First-half blitz helps No. 11 Towson lacrosse rout rival UMBC, improve to 5-0

Any questions about No. 11 Towson having a possible letdown against winless UMBC on Saturday were answered in the first 35 seconds of the game.

That's when Tigers junior midfielder Tyler Young scored the game's first goal. Towson scored two more in the first period and six more in the second as the Tigers easily defeated rival UMBC, 14-6, in front of nearly 500 at Johnny Unitas Stadium.


There were concerns that Towson (5-0) might not be ready emotionally after upsetting No. 5 Loyola, 10-8, Wednesday night. But the Tigers were relentless in the first 30 minutes of the game and led 9-0 at the half after outshooting the Retrievers, 24-7.

By then, the only question that remained was by how many goals would Towson beat UMBC?


"We came out aggressive and set the tone by making good decisions on both ends of the field," Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said. "I'm proud how our guys handled coming out of a midweek game and being able to refocus and play Towson lacrosse against UMBC."

Nadelen has yet to lose to the Retrievers since taking over the program five years ago. But more importantly, this stretch of games, which will also include No. 13 Johns Hopkins next Saturday, will get the Tigers tournament-ready.

Towson could climb into the top 10 this week for the first time since 2005.

"For any coach, as a program, you want to get your schedule as competitive as you want it to be," Nadelen said. "I think ours is pretty competitive.

"If you're expecting to be in postseason play, whether it is in conference play or NCAA, you have to put your team to the test throughout the season — facing tough opponents either week in, week out, or midweek with couple of days in between — to give them the experience on how to approach those games."

Towson had a few lapses of sloppy play following the big halftime lead, but the Tigers were never really challenged. They outshot UMBC, 48-19, and won 15 of 23 faceoffs. The Tigers also converted 12 of 13 clears.

Senior midfielder Ben McCarty (South Carroll) led the Tigers with three goals while teammates Spencer Parks (St. Paul's) and Ryan Drenner (Westminster) each added two.

"Teamwise, it was big week for us and we got off to a good start," Drenner said. "We won a lot of faceoffs early and the more you have the ball, the more you have a chance to put up nine goals. We just ran the offense. It was nothing out of the ordinary."


The first-half blitz rattled a young Retrievers team that was without top players Nate Lewnes, an attackman out with mononucleosis, and Jack Andrews, a midfielder who sat with an ankle injury.

UMBC didn't get its first goal until midfielder Max Maxwell scored with 9:21 left in the third quarter to cut Towson's lead to 12-1. The Retrievers scored three more goals within the next three minutes — two by midfielder Ryan Baker. But McCarty scored with two seconds left to give Towson a 13-4 lead at the end of the third period.

UMBC used five different faceoff specialists during the game and failed to convert on four extra-man situations.

"We lost to a very good Towson squad," UMBC coach Don Zimmerman said. "They are well coached and playing with the right confidence. They came out and got a couple right away. They are a team that is not going to let the foot off the pedal.

"They smelled some blood, went after it and next thing you know, you're down 9-0. You have to give them some credit for that and our guys also have to find a way to stop the bleeding."

The first-half blowout allowed the Retrievers to get a look at some young players in the second half, and they could make some lineup changes for next Saturday's game against Marist.


One could be at goalie, where David Pisanic replaced Connor Gordon in the second half. Gordon had only five saves in the first half and Pisanic finished with six. Zimmerman said it all depends on which goalie has the best week of practice.

"We are a young team and we found out some things about ourselves," Zimmerman said. "Some young guys got into the 9-0 game and could have thrown in the towel, but they kept fighting."