Some might think Towson should be pleased with just making it to the NCAA tournament quarterfinals where the team fell to No. 7 seed Loyola Maryland, 10-8, at Ohio Stadium here on Sunday.

But that's not how the Tigers view it.


"It's not a surprise to a single person on our team," redshirt senior midfielder Ben McCarty (South Carroll) said of the program's first appearance in the quarterfinals since 2003. "Obviously, it's a surprise to a lot of the media, but coming into the year, we knew we had a really solid team."

Towson (16-3) capped its season with a school record in victories and a third Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship in four years. While some might remember this year's squad for missing out on its first berth in the NCAA semifinals since 2001, coach Shawn Nadelen said the players will hold their heads up high.

"I told the team in the locker room that there's no words for it, unfortunately," he said. "The only thing I could say was just thank you to this team and especially the seniors. Today is not going to define who we are as a program or this senior class or this team with ending it with a loss."

Even after the loss, junior attackman Ryan Drenner (Westminster) said it was difficult to accept reality.

"We expected to be playing next weekend as well," he said. "We played hard all season. Whether we shocked the world or not, I think we expected to be here. Just bummed out that we don't have another opportunity to play."

Circling back to "Three Things to Watch..."

1) Scoring on Towson's Tyler White. After scoring just eight goals on 41 shots in a two-goal loss on March 2, Loyola posted 10 goals on 36 attempts against the Tigers' 6-foot-3, 240-pound redshirt senior goalkeeper. White, who made a season-high 16 saves in that regular-season meeting, finished with just eight on Sunday as the Greyhounds waited for high-percentage opportunities.

"We got some clean looks, we got some inside looks on him," coach Charley Toomey said. "We really tried to get all of our looks inside the hash marks or off the catch. We wanted to make him move across the cage and not settle for low-angled shots. Their defense is very similar to a Notre Dame-style defense, and ironically, he was coached by [former Fighting Irish goalie] Scott Rodgers, and he's similar to Scott Rodgers in the goal. So if you're shooting low-angled shots, he's a big kid that's going to gobble those up, and he did the first time around. I thought [assistant] coach [Ryan] Moran did a terrific job of getting us to good space to finish off shots."

2) Cuffing Loyola's offense. Freshman attackman Pat Spencer and junior attackman Zach Sirico registered three goals and one assist each as the Greyhounds reached double digits in scoring for the ninth time during their 10-game win streak. Nadelen was not terribly upset with the number of goals Loyola scored, but pointed out that Towson's inability to turn stops into offensive opportunities swayed the time-of-possession battle in the Greyhounds' favor.

"For us, just not being able to get out of our own way at times," Nadelen said. "We'd make a stop, and we'd get a careless push call or something like that where we had the ball. We'd make a stop and we just couldn't get the ball out, and having to play defense again, that wore us down. Our defense is strong, but you can't expect to play as much as we did against a good offense that was tuned-up and ready to play."

3) Getting the edge on faceoffs. After winning just 2 of 13 draws and picking up two ground balls in a 16-11 win against Duke on May 14, junior Graham Savio went 15-of-21 with seven loose balls for Loyola. Towson junior Alec Burckley went 2 of 8 with zero ground balls before giving way to senior long-stick midfielder Patrick Conroy, who won 4 of 12 faceoffs. Toomey acknowledged that the Greyhounds were forced to adjust against Conroy.

"It was the 50-50 ground ball or it was a faceoff win by us, and they were able to kind of put the ball on the ground," he said. "That was really it. … But Graham's had a terrific run in this stretch, and he's our guy. So we've got to protect him up there, and [volunteer assistant] coach [Steve] Vaikness does an excellent job with those guys."

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