baltimoresun.com

July 12, 2011

Maryland gets a few representatives on national Under 19 team

After four days of tryouts at UMBC between July 7-10, US Lacrosse announced the 23-man roster that will seek to capture the 2012 Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) U19 Men’s World Championships in Turku, Finland.

The state has a few representatives on the team. They include defenseman Robert Enright, an incoming freshman at Johns Hopkins; midfielder Charles Raffa, an incoming freshman at Maryland; and midfielder Robert Zoppo, a soon-to-be sophomore at Towson.

Midfielder Stephen Kelly, who recently wrapped up his sophomore year at Calvert Hall, was selected to the U19 team. Midfielder Ryan Tucker, a Gilman graduate who will play for 2011 national champion Virginia, was also chosen.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Towson
        

July 7, 2011

ESPN’s Mark Dixon delves further into Division I coaching changes

Thursday’s edition of The Sun included an article on the spate of head coaching changes in Division I this year. The article included a few quotes from ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon and a thumbnail look at a few selected schools that had hired new coaches or were in the process of doing so.

Dixon surmised that the impetus to win immediately and frequently that administrations are putting on head coaches has resonated on the youth and high school levels of lacrosse.

"I think if you look at the landscape of the sport and when you take it down to the cellular level, the intense involvement of parents and the existence of club teams for kids who are 10 years old, the behavior at games of coaches toward referees, parents toward coaches, parents and coaches toward players -- these are things that youth football and club soccer have endured, and now we face these things in lacrosse," Dixon said. "I think as the game grows, more and more athletes are picking it up, and I think the biggest thing is that the majority of parents haven’t played the game.”

Dixon said university officials can point to Villanova as a case study. The Wildcats went 11-5 this past spring and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years despite not fielding a full-time coach.

“That team has not been fully funded with scholarships and the coaching staff has not been a full-time group,” Dixon said. “That’s when really established programs start taking a look at themselves and say, ‘Why can Villanova accomplish this, but we can’t?'”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

June 23, 2011

Towson adds former defenseman to coaching staff

Shawn Nadelen announced Thursday his first official hire since succeeding Tony Seaman as Towson’s head coach, adding Dan Cocchi to his staff as the team’s new defensive coordinator.

Cocchi was a four-year starting defenseman for the Tigers, helping the school reach the NCAA tournament in 2001 and 2003. Cocchi, a three-time All-American selection who played in 55 career games, ranks second in program history with in ground balls with 283.

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Categories: Towson
        

June 7, 2011

Review & preview: Towson

Here’s the second installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Tuesday’s visit takes us to Towson.

REVIEW

The good: The Tigers’ 3-10 record overshadowed the play of the defense, which finished the season allowing an average of 8.2 goals, which ranks 15th in Division I. that unit’s leader was senior defenseman Marc Ingerman, who was the only player on the team to be named to the Colonial Athletic Association second team. “He’s a kid who we could put on their best player and know that the kid wasn’t going to have an awesome day, that Marc was going to do the job that he needed to do,” former coach Tony Seaman said. “He’s also a tough kid, and I thought he played well all year long.” … Another defensive standout was senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte, who broke Ted Turnblacer’s previous school record of 92 caused turnovers with 95 of his own. Mezzanotte also displayed some prowess on offense, adding four goals and 14 assists. “I was really impressed throughout the year by Peter Mezzanotte and what he was able to accomplish,” Seaman said. “He set the career record for caused turnovers. He’s only a short-stick middie, and he’s got more caused turnovers than any defenseman who has ever played here. That’s an amazing stat. … He was terrific all year long.” … Sophomore attackman Matt Hughes emerged as the team’s most potent playmaker, leading Towson in points (24) and goals (18). There’s room for Hughes to continue his development, according to Seaman. “He’s got things to work on,” Seaman said of Hughes. “He finished well for us, but he needs to finish better around the cage, and he needs to develop more as a dodger and feeder. I think that’s going to be a big emphasis for him over the next year.”

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June 3, 2011

Towson's Nadelen ends playing career

Towson coach Shawn Nadelen made it official Friday: his playing days are over.

Nadelen, who was promoted to head coach on Sunday after being the Tigers associate head coach and defensive coordinator since 2004, announced that he has retired from the Chesapeake Bayhawks of the Major Lacrosse League.

“The time was coming for me to retire,” Nadelen said in a written statement distributed by the Bayhawks. “I actually considered it after last season, but got the itch again in the spring. I have this great new opportunity to take advantage of. I know it’s time for me to move on and I am very happy about it.”

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Categories: Towson
        

Towson's Nadelen talks about filling out his coaching staff

Since the 2004 season, Shawn Nadelen has been Towson’s defensive coordinator, shaping a unit that has allowed an average of nine goals or fewer in four years.

Promoted on Sunday to succeed Tony Seaman as the program’s seventh head coach, Nadelen said after his introductory press conference on Tuesday morning that he plans to remain the team’s defensive coordinator even after he hires a defensive-minded assistant.

“I think initially, it will be head coach and defensive coordinator,” Nadelen said of his plan. “I need to find out with whoever I hire as an assistant what that person brings to the table and what their experiences are and what their thoughts are. I’d like to keep my hands on it to start with and allow that person to see what I envision, and obviously, their input will be helpful and welcomed.”

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Categories: Towson
        

June 2, 2011

Towson's Nadelen may have to hang up stick and helmet

One of the attractions for Towson promoting associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen to succeed Tony Seaman as the program’s seventh head coach was his continued involvement as a defenseman for the Chesapeake Bayhawks and his ability to connect with his players and recruits.

However, during his introductory press conference Tuesday morning, Nadelen, who helped the Bayhawks win Major Lacrosse League championships in 2002, 2005 and 2010, conceded that his playing days may be coming to an end.

“My No. 1 priority – and it has always been my No. 1 priority – is my duties at Towson,” Nadelen said. “I’ve never missed a Towson obligation for playing. I need to talk it over with my wife, and [athletic director] Mike [Waddell] and myself will figure out if it’s doable. But I need to figure what exactly needs to get done at Towson first, and if being able to play is in there, we’ll see. But I think first and foremost, Towson is my No. 1 priority.”

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Categories: Towson
        

June 1, 2011

Nadelen aims to change culture around Towson locker room

In each of the last four years, Towson has compiled a sub-.500 record and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament. A 3-10 mark this past spring contributed to the school and former head coach Tony Seaman parting ways on May 9.

Shawn Nadelen, who was introduced Tuesday morning as the program’s seventh head coach, said he’s already addressed the culture of losing that has seeped into the locker room.

“I’ve already set up a certain set of standards that these guys will hopefully engage in,” he said. “If they don’t, this is what I believe in and this is how I believe the program I want to run should operate. If you’re not willing to be a part of that, then they might have to seek becoming a student full-time and seek another program. I’m willing to do that. There’s great players out there and great people, and we can find both in the locker room. That will be the challenge. But I think the team is excited and understands what I bring, and they should be ready for it.”

Change can be positive, but it can also be met with resistance. Nadelen said he is hoping for more of the former.

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Categories: Towson
        

May 31, 2011

Nuggets from Nadelen's introduction as Towson coach

Shawn Nadelen was introduced Tuesday morning as the seventh head coach in the 52-year history of lacrosse at Towson. Here are a few snippets of what was said during his introductory press conference.

Athletic director Mike Waddell, who compared Nadelen to the title character of the upcoming “Captain America” movie: “Look at him. He’s apple pie, he’s Chevrolet, he’s American. … He’s the embodiment of Captain America.”

Waddell on Nadelen’s influence with the players: “The guy’s a winner. There’s something you can get from playing in this fellow that translates into renewed energy.”

Nadelen on his phone conversation with his 85-year-old grandmother in Watertown, N.Y.: “She says to me, ‘Shawn, now that you’re the head coach, you better not get a big head or I’m going to come down and wallop you.’ … Just want to say, ‘Thank you, Grandma.’ I promise that my head will fit in this cap.”

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Categories: Towson
        

May 30, 2011

What others are saying about Towson's Nadelen

Included in Sunday's press release regarding Towson associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen’s promotion to head coach are some quotes from lacrosse fixtures about Towson’s move.

Through university spokesman Eric Rhew, I also got in touch with redshirt sophomore midfielder Ian Mills, who served as the player liaison for the school’s search committee.

Former Towson coach Tony Seaman: “I am very proud that Shawn has been named as the head coach at Towson. I think they hired the right person for the job and I know Shawn will do a great job as the next head coach of Towson lacrosse.”

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Categories: Towson
        

May 29, 2011

Towson's Nadelen doesn't shy away from expectations

Newly announced Towson head coach Shawn Nadelen has heard athletic director Mike Waddell openly express his wish to rebuild the Tigers as the Colonial Athletic Association champion and a contender for the NCAA title.

Nadelen said those comments don’t bother him. In fact, he said he feels the same way as his boss.

“At the start of every season and with every new recruiting class that I embark on, that’s my main focus,” Nadelen said Sunday afternoon as he was driving from Long Island to his home in Baltimore. “I don’t think that’s something that Towson cannot attain. It’s going to come through a lot of hard work and effort and some luck at times, I guess. But I think every team wants to win a national championship and compete at that level. I can’t see any reason why that can’t be Towson. That’s always a focus of ours.”

Nadelen, who signed a four-year deal after being offered the job on Sunday, has been the Tigers’ defensive coordinator since 2004 and the team’s associate head coach over the last two seasons.

Nadelen didn’t disagree that his familiarity with the players might have swayed the search committee and Waddell.

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Categories: Towson
        

Towson AD on new coach: "This guy is world class"

Of the candidates that Towson’s search committee interviewed for the head coaching vacancy, the realization was that the best man for the job was already within the Tigers’ ranks.

In confirming the news that the school had promoted associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen to head coach, athletic director Mike Waddell said Nadelen’s background and experiences helped him emerge as the school’s choice to succeed Tony Seaman, who parted ways with the university on May 9.

“From the very get-go, Shawn was the standard that we were measuring things up against because when you look at his background as a prep and as a collegian and as a professional and member of our world championship team and the captain of the New York team [the New Jersey Storm of the National Lacrosse League] back in the 2000s, he’s been a leader,” Waddell said Sunday afternoon. “He’s been around the greats when you talk about [former Princeton coach and current Denver coach Bill] Tierney and Seaman and Petro [Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala]. He played for three different coaches at Hopkins. So he definitely knows what it’s like to go through change. This guy is world class and what better leader could we hope for to carry on the tradition that Carl Runk and Tony Seaman established. I think Shawn Nadelen is a great choice.”

Nadelen was a four-year starter between 1998 and 2001 at Johns Hopkins, where he played close defense in his last two years after switching from the midfield. After three years as an assistant coach under Tierney at Princeton, Nadelen joined Towson prior to the 2004 season. Since then, he has been the defensive coordinator and was named the associate head coach prior to the 2010 season.

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Categories: Towson
        

Towson promotes Nadelen to head coach

Shawn Nadelen, the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Towson, has been promoted by the school to become the Tigers’ next head coach.

Mike Waddell, the school’s athletic director, confirmed the move Sunday afternoon – a development first reported by Inside Lacrosse.

Nadelen succeeds Tony Seaman, who parted ways with Towson after the team compiled a 2-10 overall record and a 1-6 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Nadelen was a four-year starter at Johns Hopkins, where he played close defense in his last two years after switching from the midfield. After three years as an assistant coach under Bill Tierney at Princeton, Nadelen joined Towson, where he has been the defensive coordinator. Nadelen was named the associate head coach prior to the 2010 season.

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Categories: Towson
        

May 13, 2011

Coaching changes signal potential, pitfalls of college lacrosse

There’s an illuminating article on Laxmagazine.com written by former Sun writer Gary Lambrecht about how the parting of ways between Towson and former head coach Tony Seaman and Navy and former head coach Richie Meade within a span of three hours on Monday afternoon was symptomatic of the necessary evils of the growth of college lacrosse.

While Denver begins to rival Baltimore and Long Island as a hotbed, every game in the NCAA tournament is broadcast on ESPN’s network of channels, and high-profile coaches get paid handsomely for their efforts, Lambrecht wrote that there is a dark side: the rise of a win-now atmosphere that could cost coaches their jobs and players their mentors.

Maryland coach John Tillman said the demand to mine success immediately in sports mirrors that attitude in society.

