneider started behind the goal, dove forward and scooped a low shot into the net.
They went into halftime tied despite committing several unforced turnovers.
"You can say that we didn't play exceptionally well, but you have to give the other team credit," Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. "They practiced and came up with a good game plan and caused the uneasiness that we felt."
Leading by a goal, the Terrapins began their game-changing flurry when Reed scored an extra-man goal 7:39 into the third quarter. Young then followed 1:36 later, finishing off a fast break after a Tigers turnover.
Moments later, Catalino extended the lead to 6-2.
Towson, however, again made a game of it with three straight goals of its own, with Matt Hanzsche's score off a feed from Bill McCutcheon cutting the lead to 6-5 with 12:53 left.
That was as close as the Tigers would get, as the Terrapins scored the next three out of four to seal the win.
Seaman acknowledged that the deliberate game plan isn't usually his style.
"It's not really the way I like to play lacrosse, to tell you the truth," Seaman said. "We did it well, and except for a couple plays and a couple things that happened out there, it was pretty close."