The Towson men’s lacrosse team clinched the Colonial Athletic Association regular season title with a 10-9 victory over Penn State on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers won their fifth game in a row, improving their record to 6-5 on the season and a perfect 4-0 in conference play. Towson secured the top seed in the CAA Tournament which begins on May 5.
The Tigers are ranked 11th overall in the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association Division I Poll. This is the highest the team has been ranked since they were ranked 11th on March 5, 2007.
The win over the Nittany Lions was their third consecutive one-goal victory.
The Tigers gained the 10-9 lead on a goal from graduate student Christian Pastirik with six minutes, 41 seconds left in regulation. Towson’s defense held Penn State to just one shot the rest of the game.
Junior attackman Tim Stratton scored two goals and had two assists in the win, while goalkeeper Travis Love had 15 saves for the Tigers. The five-game winning streak is Towson’s first since 2005. The Tigers play a pair of road-games this weekend to finish up the regular season, including a non-conference game on Wednesday that will be broadcasted on ESPNU.
Hens playing well on defense
On Saturday, the Delaware men’s lacrosse team knocked off Drexel, 10-6 at Delaware Stadium. The Blue Hens, who won their second straight game, held the No. 11-ranked Dragons to just one goal through the first 51 minutes of the game.
The Delaware offense was led by All-American Curtis Dickson who netted three goals, as well as John Austin and Nick Elsmo who each scored twice. Delaware goalkeeper Noah Fossner turned back 12 Drexel shots and held the Dragons to a single goal until the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Hens have now held opponents to six goals or less in a game four times this season. Drexel was held to its lowest goal total of the season, despite outshooting the Hens 35-34. Colin Ambler had two goals for the Dragons, while Robert Church, Brendan Glynn and Adam Dennis each contributed with a goal and an assist.
After a scoreless first quarter, the Hens took control with five goals in the second to take a 5-1 lead into the half. Delaware tacked on another seven goals over the next 26 minutes to secure the victory.
Delaware’s head coach Bob Shillinglaw, in his 32nd year coaching, won his 500th career contest at Delaware Stadium.
The Hens face Penn State in their next matchup, and with a win over the Nittany Lions, Delaware would secure the No. 2 seed in the CAA tournament.
Rankings, awards, and game-changers
Curtis Dickson, who netted three goals in Delaware’s victory over Drexel on Saturday, was named the Milt Roberts Most Valuable Player of the Game as he extended his goal streak to 22 games and his point-scoring streak to 53 straight.
Dickson was also named the CAA Men’s Lacrosse Player of the Week for the second straight week. He entered the game leading the nation in total points and added on to his season goal total of 48, just two shy of becoming the first UD player to reach 50 goals in a season since All-American John Grant scored 56 in 1999.
Since Towson goalkeeper Travis Love became the starter on March 16 against Navy, he has helped his team to a 6-2 record. Over the last eight games that Love has started, he has turned away 58.2 percent of shots on goal, which ranks ninth in the NCAA Division 1. His .583 save percentage is helping lead a Tiger defense that has allowed less than 10 goals in seven of his games started.
UMass rookie Will Manny earned CAA Men’s Rookie of the Week honors with his performance in the 13-12 upset against No. 10 Georgetown this weekend. Manny had a hat trick as well as two assists to extend his team leading points total to 41. Currently, four CAA teams are nationally ranked in the USILA Division I poll. The Tigers are at No. 11, Massachusetts is at No. 9, Drexel is at No. 13 and Hofstra is at No. 15.
Michael Counos can be contacted at email@example.com.