“We live in a now society,” said Tillman, who replaced Dave Cottle after he was dismissed by the administration despite a 99-45 record in nine seasons with the Terps and seven consecutive years of at least 10 wins. “Everybody wants everything now – fast food, microwaves, On Demand. You can get what you want pretty quickly. And all of us are competitive in everything that we do, and that includes athletic departments. Lacrosse is starting to become a sport that’s on TV a lot. As our athletic director and president like to say, athletics can be the front porch to your house. When people see that front porch and that front porch looks pretty nice, it may change some people’s opinions on the house.”

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 10, 2011

Former Army coach rips Navy's decision to part ways with Meade

About an hour after Navy had made official Richie Meade’s departure as head coach, former Army coach Jack Emmer called to confirm a rumor he had heard about the move.

Then, unprompted, Emmer took the academy to task for what he saw as a forced resignation.

“What I see here is, graduates from the ‘60s when Navy dominated lacrosse using their status now as guys who have earned their fortune and bringing some pressure on that situation,” said Emmer, who retired in 2005 as the winningest coach in college lacrosse history. “I can’t believe that it had anything to do with the guys who played for Richie because they have universal respect for him. But these old timers, who are probably still wondering why you don’t bring football players out to play lacrosse like they did in the ‘60s, are calling for his head, and that’s very, very fortunate. I think [athletic director] Chet Gladchuk should know better. He’s not going to find a better guy, and he’s going to get a lot of negative feedback on this decision from former players. They’re going to be appalled and shocked. … I’m kind of shocked and upset by it because it’s a poor decision.”

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Categories: Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

Q&A with Towson AD Mike Waddell

Whether you want to argue that Tony Seaman resigned or was forced out as the head coach at Towson, there’s no denying that the Tigers are looking for a new leader. The man behind that search is athletic director Mike Waddell, who spoke about the reasoning behind Seaman’s departure, the status of the program on the national level and the qualities he’s seeking in a successor.

What went into this decision at this time?
This was obviously not a strong season, but if I’m looking at it across the board in recent history, we’ve not been able to get over the top. That’s the best way to put it. There are a number of ways that we just haven’t won the big game. We’ve been in some big ones over the last few years, and it’s not been something to where we’ve won the championship or advanced onto the NCAA tournament. We haven’t won an NCAA tournament game here since the early 2000s. … I think it’s our results against our local teams that have really made me take a look. It wasn’t just the 2011 season. But I think there were some expectations coming off of last year about where we were going to be. For whatever reason, when I looked at it – not just over my time here, but also over the last four or five years – I saw a program that was … I don’t know if we were going up. I think we were more or less at a point to where we needed a little burst of momentum.

Would you say that a new, fresh approach from the top was needed?
Obviously, we’re making a change. We’re obviously very thankful to Tony. The guy’s a legend, and this is one that weighs on you. You want to make sure that you’re making the right call for the kids, and that’s what this is. I looked at it and evaluated it, and it was a decision we made to move in a different direction. It’s our hope that Tony and his family will remain a strong part of Towson athletics for many years to come. He and I are talking about ways to possibly get that done.

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Categories: Q&A, Towson
        

May 9, 2011

Source: Seaman to no longer coach Towson

After 13 years as Towson’s head coach, Tony Seaman will not return to coach the Tigers for a 14th season, a source confirmed Monday.

First reported by WNST 1570 AM and confirmed by the source who requested anonymity because the school has yet to make an announcement, Seaman’s tenure at Towson concludes with a 99-93 record and a 263-166 mark in 30 years as a head coach at Johns Hopkins, Penn and C.W. Post. The 263 wins placed him seventh among active coaches.

It's unclear whether associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen and offensive coordinator Michael Allan will remain on the coaching staff.

Neither Seaman, who signed a three-year extension after the 2010 campaign, nor athletic director Mike Waddell returned calls seeking comment.

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Categories: Towson
        

May 7, 2011

Towson gets one player on All-Colonial Athletic Association teams

Perhaps the 3-10 record this season was a factor, but Towson was not represented by one player on the All-Colonial Athletic Conference team, the league announced Friday.

Tigers senior defenseman Marc Ingerman was named to the second team. His numbers weren’t stellar (14 ground balls and seven caused turnovers), but Ingerman was the one player the coaching staff had confidence in to shadow opponents’ most dangerous offensive weapon.

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Categories: Towson
        

April 26, 2011

Towson looking to avoid history

Towson is on pace for a few firsts this season – and none of the feel-good variety.

Saturday’s 13-9 loss to Drexel saddled the Tigers with their 10th loss of the year, which is the most under coach Tony Seaman in the regular season (Colonial Athletic Association and NCAA tournaments not included).

The six-game losing skid is the program’s longest since 1982, and a setback to St. Joseph’s on Saturday night in the regular season finale at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson would match the longest losing streak in school history set in 1975 when that squad went 6-11.

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April 22, 2011

Towson playing for pride, not spoiler role

On the heels of a five-game losing streak and with the postseason no longer a consideration, Towson has just one motivation when visiting Colonial Athletic Association rival Drexel on Saturday.

Ending the season on a high note.

“I think it’s about pride and character,” said coach Tony Seaman, whose Tigers are 2-9 overall and 0-4 in the CAA and haven’t won since upsetting then-No. 4 Stony Brook, 9-8, on March 19. “This is probably what somebody says when they have a losing record – thank God I haven’t had many of them – but the wins and losses are a number. I don’t think it defines the kids or a team. I think there’s a lot more than that. There’s a lot to be said about a team that goes out for seven straight weeks and plays one-goal games and has the ability to beat – at that time – the fourth-ranked team in the country and beat the champion of the Northeast Conference. There just hasn’t been a game where we’ve been run out of the ballpark. … So yeah, it’s tough. It would be awesome right now if we had beaten Penn State on Saturday night and we were playing Drexel to decide who goes to the playoffs. But that’s not going to happen for us. We’ve just got to go out there and play hard and see how it goes and see if we can cut this string of losses.”

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Categories: Towson
        

April 15, 2011

Towson prepares for "must-win" scenario

There’s no dancing or tip-toeing around the significance of Towson’s visit to Penn State on Saturday night.

Win, and the Tigers (2-8 overall and 0-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) remain alive in the hunt for a spot in the four-team CAA tournament. Lose, and Towson’s season is essentially over.

Adding to the atmosphere is that Saturday’s contest is the home finale and Senior Night for the Nittany Lions. And the football program’s Blue & White Event will take place earlier in the day.

“It’s huge,” Tigers coach Tony Seaman said. “It’s up there, which makes it tougher, and it’s part of their ‘Blue & White’ football weekend. They’ve got everything in the world going for them. It’s up to us. It’s in our hands. We’ve got to win all three games, and that’s what we’ve got to do.”

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Categories: Towson
        

April 7, 2011

Postscript from Towson at UMBC

No one is proclaiming that UMBC will suddenly transform into a national title contender after the Retrievers held off visiting Towson, 10-9, at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville on Wednesday night.

But there’s no denying that the win was a much-needed salve for a team wounded by personnel upheaval, inexperience issues and execution problems.

UMBC fell to No. 10 Stony Brook last Friday night in a game that wasn’t even a contest after the first quarter. The Retrievers took just one shot, won just one faceoff, and collected just six ground balls in the first half en route to an 11-0 deficit at intermission.

But the team can still take aim at a berth in the NCAA tournament y grabbing one of our coveted spots in the America East tournament. UMBC will wrap up the regular season with four contests against conference foes – beginning with Saturday’s home clash with Binghamton.

That’s why coach Don Zimmerman, while visibly relieved by the victory, wasn’t jumping out of his seat just yet.

“It’s great to win,” he said. “We got a good win tonight. We’re going to enjoy tonight. … But tomorrow, we’ve got to get right back to work. We’ve got Binghamton coming in here on Saturday, and they’re always a tough team. We want to continue to move forward, and that’s going to be the approach.”

Other notes:

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April 6, 2011

Towson at UMBC: Halftime thoughts

In a meeting between 2-5 teams, host UMBC has taken the first step to getting that third victory by sprinting out to a 6-3 advantage over Towson at halftime at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville Wednesday night.

The Retrievers, which has scored five goals in the first half of their last three contests, scored the first three goals of the first quarter, chasing out senior goalkeeper Travis Love who did not register a save.

The Tigers have not gotten closer than two goals as UMBC has continued to maintain a comfortable distance. The Retrievers’ largest lead of the game was four when junior attackman Rob Grimm converted a pass from sophomore attackman Scott Jones on a man-up chance to give the team a 6-2 lead with 4:17 remaining in the second quarter.

Other notes:

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Categories: Halftime thoughts, Towson, UMBC
        

UMBC makes changes to starting lineup

UMBC is shaking things up for its annual rivalry with Towson.

The Retrievers have benched junior attackman Rob Grimm and redshirt freshman attackman Matt Gregoire in favor of sophomore Joe Lustgarten and freshman Ryan Johnston.

Grimm is the team leader in both assists (11) and points (18), while Gregoire has registered four goals and two assists. Johnston scored the first two goals of his career in UMBC’s 16-5 loss to No. 10 Stony Brook last Friday night, while Lustgarten scored once.

Sophomore midfielder Scott Hopmann, who ranks second in goals (9), is also taking a seat. Freshman Zach Linkous, who posted one goal and two assists on Friday, will start.

Finally, junior defenseman Tim Shaeffer is being demoted in favor of sophomore Sam McKelvey.

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Categories: Towson, UMBC
        

Towson at UMBC: Three things to watch

Towson and UMBC enter this cross-town rivalry with identical 2-5 records. The Tigers have upset then-No. 4 Stony Brook, but will likely need to capture the Colonial Athletic Association tournament for a spot in the NCAA tournament. The Retrievers must follow a similar path by claiming the America East tournament. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at UMBC Stadium in Catonsville on Wednesday night.

1) Waiting for good shots. Perhaps more than any other season, Towson has been plagued by shooting woes. For the season, the offense has scored just 55 times on 245 shots. The team’s shooting percentage of .224 can’t even crack the top 50 in that category in Division I. That would seem to play into UMBC’s favor, but coach Don Zimmerman said the numbers can be deceiving. “I think a lot of teams’ shooting percentage is down,” he said. “I don’t think it’s just Towson. We hold them in the highest regards as far as their ability to shoot the ball.”

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Categories: Three things to watch, Towson, UMBC
        

April 5, 2011

Towson taking page from NFL playbook to improve shooting

In the NFL, defensive players who drop potential interceptions usually punish themselves by knocking out some push-ups.

Towson is implementing a similar policy for those players who miss the net with their shots.

“Anybody who missed the cage in any drill yesterday did five pushups,” Tigers coach Tony Seaman said. “And that will continue until we start to hit the cage.”

Towson placed only 13 of 30 shots on goal in Saturday’s 12-5 loss to then-No. 10 Hofstra. For the season, the offense has scored just 55 times on 245 shots. The team’s shooting percentage of .224 can’t even crack the top 50 in that category in Division I.

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Categories: Towson
        

April 3, 2011

Postscript from Hofstra at Towson

Towson sounded a familiar refrain in the aftermath of Saturday’s 12-5 setback to No. 10 and Colonial Athletic Association rival Hofstra at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday.

Missed opportunities.

To be more specific, inaccurate shots that miss the cage and don’t test the opposing goalkeeper at all. Only 13 of the 30 attempts the Tigers (2-6 overall and 0-2 in the conference) took Saturday tested Pride junior goalie Andrew Gvozden, who was forced to make just saves in the third quarter and none in the fourth.

“Once again, we’re back to that same old thing I’ve been saying all year,” Towson coach Tony Seaman said. “In the first half, we have 20 shots and 11 are off the cage. Those 11 shots are never going in. They never had a chance to go in because they’re not on the goal. That’s such a huge factor.”

For the season, the offense has scored just 55 times on 245 shots. The team’s shot percentage of .224 can’t even crack the top 50 in that category in Division I.

Part of the Tigers’ problem against Hofstra was a lethargic showing in the third quarter. Once the Pride (8-1, 2-1) scored the first few goals of that period and put Towson in a deficit, the players began to feel harried and make poor decisions.

“I think it was impatience,” said junior attackman Matt Lamon, who scored a team-high two goals. “We were trying to rush it. We got down by a few goals, and the kids were trying to make a play, trying to push the ball on fastbreaks too much. We needed to settle down. We were right in the game, too, in the third quarter.”

