Towson attackman Brendan Sunday had experienced what his unit could do in the fall, so he wasn’t surprised by what happened in the fourth quarter Saturday.
The No. 7 Tigers scored six goals in the fourth period, including the first four to defeat No. 18 Georgetown, 14-8, before a crowd of nearly 900 at Cooper Field.
The stubborn Hoyas (2-1) had stayed within two goals for the entire game before the Tigers (3-0) wore them down with faceoff specialist Alex Woodall (St. Mary’s), who at one point won 15 straight, and a relentless attack that overwhelmed Georgetown in the final period.
Sunday finished with four goals and five assists while fellow attackmen Timmy Monahan had three goals and Brody McClean had two goals and two assists. Sunday had three goals in the fourth quarter to pace Towson.
“It was tough to get into a rhythm. They played us well for three quarters” Sunday said. “Then we started to big-little them a little behind the cage, got some looks and turned up the energy in fourth quarter. I thought we played a little flat in the first half.”
There were a lot of questions about Towson’s attack entering the season because Sunday, a senior, was the only returning starter. McClean, a junior, played in a few games early last season, but not well enough to earn playing time. Monahan, a senior, split last season between attack and midfield after transferring in from Maryland.
But in three games, the trio has played well. Mixing in redshirt sophomore Luke Fromert, they have caused a lot of problems for opposing defenses.
“It wasn’t hard to get this unit to mesh because we had the fall and preseason to mesh,” Sunday said. “Brody is my roommate, so I was already close to him. Luke came out of the box for us at times last season so we were already relatively close. We put the emphasis on that in the fall and it has showed this season.
“We have a pretty high expectation that we keep to ourselves and we expect to play up to those expectations.”
The offense starts with the 6-foot-5, 200-pound Sunday. He is quick enough to play from behind the goal and can draw double teams when he gets to where the goal line is extended. Or the Tigers can invert and start him out top at the restraining box.
McLean and Monahan are almost as tall and just as big. Fromert is only 5-8 and 170 pounds, but he is elusive and can handle the ball. The key to this group so far has been the players’ unselfishness.
“The pieces didn’t fit last year,” McLean said of not getting much playing time. “But we lost a few guys and decided to build the offense around the guys we had left. We have good ball movement. We’re moving the ball well and playing together. We had a good fall. We knew we were going to be good.”
Before Saturday, Sunday had seven goals and three assists, and was outstanding against Johns Hopkins in the opener. McLean had eight goals and one assist before the Georgetown game after scoring five goals against Mount St. Mary’s last week.
The Tigers got a balanced effort against the Hoyas.
“Georgetown is a good team and they have the ability to score quickly with that attack,” Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said. “It took us a while to capitalize on our opportunities. But we shared the ball a little better in the fourth quarter and just made some really nice plays.
“Brandon is kind of the guy who gets it started for us at both ends and he has a big presence. You’ve got to play attention to him. Brody was on the scout team last year and at the end of the season played well enough to get on the first offense. He came back this year and took it to another level. With Tim, it’s just great to watch them all play well together.”
It’s a good four-man mix on attack, but there really is a fifth player. It’s Woodall. He just keeps feeding the Tigers the ball for more possessions. And with more possessions comes more goals.
Towson outshot Georgetown, 45-38, and the Tigers were up 89-70 over their opponents in the first two games. It can be like “make it, take it” in playground basketball.