If the Tigers harbor any hope of qualifying for the four-team CAA tournament, they must improve their accuracy and their shot selection.

Other notes:

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April 2, 2011

Hofstra at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson has hung tough with No. 10 Hofstra, extending the visiting Pride to a 3-3 tie at halftime.

There have been three ties and two lead changes as the Tigers (2-5) seek to even their record in the Colonial Athletic Association at 1-1. Meanwhile, Hofstra (7-1) is still a game behind in the loss column of No. 12 Delaware and Penn State.

Junior attackman Matt Lamon gave Towson a 1-0 lead with 12:32 left in the first quarter, but senior attackman Jamie Lincoln responded with back-to-back goals at the 12:16 and 2:41 marks of that period.

Senior short-stick defensive midfielder Peter Mezzanotte and Lamon scored the first two goals of the second quarter, but the Pride needed just 10 seconds after Lamon’s tally to tie the score at three on a goal by senior short-stick defensive midfielder Steven DeNapoli.

Towson has outshot the Pride, 20-14, but Hofstra has collected 16 ground balls to the Tigers’ 10.

Other notes:

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Hofstra at Towson: Three things to watch

This is a crucial contest in the Colonial Athletic Association for both No. 10 Hofstra and Towson. The visiting Pride (7-1 overall and 1-1 in the conference) needs a victory to keep pace with No. 12 Delaware and Penn State, which share identical 2-0 league records. The Tigers (2-5) need a win to even their conference mark at .500 and stay in the hunt for the four-team CAA tournament. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday.

1) Don’t overlook the midfielders. Much has been made about the season-ending injuries to Hofstra midfielders Steve Serling (lacerated spleen) and Drew Coholan (shoulder), but their absence has been somewhat mitigated by the play of junior Kevin Ford (three goals and two assists in his last four starts) and sophomore Ian Braddish (three goals and two assists in his last three starts). And one of their objectives is feeding the talented attack trio of seniors Jay Card (15 goals and 11 assists), Jamie Lincoln (14, 6) and Stephen Bentz (14, 6). “They have middies that can initiate the play and then initiate the dodge and then they’re looking for these guys to finish the ball, and there’s nobody better doing that,” Towson coach Tony Seaman said.

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April 1, 2011

Towson developing faceoff specialists

Sophomore Matt Thomas has taken the brunt of Towson’s faceoffs, and redshirt sophomore Ian Mills went 8-of-17 in the Tigers’ 9-8 upset of then-No. 4 Stony Brook on March 19.

The team may have unearthed another faceoff specialist in sophomore Warren Kalkstein, who battled junior Dan Cooney in Towson’s 8-7 loss to No. 12 Delaware last Saturday.

Kalkstein won just 5-of-14 draws in the first half, but according to Tigers coach Tony Seaman, Kalkstein’s physical style wore down Cooney, who has won 55.3 percent of his faceoffs (99-of-179) this season.

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March 25, 2011

Bonus Q&A with Delaware's Grant Kaleikau

In a goof of monumental proportions, I arranged for two Q&A’s this week – one with Mount St. Mary’s senior goalie T.C. DiBartolo and one with Delaware junior attackman Grant Kaleikau. Since only one could run in the paper, here is the Q&A with Kaleikau, a Germantown native who ranks second among the No. 13 Blue Hens in both assists (10) and points (15).

Question: How significant was the 7-6 upset of then-No. 5 Hofstra on Saturday?
Answer: It was huge. After our losses to Stony Brook and Albany, we needed something. We needed to get our confidence back, and that game did that. We’ll find out on Saturday. It’s just one win, but it’s huge for our confidence and our team morale.

Q: Would you say that was a must-win situation?
A: I wouldn’t call it a must-win, but it was close. There are still five games left in the CAA. So it wasn’t a must-win, but we definitely needed it.

Q: How much pride does the team have as the reigning CAA tournament champion?
A: We have a lot of pride in that. That’s one thing that Coach [Bob Shillinglaw] definitely reminded us of the week before Hofstra. He told us, ‘You guys are the defending CAA champs, and Hofstra made the NCAA tournament.’ So we had a big target on our backs. We take a lot of pride in what we did last year, and we want to do it again this year.

Q: Delaware had a big win and Saturday’s opponent, Towson, also enjoyed an upset by beating then-No. 4 Stony Brook, 9-8. Yet the Tigers are only 2-4. Are they still a dangerous team?
A: Definitely. They always play us tough. For the three years I’ve been here, they’ve beaten us two times, and we’ve only beaten them once, and that was last year in the [CAA tournament] championship. Any conference opponent is a tough team to play. And like you said, they took down Stony Brook, who handled us pretty well.

Q: You’re from Germantown, and you played at Watkins Mill High School in Gaithersburg. Were you recruited by any of the local programs?
A: Interestingly enough, I was recruited by Towson, and I was going to go to Towson, but at the time, I couldn’t get in. So I did a postgraduate year at Bridgeton Academy in Maine. I went there, and things didn’t work out at Towson. So I was kind of in a hole for a while and then out of nowhere, Delaware popped up, and thank God they did. But while I was at Watkins Mill, I was only recruited by Towson, Washington College, Quinnipiac.

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March 24, 2011

Towson hoping there's no hangover effect vs. Delaware

Tony Seaman has seen it before. A team secures a momentum-turning victory, but then buys into the hoopla in the aftermath and proceeds to lose, falling back to earth.

That’s why Seaman and the rest of the Towson coaches have been hammering home the point of avoiding the letdown factor during practices this week after the team’s 9-8 upset of then-No. 4 Stony Brook.

“That’s something that we’ve addressed each day in practice,” Seaman said Wednesday. “I’ve seen that all too often where a team gets a win and then they celebrate too long. Hopefully, that doesn’t happen to us.”

Fortunately for the Tigers, they next face No. 13 Delaware, a Colonial Athletic Association foe who prevented Towson from advancing to the NCAA tournament by winning the conference tournament final last May at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

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March 22, 2011

Weekly awards announced

Navy had a pair of players earn weekly honors from the Patriot League.

Senior midfielder Andy Warner was named the Offensive Player of the Week for registering four goals and seven assists in two wins last week. He posted two goals and a career-best six assists in the Midshipmen’s 14-11 victory over Towson on Tuesday night and then added two goals and one assist in an 8-3 win against Holy Cross on Saturday.

Freshman attackman Harrison Chaires was selected as the Rookie of the Week for scoring four extra-man goals, including three against the Crusaders. Chaires became the first Navy player to score three times on man-up situations in a single game since Adam Borcz did so against Penn State on April 14, 2001.

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March 21, 2011

Towson's Stratton fueled by "fire"

Towson senior attackman Tim Stratton said he understood the reasoning behind the coaches’ decision to sit him in Tuesday night’s 14-11 loss to Navy.

But that doesn’t mean that he was happy about not starting. Stratton said that the demotion served to motivate him to score his first goal since last season in the Tigers’ 9-8 upset of No. 4 Stony Brook on Saturday.

“I definitely had a little more fire behind me just because I had never been benched before,” Stratton said. “But I just wanted to step in and do what I could to help our team get a win. That’s was the biggest thing, to contribute in any way.”

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Q&A with ESPN's Matt Ward

A former All-American attackman who helped Virginia capture NCAA championships in 2003 and 2006 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2006 as the sport’s top player, Matt Ward knows a thing or two about the rivalry between the Cavaliers and Johns Hopkins, which will be renewed again on Saturday. But first, Ward, an analyst for ESPN, offered his opinion on No. 1 Syracuse’s chances of going undefeated, the team that suffered the biggest hit with a loss on Saturday, and the team that may have elevated its hopes with a win on Saturday.

Question: Syracuse is 6-0, but has needed overtime in two of its last three games to remain unblemished. Do you think the Orange can be beaten?
Answer: I do. Syracuse is obviously a very skilled team, but I think this year – more than any other that I’ve seen – it’s wide open. Syracuse, in terms of skill set, has one of the best defensive ends in the country, but I don’t know if they have enough athletes to run the table and go undefeated. Certainly, they’re going to be a team that is in the hunt for a national championship, but they’re going to get tested all year. On the offensive end, the one question I have is outside of [sophomore attackman] JoJo Marasco, who’s going to run by someone and make a dodge to the goal? Most of their players are crafty, slick, off-ball players.

Q: What was the biggest surprise of the weekend?
A: To me, I thought it was Towson over [No. 4] Stony Brook. I was a believer – and still am a believer – in Stony Brook because of their faceoff guy [senior Adam Rand] and the talent they have on offense. But to me, that [9-8 score] was shocking. That was a great win by Towson. I think Towson’s a young team, and they’ve got some talented players who are starting to play a little bit better. But that’s a game that Stony Brook should win. I want to see Stony Brook bring it every single day if they want to become a national powerhouse, and I didn’t think Stony Brook brought their “A” game [Saturday]. And [No. 5] Hofstra going down [7-6] to Delaware as well. I wouldn’t have predicted that in a million years. I thought Hofstra was a team that had so many offensive weapons, while Delaware was a team that was struggling. But it was a great win for Delaware. Teams like Hofstra and Stony Brook, when you’re ranked No. 4 or 5 in the country, you need to win those games.

Q: In addition to Stony Brook and Hofstra losing, No. 11 Princeton and No. 15 Loyola were upset by No. 20 Penn and Air Force, respectively. Which of those four teams will be most haunted by Saturday’s setback?
A: I think it’s Princeton. Princeton is now 1-4, and they’re going into their Ivy League schedule. The Ivies are great this year. I don’t think there’s a bad team in the conference this year. So being 1-4, it’s going to be really hard for them to turn that around and make the NCAA tournament. It’s going to be a struggle. They have the players, but right now, it’s not looking good. Penn is an up-and-coming program. I love Coach [Mike] Murphy. He’s done a great job there. But that’s a game that Princeton needs to win. Losing to [No. 19] Villanova and UPenn in the same week can’t be a good feeling.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Q&A, Towson
        

March 20, 2011

Postscript from Stony Brook at Towson

Now that the party has ended after Towson’s 9-8 upset of No. 4 Stony Brook on Saturday, what does this victory mean for the Tigers?

While it helped stop a two-game losing skid and gives a beleaguered team some much-needed confidence in preparation for the start of play in the Colonial Athletic Association on Saturday, a long and arduous road awaits Towson.

Delaware, Saturday’s opponent, pulled off an upset of its own, knocking off No. 5 Hofstra, 7-6. Similarly, unranked Penn State surprised No. 13 Massachusetts, 8-7. Drexel is 4-3, and may have the league’s best goalie in Mark Manos.

Winning the conference tournament and securing that automatic qualifier is a surefire way for Towson to advance to its first postseason since 2007. But coach Tony Seaman correctly noted that a win of this magnitude could help the team at least generate discussion for an at-large bid.

“For the NCAAs and all those kinds of things that lay ahead of us, this is a huge win on your resume,” he said. “You need a top-five or -six win in order to have the committee really look at you as long as you don’t come in under .500.”

Senior goalkeeper Travis Love said while the win will be glossed over by Monday, the outcome should serve to elevate the players’ morale.

“I think it really sets the tone for our team that we can go out every week and play with any team,” he said. “And we have been playing with these teams, and I think that will be just the little bit of confidence that will help our whole team.”

The victory has helped the Tigers re-gain at least one supporter – Seaman himself.

“I wasn’t sure if this team was good enough to kid me all this time and make me think that we were good enough to beat some people,” said Seaman, who began to question the squad after Tuesday night’s 14-11 loss to Navy. “Maybe we’re really not that good. Coming home Tuesday night on that bus, I was like, ‘Wow, my own team has really faked me out here. We’re nowhere near as good as I thought we were.’ But today, they made me a believer again. So maybe we do have a future, and maybe we can pull something out here and see if we belong.”

Other notes:

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March 19, 2011

Stony Brook at Towson: Halftime thoughts

A potential upset is brewing as Towson enjoys an 8-5 lead at halftime against No. 4 Stony Brook at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday.

With 54 seconds left in the second quarter, the host Tigers owned an 8-3 advantage, but a pair of Kevin Crowley-to-Robbie Campbell goals in the final 13 seconds trimmed the deficit to three. The five-goal hole was the largest the Seawolves (3-1) had experienced this season.

After both teams exchanged three goals each in the first quarter, Towson (1-3) scored five unanswered goals, using its speed down the alleys and behind the net to find scoring opportunities.

Campbell’s first goal with 13 seconds remaining snapped a scoreless drought of 17:14 for Stony Brook.

Other notes:

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Stony Brook at Towson: Three things to watch

No. 4 Stony Brook is riding a three-game winning streak after dropping the season opener in overtime to No. 2 Virginia on Feb. 26 and is gaining momentum as a favorite to make the Final Four. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Towson has sandwiched a victory over Mount St. Mary’s with a pair of losses. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.

1) Thrive offensively and defensively. In the Tigers’ first three losses, the defense surrendered 21 goals, while the offense scored just 12 times. The team flipped the script in Tuesday night’s 14-11 loss to Navy. So although coach Tony Seaman was pleased that the offense scored on six of its first seven possessions and 11 of 18, he said the both units need to play well at the same time. “We just need a game where we put them both together – on the offensive end and defensive end,” Seaman said. “We need to get back to playing pretty good defense, and we need our goalie to make some saves. If we can handle that part of the field, I think offensively, we starting to find ourselves a little bit.”

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March 18, 2011

Towson's Stratton to return to starting lineup

When Towson plays host to No. 4 Stony Brook Saturday, a familiar face is expected to return to the starting lineup.

Senior attackman Tim Stratton, who did not record a goal, assist or shot in the Tigers’ 14-11 loss to Navy on Tuesday night, is slated to start on attack against the visiting Seawolves.

Coach Tony Seaman, who was tight-lipped about Stratton’s limited playing time in the midfield after the setback to the Midshipmen, confirmed Friday that Stratton would return to his customary position.

“We’re going to give him another chance, see if we woke him up,” Seaman said, noting that Stratton, who returned as the team’s leader in goals with 15 last year, has yet to score a goal. “He’s played four games and had two assists. And in three of the four games, he had no shots. I’ve got to have that kid shooting the ball a little bit or no sense in having him out there. So we’ll see.”

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March 16, 2011

Postscript from Towson at Navy

It might not be too much of a stretch to link Navy’s recent two-game revival with the play of Logan West.

The Midshipmen have beaten Lafayette, 15-6, on Saturday and Towson, 14-11, on Tuesday night. Over that same span, West has won 35-of-52 faceoffs (67.3 percent), including 19-of-29 on Tuesday.

The junior, who was one faceoff win shy of tying the school record shared by Chris Pieczonka in 2004 and Dan Sullivan in 1995, said he had no idea he was that close to the mark.

“Retrospectively, it kind of sucks that I was one away,” he said. “I wish I would’ve known. Maybe I could’ve gotten one more ground ball and have the record. But it’s not important to me. I just wanted us to win as a team.”

West has had his fair share of struggles. He went 0-of-9 in the team’s 10-8 loss to North Carolina on Feb. 25 and 7-of-21 in a 9-8 loss to Loyola six days earlier.

But coach Richie Meade has consistently endorsed West as Navy’s primary faceoff specialist.

“Logan’s worked really hard,” Meade said. “Logan took the brunt of the beginning of the season, and he’s worked with Coach [Mark] Goers and the rest of the faceoff guys, and he’s doing pretty good right now. And I also think that [freshman long-stick midfielder] Pat Kiernan and [senior midfielder] Brian Striffler are doing a real good job on the wings for him, which helps. But Logan’s been pretty impressive.”

West said he’s beginning to become more comfortable in his arsenal of maneuvers against opponents.

“I’m starting to find my groove,” he said. “I lost a little bit of confidence in the beginning of the season, but just with the coaches and the other faceoff guys helping me out, I’m really starting to get it back and get back in my groove.”

Other notes:

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March 15, 2011

Towson at Navy: Halftime thoughts

Two teams that have struggled at times to produce consistently on the offensive end of the field have exploded – by their standards – for a combined 14 goals with Towson and Navy taking a 7-7 lead tie into halftime at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis Tuesday night.

The visiting Tigers (1-3) scored on three of their first four shots to sprint to a 3-0 lead, but the Midshipmen (2-4) answered with a 3-0 run over a 2-minute, 55-second period spanning the first and second quarters.

Towson took another three-goal lead with junior attackman Matt Lamon’s second goal of the game with 4:58 left before halftime, but Navy scored tied the score in the final three minutes.

The Midshipmen got a pair of goals from freshmen attackmen Sam Jones and Tucker Hull with 51.8 seconds and 1.7 seconds left, respectively.

Other notes:

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Towson at Navy: Three things to watch

Both teams enter Tuesday night’s contest with unrealized expectations. After falling to then-No. 12 Maryland, 8-4, last Saturday, the visiting Tigers are 1-3 for the fourth consecutive year. The Midshipmen snapped a four-game losing skid by routing Lafayette, 15-6, last Saturday, but they lost to Towson, 10-9, last season. Here are a few factors that could influence the outcome at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis.

1) Tigers’ accuracy. Towson’s glaring vulnerability has been the inaccuracy of its offensive players. In the last two setbacks, the offense has placed less than 40 percent of its shots on net. The team has averaged just 5.8 goals thus far, and that task could get tougher against Navy junior goalie R.J. Wickham, who will not surrender any easy goals according to Tigers coach Tony Seaman. “We’ve got to put the ball in the goal when we get chances, and we’ve got to put it past their goalie,” Seaman said. “We’ve got to … and find a way to score goals.”

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March 14, 2011

Towson trying to remain positive

Towson limps into Tuesday night’s game against Navy with a 1-3 record. Normally, that would be troubling, but a closer look reveals that the mark is a little deceptive.

All three of the Tigers’ losses have come against ranked teams (No. 14 Johns Hopkins on Feb. 19, No. 8 Loyola on Feb. 26 and No. 12 Maryland on March 12), and the margin of victory is a combined nine goals, which averages out to just three goals per contest.

In the three setbacks, Towson has made fewer or just as many turnovers as the opponents. The team has also caused more turnovers than the Blue Jays and Terps forced.

Still, Tigers coach Tony Seaman would like to see a reversal of this trend – and soon.

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March 10, 2011

More work for Towson's Mezzanotte

Peter Mezzanotte’s plate got much bigger.

A starter as a short-stick defensive midfielder, the Towson senior has been adding offensive responsibilities to his workload.

Mezzanotte assisted on two goals in the Tigers’ 11-3 victory over Mount St. Mary’s last Saturday and has already achieved a career high this season with three assists, which leads the team.

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March 6, 2011

Postscript from Towson at Mount St. Mary's

For all the troubles Towson has endured on offense, the Tigers have been buoyed by the play of their defense.

That unit has surrendered just 16 goals in three games thus far – which averages out to 5.3 goals. Towson, which had been tied with Penn State for 13th in Division I with a 6.5 goals-per-game average, is bound to move up the rankings after allowing just three goals in an eight-goal victory over Mount St. Mary’s Saturday.

Junior defenseman Michael Landy said the players are working in conjunction with associate head coach and defensive coordinator Shawn Nadelen.

“Everybody has to be together and on the same page – whether we’re playing zone or man,” said Landy, who shut out Mountaineers junior attackman Cody Lehrer, who scored 48 goals last spring. “Coach Nadelen does a great job of getting us prepared and giving us the perfect game plan. We know what’s coming at us every single week, and it’s also a testament to what we’re going against from our [offensive] guys every day in practice. They work us to the bone. They know our tendencies, they know what we’re bad at, and then they go at it. They really work us.”

The Tigers (1-2) have been rotating between a man-to-man defense and a zone scheme, which Landy said is being used more frequently this year than in his first two seasons.

“This year, you can definitely tell that we’ve all come together and that we definitely understand it,” Landy said of the zone defense. “It’s really about understanding how to play it. … It’s one of those zones where if you run it right and stick by the rules, it’s tough to beat.”

Coach Tony Seaman said the defense has been the anchor for the team as the offense tries to resolve its issues.

“We’re doing a good job and we’re getting where we’re supposed to be,” he said.

Other notes:

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March 5, 2011

Towson at Mount St. Mary's: Halftime thoughts

Towson has exploded for six goals -- by their standards -- and leads host Mount St. Mary’s by four at the Waldron Family Stadium in Emmitsburg this Saturday afternoon.

It took the visiting Tigers just 2 minutes, 39 seconds to match their output in a 3-2 loss to No. 11 Loyola a week ago. And the six goals match a season high as Towson scored six in a four-goal setback to No. 9 Johns Hopkins in their season opener two weeks ago.

The offense has apparently rediscovered its rhythm and found scoring opportunities in front of Mountaineers senior goalie T.C. DiBartolo (three saves).

The second half will be the key. The Tigers have been outscored 8-3 in the third and fourth quarters this season.

Other notes:

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Four Maryland players dot Tewaaraton Watch List

The Tewaaraton Watch List was released Friday, and four players from No. 3 Maryland are on the list.

Attackmen Grant Catalino and Ryan Young, defenseman Brett Schmidt and long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell – all seniors – are among the early hopefuls to claim the Tewaaraton, which is given annually to the top player in college lacrosse.

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Towson at Mount St. Mary's: Three things to watch

Both teams are chasing a win in the hope that a victory will turn their seasons around. The visiting Tigers are trying to avoid their second consecutive 0-3 start, while the Mountaineers have had 10 days to rebound from a season-opening loss to No. 2 Virginia. Here are some factors that could play into the outcome of Saturday’s game at Waldron Family Stadium in Emmittsburg.

1) Mount St. Mary’s midfield. The Mountaineers’ starting midfield was kept off the scoreboard by the Cavaliers. The return of junior Jake Willertz (hamstring) to the first line with juniors Bryant Schmidt and Eric Ososki is expected to help, but coach Tom Gravante said the first line must avoid committing a unit-high six turnovers as it did against Virginia. “We’ve really preached ball possession and making smart decisions, which will cut down on turnovers,” Gravante said. “We got a pretty good look at Towson, and we know they’re going to do some things defensively that we’re going to try to counter. So we’re asking our offense to make smarter decisions and cut down on turnovers.”

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March 4, 2011

Mount St. Mary's hopes layoff provides benefits

The last time Mount St. Mary’s had extensive downtime between games, the Mountaineers used a 12-day break after a stunning loss to Jacksonville to embark on a five-game winning streak last season.

Coach Tom Gravante is hoping that a 10-day layoff between the team’s season-opening 22-6 loss to No. 2 Virginia on Feb. 22 and Saturday’s home opener against Towson will provide similar results.

“We had two weeks to prepare for a very good Robert Morris team, and we got these kids organized, and they played well. So I’m going to look at it as, yes, the 10 days off did us good as we needed to work on some things to really get ready for Towson,” he said. “That is our hope, that we really benefit from these 10 days to be ready for three games this week.”

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March 2, 2011

Loyola-Towson game shows need for proper shooting

Towson and Loyola coaches tried to play up the Greyhounds' 3-2 win over the Tigers last Saturday as a defensive game, but it really was a snorefest because neither team could put together an offense.

 Loyola couldn't pitch and catch, and neither team could shoot. But shooting isn't just a problem for the two local teams. If you watch games around the country, the art of shooting has lost its way. The safest place for anybody is in the goal these days because most shots appear off the mark.

 Towson coach Tony Seaman has a theory that is popular among a lot of coaches, and I agree.

 "When kids today practice, they practice with their hands away from the body in shooting, because they are all trying for velocity rather than accuracy," Seaman said. "I think the way they string sticks, the bags in their sticks, prevent them from being really accurate, but they can have a lot more velocity, so they love it when the crowd goes ooooh.... They don't see what the coach is saying on the sideline.

 "It's a problem over the course of time."

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February 28, 2011

Q&A with ESPN's Paul Carcaterra

ESPN analyst and former All-American Syracuse midfielder Paul Carcaterra will have a front-row view of Friday night’s tilt between No. 1 Syracuse and No. 2 Virginia as he provides commentary for ESPN. Carcaterra discussed two surprises of the weekend, a team that may have done itself a huge favor, and the wish for a delete button on Loyola’s 3-2 win against Towson.

Question: What was the most surprising result of the weekend?
Answer: I think it would have to be two. Duke [ranked No. 10 by The Sun] only putting up three goals against Penn, that was shocking to me. Duke is a team right now searching for an offensive identity. They don’t have the dodgers and playmakers that can really create and give some of their shooters an opportunity. Guys like [senior attackman] Zach Howell, who’s a fabulous shooter, they don’t have those other pieces to the offense to get him the ball. Putting up three goals against Penn, a team that towards the bottom of the Ivy [League] last year, in a loss, that was pretty shocking to me – regardless of the deficiencies of Duke, they have a ton of talent still in Durham. It’s just that they’re very young and obviously, it’s going to take longer to develop that talent than expected. And then the other piece was [No. 14] Georgetown getting blown out by [No. 3] Maryland. Maryland was a team that I picked in the preseason to go to the Final Four. After watching Georgetown against Jacksonville last week, I thought, ‘This offense is for real. They’re crafty, they’ve got good dodgers and finishers.’ I thought it was an offense ready to take Georgetown over the hump that they’ve been traveling on the last few years, but apparently not. Maryland just lit them up. I expected Maryland to be a great team, but I didn’t expect Georgetown to be in a position where they wouldn’t be able to compete in that game. They didn’t, so maybe it’s the same old Georgetown.

Q: What team registered the most impressive performance of the weekend?
A: I’d have to go back and probably say Maryland. They dominated all facets of that game and just forced their will on Georgetown. They dictated the tempo of the game, they defeated Georgetown in every facet – ground balls, physical play. They really came out, ands they made a statement yesterday. They didn’t beat a team that doesn’t have talent. Georgetown’s a team that has talent year in and year out. They just completely blew them out. So that was, to me, the most impressive team performance of the weekend.

Q: Was there an individual who stood out with his showing over the weekend?
A: I would say that the most impressive player performance over the weekend was either [Maryland senior] Grant Catalino’s five goals in that game. He’s a fabulous player. He’s big, strong and has the skills of an elite attackman. He’s not a guy that uses his size and strength to create offense all the time, but he’s just skilled. He’s a great shooter and a fabulous offensive player. His performance [Saturday] was just great as well as [Virginia junior attackman] Steele Stanwick’s. Five goals and three assists in a tough game against Stony Brook minus the Brattons, he really put his team on his shoulders. Eight points in a one-goal, overtime game including the game-winner, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better performance than his.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Q&A, Towson
        

February 26, 2011

Loyola at Towson: Three things to watch

These local rivals meet on Saturday, extending the most-played series on both sides. The Tigers own a slight lead with a 27-25 record, but the Greyhounds have won the last three contests. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome in the contest.

 

1) Figuring out Loyola’s Hagelin. One of Towson coach Tony Seaman’s more pressing concerns is finding consistent production from a talented yet unproven offense. That task could be even more difficult against Jake Hagelin. In three starts against the Tigers, the senior goalie has surrendered just 22 goals and registered 38 saves over that same span. “We’ve got to put the ball past Hagelin,” Seaman said. “He’s terrific. He’s always presented problems for us. We’ve always had low-scoring games with him since he’s been the starting goalie. He’s somebody we’ve had trouble putting the ball by.”

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February 21, 2011

Q&A with ESPN's Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon will provide commentary for WMAR and ESPN3 during Saturday’s game between No. 13 Loyola and No. 20 Towson. Dixon discussed No. 5 North Carolina’s 13-8 loss to Ohio State, the most impressive showing by a team and individual and the need to implement instant replay.

Question: What was the most surprising result of the weekend?
Answer: It’s a surprise and not a surprise in talking about North Carolina [ranked No. 5 by The Sun] getting run off the field by Ohio State. It’s not that they lost, but the fashion in which it happened. One point from the midfield? A lot of us had been pointing to the fact that North Carolina really didn’t have a whole lot of depth in the midfield. One goal came from the midfield and that was [junior] Jimmy Dunster early in the game.

Q: Could this be a precursor to what could be a rough season for the Tar Heels? Or is it merely an early-season hiccup?

A: I don’t know. I’m not really sure. Again, the depth at midfield is not really there for North Carolina. I’m looking at that attack, and they’re putting out four guys that can score, and I think there’s one who can really open things up for you in the midfield. That’s [freshman] Nicky Galasso. Whether [coach] Joe Breschi elects to move him to the midfield remains to be seen,  but I think [senior goalkeeper] Chris Madalon didn’t look sharp [Saturday], and the defense was giving up some shots that they were doing at the end of last season. Carolina beat Ohio State late in the season last year, 19-13, and that was almost the beginning of the end for North Carolina’s season in terms of that defense just collapsing. That was late in the season, and now, it’s early in the season. So do you hit the panic button? I don’t think so. Not in the third weekend of February. But I think there are some addressable situations that need to take place in Chapel Hill. And remember, this team was ranked as high as No. 3 in a lot of preseason polls, and that stock was losing a lot of value because of some injuries and some other players leaving the team or being dismissed from the team. But I think it’s too early to say, ‘OK, they’re going to have a horrible season.’ They still may make the NCAAs. Again, it’s very, very early, but people were expecting them to make it to Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend, which would be Carolina’s first visit to the national semifinals since 1993. Right now, it looks like that is not going to happen.

Q: Most impressive showing by a team or individual?

A: By an individual, Notre Dame’s Zach Brenneman [a senior midfielder]. Hands down. Three goals and two assists. To me, he’s the East Hampton express. He’s from East Hampton, New York, and he dodges like a freight train. When he gets a head of steam, no one can stop him. And then in the latter stages of the game, he’s the one who established the breathing room between Notre Dame and Duke. So individually, I was really, really impressed with Zach Brenneman. From a team perspective, probably [No. 1] Syracuse. They handled a pretty strong [No. 17] Denver team at home [the Carrier Dome in Syracuse]. They were up 4-0 early in the contest, and they played like a team that was ticked off and had lost on that very same field for only the second time in that program’s history in the NCAA tournament. They came out with a lot of fire in their belly and handled a pretty good Denver team.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Q&A, Towson
        

February 19, 2011

Johns Hopkins at Towson: Three things to watch

There’s a lot at stake when No. 11 Johns Hopkins visits No. 20 Towson Saturday in the season opener for both teams. The Blue Jays are eager to distance themselves from the memory of last year’s 7-8 record, while the Tigers would like to snap a 15-game losing streak to their Baltimore rivals. Here are a few factors that could play a role in the outcome in the contest.

1) “Pierce"-ing Bassett. The Tigers’ worst loss of 2010 came at the hands of Johns Hopkins, which won last season’s meeting by seven goals. Some of that credit goes to then-freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett, who made nine of his game-high 12 saves in the first half, which allowed the Blue Jays to sprint to an 8-0 lead. “We need to manufacture goals,” Towson coach Tony Seaman said. “We’re going against one of the best defenses in the country with some wonderful athletes and a goalie who really gave us some problems last year. He put up a stone wall against us, and it was difficult for us to score goals. And we lost those guys that dominated our goal-scoring last year. So we need to find people who are going to be able to put the ball in the goal for us.”

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February 18, 2011

Leftovers from Q&A with Towson's Marc Ingerman

Friday’s edition of The Sun included a Q&A with Towson senior defenseman Marc Ingerman. Due to space limitations, some questions and answers were omitted. Here is the rest.

Question: Have you always played defense?
Answer: When I started at the youth level, I actually played midfield for, I think, about a season and the start of the next. And then my coach said, ‘Hey, you might want to try this stick out,’ and he tossed me a long stick. It‘s always been in my hands ever since.

Q: How do you go from dreaming about scoring the game-winning goal to trying to prevent one?
A: I think so, but there’s something to be said for those guys working hard on the defensive end. Whether you’re playing football or basketball, you can still make exciting plays on the defensive end, and that was always something that was kind of in my mind.

Q: How would you describe the mood of your teammates with the season opener against No. 11 Johns Hopkins a day away?
A: Everyone’s real excited. We have some things going on, and it’s a new year with a lot of new faces. The energy has been real high every day, and we’re just looking to build off that.

Q: What do you think about the annual game against Johns Hopkins being moved from its traditional spot in late April to the season opener?
A: I kind of like how Coach [Tony Seaman] moved it up. In years past, playing Hopkins at the end of the season was usually a pretty tough spot for us and them. They’ve been a little luckier coming out on top ever since I’ve been here, but I think having them at the beginning is a great opportunity to get off to a real good start and see where we’re at. There’s a little bit of added pressure with this game, but it’s not like the end of the season where they maybe need a win to get into the [NCAA] tournament and their backs are against the wall and they’re throwing all their marbles in. That’s a little bit of a tough situation for us.

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February 17, 2011

Johns Hopkins' Wharton might sit out opener vs. Towson

One of the more pressing matters Johns Hopkins dealt with was waiting for fifth-year senior attackman Chris Boland to recover from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

Now the No. 11 Blue Jays’ concerns have shifted to senior attackman Kyle Wharton.

An injury prevented Wharton from participating in the team’s scrimmage against Cornell last Saturday, and his status for the season opener against No. 20 Towson is up in the air.

“We don’t know yet,” coach Dave Pietramala said Wednesday of Wharton’s availability. “He’ll be a game-time decision.”

If Wharton, whose injury has not been disclosed by Pietramala, doesn’t play, a pair of freshmen in Brandon Benn and Kevin Interlicchio could join Boland and sophomore Zach Palmer as starters. Pietramala also said the coaches are considering moving a midfielder to fill Wharton’s absence.

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February 16, 2011

Towson trying to alter luck vs. Johns Hopkins by changing schedule

Since 1980, Johns Hopkins and Towson had scheduled their annual match-up for either late April or early May, and the contest sometimes served as a tune-up for the NCAA Tournament for both teams.

But the traditional grudge match was moved to the beginning of the schedule this season to accommodate both schools, and that’s fine with Tigers coach Tony Seaman, who is eager to help his team snap a 15-game losing skid to the Blue Jays on Saturday in the season opener for both teams at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.

“We’ve never beaten them at the end of the season, so why not try the early part? I mean that sincerely,” he said. “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. But if it’s broke, fix it. I don’t know why I would change it if I was them. We’ve saved their [butts] going to the playoffs two years in a row.”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Towson
        

February 15, 2011

Towson's Wascavage could start in cage vs. Johns Hopkins

When Towson opens the 2011 season at home against Johns Hopkins Saturday, the Tigers could insert a first-time starter in the net.

Redshirt sophomore Andrew Wascavage is poised to start because of an illness that has sidelined senior Travis Love, who ranked 17th in the country with a .556 save percentage last spring.

An ailment prevented Love from participating in a scrimmage against Princeton on Saturday, according to coach Tony Seaman. “He was held out, and I haven’t heard from the doctor what the story is there,” Seaman said Monday. “So there’s a good chance it could be Wascavage.”

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Towson
        

February 9, 2011

Towson preview

Wednesday’s entry is the third installment of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Check back on Thursday for a preview of Johns Hopkins, and The Sun’s lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Thursday, Feb. 17. Today is Towson’s turn.

Overview: A 1-5 start did not bode well for the Tigers, but they bounced back to capture the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season title before falling to Delaware in the conference tournament championship game. The program got another adrenaline boost with the return of coach Tony Seaman, who agreed to a new three-year deal in June. Now it’s on Seaman & Co. to see if they can end a two-year streak of losses in the CAA Tournament final.

Reason for optimism: Somehow, graduation didn’t touch Towson’s attack, which returns all three starters in senior Tim Stratton (15 goals and 18 assists), junior Matt Lamon (10, 4) and sophomore Matt Hughes (13, 4). Add juniors Stephen Norris (11, 2) and Sean Maguire, and the unit has the potential to keep the pressure on opposing netminders. “We’ve got good depth there, and all of them can score,” Seaman said. “Our problem is the quality of people we play against.”

Reason for pessimism: The departure of midfielders Christian Pastirik (28, 19) and Will Harrington (28, 6) sapped the Tigers of their best one-on-one dodgers up top. Senior Pat Britton (7, 6) and junior Carl Iacona (11, 2) could pair up with freshman Andrew Hodgson on the starting midfield, but Seaman said the emphasis in practice has been on avoiding one-on-one match-ups and making quick passes to open up the defense. “Right now, I think it’s hard for us to create for ourselves,” Seaman said. “So we’re going to have to find different ways to create and get open to where we can get good shots. I think a little bit of that is hoping that our defensive end can create some transition for us so that we can get up and down before they get settled in. But once they get in, we have to protect the ball because possessions become incredibly valuable for us.”

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January 26, 2011

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 1)

Welcome to 2011.
The college lacrosse season is once again nearly upon us, and I hope to blog a few nuggets from Wednesday’s conference call with Patriot League coaches.
But for now, here is a top-20 poll compiled after Duke edged Notre Dame in overtime for the national title on Memorial Day. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.
Because of the unseemly length of the poll, there will be four installments released every hour.

 

 

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Categories: Loyola, Towson
        

June 28, 2010

Review & preview: Premature 2011 poll part 1

By now, you’ve probably already scoured through several polls for 2011. So what’s another one, right? Here is another attempt at a preseason and premature poll for next season.

The top 20 will be broken up into four installments with Monday’s post involving teams ranked from Nos. 20 to 16. Tuesday will feature Nos. 15 to 11, Wednesday Nos. 10 to 6 and Thursday Nos. 5 to 1. Friday will include three schools not mentioned in the poll that could make some waves.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2010 will not return next year. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here’s a spin anyway.

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Categories: Loyola, Review & preview, Towson
        

June 15, 2010

Towson and Seaman finalize three-year deal

Towson and head coach Tony Seaman finalized a three-year contract Tuesday morning.

This past season, Seaman had guided the Tigers to the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season championship and the No. 1 seed in the league’s tournament. Although the team lost to Delaware in the tournament final and was denied the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament, Seaman was voted by his peers as the CAA Coach of the Year.

"I’m excited, especially for the 2011 season and the recruits we have coming in and the guys we have returning," Seaman said. "Two years in a row, we’ve been a couple goals away in the championship game from going on to the NCAAs. This was a little bit of a better year than the year before because we won the regular season. We’d like to repeat that again although the league is really challenging as is the schedule. But we’ll go from there and see what we can get in 2011."

In 12 years with Seaman, Towson has compiled a 96-83 overall record and advanced to the NCAA Tournament five times. The only coach to take three different schools to the NCAA Tournament (Penn, Johns Hopkins and Towson), Seaman is 260-156 in 29 years of coaching.

But the Tigers had not been to the NCAA Tournament since 2007 and Seaman was under a not-so-subtle directive to get to the postseason. Still, Towson rebounded from a 1-5 start in one of the most difficult schedules in the country.

In a related note, the Tigers agreed to shift their annual series against Johns Hopkins from late April to the first game of the season in February. Seaman joked that he hoped the move would translate into a win since Towson had failed to beat the Blue Jays the previous 12 times towards the end of the regular season.

"Hopkins is Hopkins. We just don’t get to see them play 10 times on TV before we play them," Seaman said. "It’s the starting game for each one of us. I think we go into it pretty equal."

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Categories: Towson
        

June 9, 2010

Review & preview: Towson

Here’s the third installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Wednesday, we take a visit with Towson.

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Categories: Review & preview, Towson
        

May 29, 2010

Cottle dismissal doesn't sit well with area coaches

More than just being a sympathetic ear, Tony Seaman may understand what Dave Cottle is enduring.

After the 1998 season, Seaman was forced to resign by Johns Hopkins despite a 77-33 record (.700), four seasons of 10 wins or more and four Final Four appearances in eight seasons.

So when Seaman heard on Sunday from Cottle himself that he had decided to take himself out of consideration after Maryland told him it was unlikely to sign him to a new contract, Seaman felt like he was thrown into a time warp.

"I was fortunate enough to start that trend in 1998 when my resume at Hopkins looked very similar to Dave’s," Seaman, the coach at Towson, said with tongue firmly planted in cheek. "When I wasn’t renewed, we were 10-4 and we had gone to the Final Four four out of eight years. You wonder sometimes. And they went seven more years before winning a championship. So sometimes it’s not about changing the program or the leadership. You’ve just got to have a bunch of kids and have a little luck and be good and do a good job of recruiting and it’s all got to mesh and the chemistry has to come together. That’s why only five [active coaches] have ever done it."

The debate over the Terps’ decision to part ways with Cottle has raged since news broke on Sunday, one day after Maryland, as the No. 3 seed, fell to Notre Dame, 7-5, in a NCAA Tournament quarterfinal.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Maryland, Navy, Towson
        

May 27, 2010

Coaching Moves

Tony Seaman has received an extension from Towson University to continue coaching the mens lacrosse team. The exact years of the new contracts have to be worked out, but it will be a muli-year deal.

 As for the vacant head coaching job at Penn State, the Lions might draw interest from Brown's Lars Tiffany, Drexel's Brian Voelker and Cornell assistant coach Ben DeLuca. No word yet on if the Nittany Lions have interest in former Terps coach Dave Cottle, but they should. 

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Categories: Towson
        

Johns Hopkins' Kimmel named first-team All American

Johns Hopkins senior midfielder Michael Kimmel earned a spot on the All-American first team, the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced Thursday.

The Towson native and Loyola graduate ranked second among the Blue Jays in both assists (16) and points (39). Kimmel joined Paul Rabil and Del Dressel as the only midfielders in school history to record at least 30 points in each of his four seasons.

Syracuse led all programs with three players on the first team. They are junior long-stick midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist Joel White, junior defenseman John Lade and junior goalkeeper John Galloway.

Virginia and North Carolina each placed two players on the first team. Senior defenseman and Tewaaraton Award finalist Ken Clausen and junior midfielder Shamel Bratton represented the Cavaliers, while junior attackman Billy Bitter and junior defenseman Ryan Flanagan stood in for the Tar Heels.

Two other Tewaaraton finalists in Duke fifth-year senior attackman Ned Crotty and Stony Brook junior midfielder Kevin Crowley made the first team. Cornell sophomore attackman Rob Pannell was the final member of the first team.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

May 26, 2010

Local players dot All-Star game

The United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association announced the rosters for the Division I/II North-South All-Star Game on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at Goucher.

UMBC led the state programs with three players on the South team. They are midfielders Kyle Wimer and Maxx Davis and long-stick midfielder Mike Camardo.

Maryland is represented by goalkeeper Brian Phipps and midfielder Adam Sear. Attackmen Collin Finnerty and Cooper MacDonnell were chosen from Loyola, while defensemen Matt Nealis and Russell Moncure were selected for Mount St. Mary’s. Towson midfielder Will Harrington will also play for the South.

The team will also include three players with high school ties to the Baltimore metropolitan area. They are North Carolina midfielder and St. Paul’s graduate Cryder DiPietro, Limestone midfielder and Annapolis graduate Mike Poerstel and Mercyhurst defenseman and Calvert Hall graduate Chris Eline.

The South team will be coached by Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante.

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Categories: Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

May 11, 2010

No decision on Towson's Seaman until later in the week

An athletic department spokesman said Tuesday that the school is still in the process of evaluating head coach Tony Seaman's tenure at Towson.

Seaman, who boasts a career record of 260-156 in 29 years and a school mark of 96-83 in 12 seasons, needed to guide the team to its first postseason berth since 2007 to impress school officials, but for the second consecutive season, the Tigers fell in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final – just one victory away from clinching the automatic qualifier and making an appearance.

The spokesman said that a decision on Seaman, who was named the conference Coach of the Year last Friday, likely won't be forthcoming until at least the end of this week and possibly the early part of next week.

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Categories: Towson
        

May 9, 2010

Postscript from Delaware at Towson

Under normal circumstances, Towson coach Tony Seaman would spend Monday and Tuesday meeting with each of the underclassmen, reviewing their seasons, and planning their offseason programs.

It’s anything but normal around the Tigers.

A 13th year as the head coach at Towson – and a 30th year overall – for Seaman is at stake as the administration mulls whether to sign the coach to a new deal.

Seaman, who boasts a career record of 260-156 and a school mark of 96-83, needed to guide the team to its first postseason berth since 2007 to impress school officials, but for the second consecutive season, the Tigers fell in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final – just one victory away from clinching the automatic qualifier and making an appearance.

Minutes after the team lost, 12-9, to Delaware Saturday afternoon, Seaman, who was named the CAA Coach of the Year on Friday, was asked to sum up his feelings.

"Well, I really hate losing. I’ve never been a good [at accepting it," he said. "It would have been exciting to have these kids get a chance at the NCAAs. We won the league in the regular [season], and I think we did a great job in the league throughout the season. I gave them a schedule to go by that was really tough and difficult. I haven’t met with [athletic director] Mike [Hermann] or the president yet, and I know what was expected of us. And we didn’t make it. Missed it. So I guess they’re going to have to make a decision. It’s rewarding to see my colleagues make me the Coach of the Year for the league. That meant a lot to me."

Seaman was poised and rational during his post-game comments, and he praised his players for their perseverance in rallying from a 1-5 start to winning the CAA regular-season title and the top seed in the conference tournament.

"That’s the kind of team we’ve been all year," he said. "These kids are incredible with how hard they’ve worked and how they hang in there with the schedule they had in front of them all year long. They just don’t quit, and today, it was just that short of being enough. That probably hurts more than anything else."

No players were made available to talk about possibly playing for Seaman for the final time, but Blue Hens coach Bob Shillinglaw commented on a sport without Seaman.

"I would hate to see that," Shillinglaw said. "Tony’s a fantastic coach. His resume is as good as anybody out there. The landscape in lacrosse is so difficult and everybody is so equal. You look at the scores day-to-day. There’s no given – as you can see in the ultimate program like Hopkins is 7-7. I hope Tony continues coaching here. I think he’s good for Towson, I think he’s good for the sport of lacrosse, and I think he’s good for kids. That’s the most important thing, what the kids get out of the experience."

Other notes:

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May 8, 2010

Delaware at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson’s season – and perhaps Tony Seaman’s tenure as the head coach – has come down to 30 minutes this Saturday afternoon as the host Tigers trail Delaware, 7-4, in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

With a 7-7 record, the Tigers won’t earn a berth in the NCAA Tournament unless they capture the CAA title. And with Seaman in the final year of a three-year contract, he may not get another deal unless Towson gets to the Big Dance for the first time since 2007.

Towson needs to correct a few areas. First, the team must do a better job on face-offs, where the Blue Hens (9-6) won the first nine and finished the first half with an 11-of-13 showing. Sophomore Dan Cooney, in fact, scored off a face-off win just five seconds after junior midfielder Pat Britton had scored to help the Tigers close the gap to one at 5-4 with 3:05 left in the second quarter.

Second, the defense must do a better job on senior attackman Curtis Dickson and junior midfielder Kevin Kaminski. Kaminski helped Delaware battle back from a 3-1 deficit with back-to-back goals over a span of 4 minutes, 2 seconds in the second quarter.

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Delaware at Towson: Three things to watch

The Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. pits two teams in top-seeded Towson (7-7) and No. 2 seed Delaware (9-6) that haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2007. The winner at Johnny Unitas Stadium will go on, while the loser will go home.

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Seaman, five Towson players recognized by conference

If this really is Tony Seaman’s last year as the head coach at Towson, he’s certainly doing his best to make it difficult for the administration to dismiss him. On Friday, Seaman was honored by the Colonial Athletic Association as that league’s Coach of the Year.

The Tigers also had five players recognized by the conference. Midfielders Will Harrington and Christian Pastirik and defenseman Marc Ingerman were named to the All-CAA first team, goalkeeper Travis Love made the second team, and face-off specialist Ryan DeSmit joined the All-Rookie team.

Seaman has guided Towson (7-7) to the conference tournament championship final against Delaware (9-6) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium despite a 1-5 start. The Tigers won five straight contests – including four against CAA opponents – and clinched the top seed in the conference tournament before falling to Hofstra in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Seaman, who was named the CAA Coach of the Year in 2004, boasts a career record of 260-155 in 29 years of coaching and is seeking his fourth tournament crown and first since 2005.

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May 7, 2010

Reminders of past not needed at Towson

As Towson prepares for Saturday’s Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final against Delaware, Tony Seaman said he hasn’t had to remind his players of last year’s run to the same stage before falling to Villanova.

"They know. I didn’t even have to bring it up because they brought it up [after Wednesday night’s 13-6 rout of No. 17 Massachusetts in a CAA Tournament semifinal]," Seaman said. "… They were saying, ‘This isn’t the end. This is only the start. Rememeber what happened last year when we held Drexel to only two goals and then on Saturday, we lost. So let’s not lose.’ And our assistant coach Shawn Nadelen brought it up in the locker room that three years ago, Delaware came in here and beat us for the CAA championship and went to the Final Four. They beat us by a goal late in the game. So Saturday is as important as any game we’ve had."

If the Tigers (7-7) can get past the Blue Hens (9-6), they will have earned the qutomatic qualifier, ensuring their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2007. A win will also satisfy the administration’s mandate that the team make the NCAA Tournament to warrant a new deal for Seaman, who is in the final year of a three-year contract.

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May 6, 2010

Towson fighting for Tony

While working on an article for Friday’s edition of The Sun, I spoke with Towson freshman attackman Matt Hughes and asked him about the precarious situation involving coach Tony Seaman.

Seaman is in the final year of a 3-year contract, and a new deal hinges on whether the Tigers qualify for the NCAA Tournament, which would be the program’s first appearance since 2007.

Towson (7-7) could do just that by beating Delaware (9-6) in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium inTowson. The Tigers are the top seed, while the Blue Hens are the No. 2 seed.

Hughes said the players are well aware of Seaman’s status.

"That’s one of the things we use as motivation," he said. "At our pre-game practice on Wednesday night, he went up to [senior midfielder and team captain] Brock [Armour] and told him that this could be his last practice. It’s hard to hear that. We all want to play for him and not just for ourselves."

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Could Penn State vacancy have an impact locally?

Penn State coach Glenn Thiel announced on Wednesday his decision to step down after 33 years of leading the Nittany Lions.

He compiled a 236-186 record at Penn State and owned a career mark of 313-222, which includes the 1972 national championship as the coach at Virginia.

The school’s web site said that a national search for Thiel’s successor will begin immediately, and I can think of a few local names that could become candidates.

Shawn Nadelen is the associate head coach and defensive coordinator at Towson, while Bobby Benson is the offensive coordinator at Johns Hopkins. Navy assistant coach Stan Ross was the head coach at Butler for two seasons before the school dropped the lacrosse program, and coach Paul Cantabene has Stevenson in line for its second overall No. 1 seed in the Division III Tournament.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Navy, Stevenson, Towson
        

May 5, 2010

Massachusetts at Towson: Three things to watch

As the No. 1 seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament, Towson (6-7 overall and 4-1 in the conference) gets to remain in the friendly confines of Johnny Unitas Stadium for the semifinal and final rounds. The first step takes place Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. when No. 17 Massachusetts (8-5, 2-3) pays a visit.

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May 4, 2010

Q&A with ESPN analyst Mark Dixon

ESPN analyst and former Johns Hopkins midfielder Mark Dixon will be providing commentary on Saturday at noon when No. 20 Johns Hopkins (6-7) visits No. 12 Loyola (9-3) in what will be a pivotal game for both teams. Dixon talks about the Johns Hopkins-Loyola showdown, Towson’s berth in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament and UMBC’s hopes of capturing a third straight America East Tournament crown.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Navy, Q&A, Towson, UMBC
        

May 3, 2010

Second RPI list is in

The NCAA released its second Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) list on Monday, and top of the list remains the same.

Virginia (14-1), Maryland (10-3), North Carolina (11-2), Syracuse (12-1) and Duke (11-4) are Nos. 1-5 as they were last week.

Cornell (9-4), Princeton (9-4), Loyola (9-3), Stony Brook (10-3) and Georgetown (8-5) round out the top 10. Princeton and Loyola each dropped a spot, while Cornell vaulted over them from No. 8.

Locally, Johns Hopkins (6-7) jumped two places to No. 14, Towson (6-7) fell four spots to No. 14, Mount St. Mary's (10-4) dropped one place to No. 24, and UMBC (4-8) moved down four spots to No. 38.

Navy (7-8) fell two places to No. 26, but since the season is over and the team has a sub-.500 record, the Midshipmen are mathematically eliminated from postseason consideration.

The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

April 29, 2010

Postscript from Towson at Johns Hopkins

Moments after Johns Hopkins’ 13-6 rout of No. 19 Towson at Homewood Field on Wednesday night in what amounted to a must-win game for the Blue Jays, one fan could be heard screaming, "We’re alive!"

That’s true, but the players and coaches are well aware that there is no room for error or a mulligan at this late stage of the regular season. A loss to No. 6 Loyola in the season finale on May 8 would doom Johns Hopkins (6-7) to a losing record and automatically take the team out of consideration for making a 39th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.

"You try not to think about it," senior attackman Steven Boyle said. "You’ve just got to come out and do the things you’ve always done. You’ve got to come out and practice hard and watch film and study the opponent."

For seniors like Boyle, midfielder Michael Kimmel and defensemen Sam DeVore and Matt Drenan, this season has been especially difficult because they don’t want their careers to be remembered for ending "The Streak."

"We won a national championship as freshmen [in 2007], but you’re always remembered for what you do as you go out the door," Kimmel said. "… If we don’t make the playoffs, it’s obviously a huge disappointment, and that hasn’t happened in the last 38 years here at Hopkins. It definitely weighs on us a lot, but it also definitely motivates us."

A victory over the Greyhounds won’t necessarily guarantee Johns Hopkins a spot in the NCAA Tournament, but the Blue Jays hope a resume that includes an RPI of 14 and a schedule that included contests against No. 1 Syracuse, No. 2 Virginia, No. 3 Maryland, No. 4 North Carolina, No. 6 Loyola and No. 7 Princeton will be enough.

"All [Wednesday night’s win] means is that we’ve got another chance to play for something other than pride," coach Dave Pietramala said. "We have a chance to play for something next Saturday. And I truly believe that we are playing for something. If we have the good fortune of winning it, I think we have every right to expect to be considered. Do I think we’ll get in? I have no idea, but we’d have two things which a lot of people don’t have, and that’s two top-10 RPI wins."

Other notes:

Continue reading "Postscript from Towson at Johns Hopkins" »

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April 28, 2010

Towson at Johns Hopkins: Halftime thoughts

History appears to be safe as Johns Hopkins is basically putting a choke hold on No. 19 Towson’s attempt to keep the Blue Jays out of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 39 years.

Johns Hopkins is cruising right now, leading by a comfortable 8-0 at halftime here at Homewood Field in Baltimore.

A Tigers victory would have guaranteed the Blue Jays a sub-.500 finish, which would have automatically made them ineligible for consideration for the NCAA Tournament. But Towson (6-5) has appeared lifeless in the first half, committing turnovers on the first three offensive possessions and taking low-percentage shots that freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (nine saves) has stopped easily.

The Tigers, who own a five-game winning streak, have also committed six penalties – four of which were the 1-minute variety – and are in the midst of their worst deficit of the season.

Meanwhile, Johns Hopkins (5-7) is flexing its muscles and quite easily as the offensive players have raced past Towson’s defenders for easy scores, four of which have come from in front of the cage.

Other notes:

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Towson at Johns Hopkins: Three things to watch

Wednesday night’s contest features two teams moving in opposing directions. No. 19 Towson (6-5) has won five straight games and is the top seed in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. Johns Hopkins (5-7) has dropped six of its last seven contests and must win its final two games of the regular season to even warrant consideration for the NCAA Tournament. Homewood Field should be the site of some fireworks.

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April 27, 2010

No time for celebration for Towson

Towson’s 10-9 victory over Penn State last Saturday capped a long journey where the Tigers overcame a 1-5 start with five consecutive wins to capture the Colonial Athletic Association regular-season championship and the top seed in the league tournament next week.

But as coach Tony Seaman pointed out, there’s no time to rest or celebrate with upcoming contests against local rival Johns Hopkins on Wednesday night and CAA opponent Hofstra on Saturday night.

"It feels very good," Seaman said of the CAA crown. "It’s just that maybe the two biggest games of the year are this week – certainly as far as NCAA implications are concerned. If we could find a way to win both of these games, then I don’t think we would have to go into the CAA Tournament as stressed out as we probably will be."

Towson’s five-game streak has been highlighted by one-goal victories in each of the last three contests. Seaman said that’s a testament to a strong league.

He pointed out that three of No. 16 Hofstra’s losses are to CAA foes, that No. 9 Massachusetts upended No. 10 and Big East power Georgetown last Saturday, and that a 2-10 Penn State knocked off Hofstra and has lost to Towson and Massachusetts by a combined three goals.

Seaman said the team’s perseverance in the one-goal decisions can be traced to its 1-5 start.

"There is where we got a huge benefit from going 1-5 at the beginning of the season – how important it is to stay focused and make good decisions and be there at the end," he said. "It’s gratifying that every time the weight has been placed on our defense, they have stepped up and come through."

Other notes:

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Towson
        

April 26, 2010

NCAA releases first RPI list

The NCAA released its first Ratings Percentage Index -- aka RPI -- and four of the top five spots are occupied by teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Virginia (13-1), North Carolina (11-2), Maryland (9-3) and Duke (11-4) are Nos. 1, 2, 3 and 5 on the list. Only Syracuse (11-1) at No. 4 breaks up the monopoly.

Princeton (9-3), Loyola (9-2), Cornell (8-4), Stony Brook (9-3) and Towson (6-5) round out the top 10. Locally, Johns Hopkins (5-7) sits at No. 14, Mount St. Mary's (8-4) at No. 23,  Navy (6-7) at No. 24 and UMBC (4-7) at No. 34.

The RPI, a rating that accounts for record and strength of schedule in that stronger opponents yield higher RPIs, is one tool that the NCAA selection committee will evaluate prior to finalizing the field for the NCAA Tournament. The 16-team bracket will be unveiled on Sunday, May 9 at 9 p.m.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

April 23, 2010

Towson living in the moment -- but not too much

No. 20 Towson is back to a .500 record and a ranking in The Sun’s Top 20 poll for the first time since the season began. While some coaches might try to stifle any lofty expectations, coach Tony Seaman said the players deserve a chance to soak up some adulation.

"I want them to enjoy every single moment of it because we were absolutely miserable when we were 1-3, 1-4 and 1-5," said Seaman, whose team has won four straight, including back-to-back contests against then-No. 8 Massachusetts and then-No. 8 Drexel. "That was as low as you can get. The locker room’s down, people are picking on people, you’re wondering and questioning everything you do. Losing’s horrible. I’ve said this for 30 years: I’ve never seen a losing team with great chemistry. … Winning is an amazing thing. So enjoy it because it’s like a roller coaster."

Seaman said he doesn’t worry about the players getting ahead of themselves because he owns the perfect equalizer in the team’s film room: copies of previous practices.

"So as soon as their heads get big, we just say, ‘Well, let’s sit down and watch this wonderful display of lacrosse that we just had for the last half-hour, and you guys figure out who you’re going to beat playing like this,’" Seaman half-joked.

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April 22, 2010

Towson's Strauss a candidate for medical redshirt

Ben Strauss has not played in No. 20 Towson’s last four games, and there is some consideration to shutting down the freshman defenseman for the remainder of the season.

Strauss has not played since suffering a bruised knee during practice on April 5, and coach Tony Seaman said the medical staff is mystified as to why the knee is not responding to treatment.

"He’s still in a lot of pain," Seaman said. "He hasn’t been able to perform at 100 percent. We really got worried about it, so we got him a MRI [magnetic resonance imaging exam], and we’re waiting for the doctor’s report."

Seaman said that Strauss, who has started five games this season, would qualify for a medical redshirt if he and the school decide to apply for one.

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April 20, 2010

Q&A with ESPN's Matt Ward

Matt Ward is a former All-American attackman who helped Virginia capture NCAA championships in 2003 and 2006 and won the Tewaaraton Trophy in 2006 as the sport’s top player. In the first of a two-part interview, Ward, an analyst for ESPN, discusses – among other topics – No. 5 Maryland’s shelf life, No. 7 Loyola’s at-large resume and No. 20 Towson’s postseason chances.

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Categories: Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Maryland, Mount St. Mary's, Navy, Towson, UMBC
        

April 17, 2010

Drexel at Towson: Three things to watch

Towson (4-5) has dominated this series, but Drexel enters Saturday night’s contest with the ranking (No. 8) and the record (9-2). First place in the Colonial Athletic Association and the driver’s seat for the top seed in the conference tournament are at stake when these teams meet at Johnny Unitas Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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April 15, 2010

Towson defense rising to the occasion

A good portion of credit for Towson’s three-game winning streak belongs to the defense, which has surrendered an average of 7.7 goals during the run.

The Tigers (4-5) have been especially stout in the second half and most notably in the fourth quarter. The defense shut out Colonial Athletic Association foe Delaware over the final 28 minutes, 1 second to win, 9-7.

UMBC didn’t score over the last 8:51, falling 10-7, and then-No. 8 and new CAA opponent Massachusetts was blanked over the final 9:34 in a 10-9 loss.

Tigers coach Tony Seaman said if the defense can limit opponents to single-digit goal totals, then the onus is on the offense to cement the victory.

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April 12, 2010

Towson's Love gets some, uh, love

Towson junior goalkeeper Travis Love and freshman face-off specialist Matt Thomas were honored by the Colonial Athletic Association Monday, earning the league's co-Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week awards.

Love, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, made 11 saves in the Tigers' 10-7 victory over UMBC on Wednesday. He followed up that performance with 10 stops in a 10-9 upset of No. 8 Massachusetts on Saturday. Love currently ranks eighth in Division I with a .583 save percentage and tied for 19th with a 9.06 goals-against average.

Thomas won 60 percent of his face-offs last week, going 9-of-14 against the Retrievers on Wednesday and 9-of-16 against the Minutemen on Saturday. For the season, Thomas has posted a 50.7 success rate (76 of 150) on face-offs, and he leads the team in groundballs with 40.

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April 8, 2010

Postscript from UMBC at Towson

Towson may not finish the season with a 40-goal scorer or a 70-point player, but that may suit the Tigers just fine.

Towson (3-5) has three players with seven or more goals each and four with at least 10 points, which speaks to the shared responsibility the players feel on offense.

Wednesday night’s 10-7 victory over UMBC was a good example of that cooperative effort as seven different players scored goals. This season, the Tigers are 3-1 when six or more players score goals, but 0-4 when less than five players score in a game.

“We’re a team offense,” said junior attackman Tim Stratton, who registered his second hat trick of the season against the Retrievers. “We don’t really have any go-to guys. On any given night, someone can put up a couple points. Everyone can score, and we’re a team that scores when we run our offense, not when we’re just giving it to one guy and watching. We’re successful when we’re running plays and guys are getting touches on the ball.”

That’s not to suggest that the team couldn’t use an unstoppable finisher or a primary distributor. But for Towson’s needs, a scoring-by-committee approach fits the personnel.

“Earlier in the year, I said my biggest problem was who was going to play out on the field for us in the midfield and attack because we’ve got so many people that are equal,” coach Tony Seaman said. “That’s good in some regards, but it’s horrible in other regards when you would love to have somebody who just stands up and scores goals for you. But it backs up what I said. We’ve got very good depth.”

Other notes:

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April 7, 2010

UMBC at Towson: Halftime thoughts

Towson is enjoying a 5-3 lead at halftime against visiting UMBC at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson courtesy of the team’s work on face-offs and extra-man chances. The Tigers -- who entered the contest winning just 45.3 percent of their face-offs -- won seven of 10 face-offs in the opening frame. That's part of the reason why the team has an overwhelming 23-14 advantage in shots. The offense scored off three of those face-off wins and almost got another, but an official ruled that junior attackman Tim Stratton had violated the crease when he beat Retrievers freshman goalkeeper Adam Cohen with 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

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UMBC making changes, too

Not to be outdone by Towson’s latest news, UMBC (1-6) is planning to start an entirely new defense and goalkeeper against the Tigers (2-5) Wednesday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.

In are sophomores Tim Shaeffer and Aaron Verardi and freshman Lucas Wood. Of the three, only Verardi has played this season, scooping up one groundball and causing one turnover in six games.

Out are seniors Bobby Atwell, Matt Kresse and Lance Ophof. That trio has combined for 28 groundballs and 17 caused turnovers in 21 games, 19 of which were starts.

Also, the Retrievers are going back to freshman Adam Cohen in the net. Cohen, who started in two games and was the starter in the team’s lone win this season, has a better goals-against average (8.20) than senior Kevin Kohri (11.69), who has started three games including last Saturday’s 14-11 loss to then-No. 18 Stony Brook.

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Towson to play Wednesday night without two starters

When Towson (2-5) takes the field at Johnny Unitas Stadium against UMBC (1-6) Wednesday night, the Tigers will play without two starters.

Junior midfielder Pat Britton and freshman defenseman Ben Strauss will sit out due to injuries. Britton, who has registered four goals and two assists in six starts, missed Towson’s 9-7 victory over Delaware last Saturday because of a concussion. Strauss, who ranks second on the team in caused turnovers (7) and has collected 13 groundballs in five starts, is out indefinitely with an undisclosed injury suffered during practice this week.

Senior Brock Armour (one goal and three assists) will take Britton’s place on the first midfield unit alongside seniors Christian Pastirik (15, 9) and Will Harrington (14, 2).

Senior Cameron Zook (10 groundballs) will move from his customary long-stick midfielder position to Strauss’ close defenseman role. Seniors Matt Vetter and David Edens will rotate at long-stick midfielder.

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Categories: Towson, UMBC
        

UMBC at Towson: Three things to watch

Just four days after opening play in their respective leagues, UMBC and Towson take a slight breather to add another installment to one of the longer series in their histories. I’ll be interested in seeing whether the Retrievers (1-6) or the Tigers (2-5) will exert its will at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson at 7:30 p.m. Here are a few developments that could factor into the outcome.

 

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April 5, 2010

Towson's Seaman: Tough non-conference schedule "prepared" Tigers for league play

As much as the next coach, Tony Seaman abhors losing. Yet, he was well-aware of what he was doing when he arranged for the Tigers to open this season with games against the likes of No. 1 Virginia, No. 5 Maryland, No. 7 Loyola and No. 16 Stony Brook. 

"I thought it prepared us," Seaman said Monday after Towson opened its Colonial Athletic Conference schedule with a 9-7 victory over Delaware on Saturday. "We came in 1-5, handled our jobs, played well, and enjoyed the afternoon. it was a terrific feeling. You're always questioning yourself when you have that many losses. You think you might be good and you think you might be able to compete, but you're just so tired and frustrated with near-losses. So to actually win was wonderful. Now you have to maintain that. That's the difficult part." 
 
After spending last week lobbying his players to be more accurate with their shots, Seaman was pleased to see the offense put 21 of 36 shots (58.3 percent) on net. But he was especially delighted that the defense shut out a Blue Hens squad that had been averaging 11.7 goals per game over the final 28 minutes, 59 seconds of the second half.

Sophomore defenseman Marc Ingerman held senior attackman Curtis Dickson (36 goals in nine games) to two goals, freshman defenseman Ben Strauss limited sophomore attackman Grant Kaleikau to two assists, and senior defenseman Joe Wascavage allowed senior midfielder Martin Cahill (23 goals) to score just twice.

"I just think we played good individual defense, on-the-ball," Seaman said. "They're a team that relies on their individual parts to get it done for them. The Dickson kid's scored a lot of goals, the Cahill kid's scored a lot of goals. ... So that was a really good effort on our part throughout the day."

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April 2, 2010

Area teams involved in some significant games as well

While games involving No. 1 Virginia-No. 5 Maryland, No. 3 North Carolina-No. 12 Johns Hopkins, and No. 2 Salisbury-No. 1 Stevenson have garnered a significant amount of attention, there are several other significant contests involving area teams this weekend. Here’s a brief breakdown of those games according to the times of the games.

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Categories: Loyola, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

March 30, 2010

Towson about to embark on new season

Off to a 1-5 start, Towson’s hopes of securing their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2007 essentially revolve around their play in the Colonial Athletic Association.

The Tigers open conference play against Delaware (5-4) on Saturday at 3 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium, and they must finish among the top four teams in the league to qualify for the CAA Tournament and have a shot at capturing the automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament.

Coach Tony Seaman said after last week’s 7-6 loss to then-No. 11 Loyola, the team is treating Saturday as the start of a season within the regular season.

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March 26, 2010

Towson at Loyola: Three things to watch

While No. 5 Maryland and No. 8 Johns Hopkins take to the road for contests at No. 3 North Carolina and No. 1 Virginia, respectively, a game of interest closer to home pits Towson (1-4) against No. 11 Loyola (4-2) at the Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday at 1 p.m. Here are a few factors that could play a role in Saturday’s final score.

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March 25, 2010

Former Greyhound pulling for Towson

P.T. Ricci will be in an unusual position Saturday when Towson (1-4) visits No. 11 Loyola (4-2) at Ridley Athletic Complex. Ricci, who wrapped up a four-year career for the Greyhounds as a long-stick midfielder with a senior season that included a nation-leading 51 caused turnovers and a team-best 91 groundballs, is now a volunteer assistant coach for the Tigers.

"I’m pretty excited, especially about going to the new field," Ricci said. "I don’t think it has fully hit me yet, but once I step out onto the field on Saturday and hear the first whistle blow, it’ll probably be a little weird for me, but I definitely want our team to go out there and win. I’m a competitor and I don’t like to lose. This is a big game for Towson."

Ricci did acknowledge that it will feel strange to stand on the opponents’ sideline at Loyola.

"It’ll definitely be weird looking over and seeing that Loyola uniform that I was in just a few months ago, and I’m in the black and gold of Towson," he said. "I’ve talked to a bunch of people from Loyola, and I know I’m probably going to be hassled a lot throughout the game, but it’ll be fun, I think."

Greyhounds coach Charley Toomey sounded pleased that he won’t have to see Ricci, who earned honorable mention All-American honors and the Eastern College Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award last spring, on the field.

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Categories: Loyola, Towson
        

March 22, 2010

Towson's Pastirik earns weekly award

Towson senior midfielder Christian Pastirik was named the Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week after he registered six goals and two assists in two contests last week.

Pastirik, an Annapolis native and St. Mary's graduate who transferred from Cornell, scored three goals in the Tigers' 10-9 victory over No. 17 Navy last Tuesday. Pastirik's final tally with six seconds left propelled Towson to its first victory after opening the season with three consecutive losses.

Pastirik added three goals and two assists in the team's 15-10 loss to No. 1 Virginia on Sunday. He leads the Tigers in goals (11), assists (7) and points (18).

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March 21, 2010

Virginia at Towson: Three things to watch

The day after the top seed in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament was bounced, top-ranked Virginia (7-0) pays a visit to Towson (1-3) on Sunday at noon at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Here are a few factors that could determine the outcome.

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March 18, 2010

Towson's Strauss emerges as bright spot

A 1-3 start notwithstanding, one of Towson’s bright spots thus far has been the emergence of freshman defenseman Ben Strauss.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Strauss has started in the Tigers’ past two games and played solidly. In last Saturday’s 12-8 loss to No. 5 Maryland, Strauss shut out junior attackman Ryan Young. Young did finish with two goals, but the first occurred against a short-stick defensive midfielder and the second came when the defense tried to double-team the Terps offense in the final minutes of regulation.

In Tuesday night’s 10-9 victory over No. 17 Navy, Strauss allowed junior attackman Andy Warner to record just one assist and zero goals.

After that game, Strauss said his mental approach for each opponent remained unchanged.

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March 17, 2010

Postscript from Navy at Towson

The relief etched on the faces of Towson players told the whole story.

Tuesday night’s 10-9 victory over No. 17 Navy at Johnny Unitas Stadium helped the Tigers avoid the program’s first 0-4 start – and stoked a competitive fire that has shown no signs of flaming out.

Moments after the win, junior goalkeeper Travis Love was licking his chops over Sunday’s tilt with No. 1 Virginia.

"It’s scary," Love said of the showdown with the undefeated Cavaliers, "but on any day, I feel like anything can happen. CP [senior Christian Pastirik, who scored three goals including the game-winner with 6 seconds left against the Midshipmen] was huge for us. It just takes that one guy and everyone else can ride their coattails. Our team has guys that can step up like that. I’m looking forward to Virginia. I want them. I want that second win."

Love might be getting a little ahead of himself, but the point is that Towson is not out of the playoff picture just yet. Yes, there are some challenging match-ups with Virginia and No. 11 Loyola in the next two weeks, but the Tigers can still makes waves in the Colonial Athletic Association.

"It’s a win – any way we can," coach Tony Seaman said. "We hung in there. … Our big theme was let’s play 60 minutes. We had been playing 50, 48, 49, and tonight, we finished it up with six seconds left. So thank God. We did everything we could to give me a heart attack tonight. … It was unbelievable."

Other notes:

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March 16, 2010

Navy at Towson: Halftime thoughts

On a night when Towson is seeking its first victory, the host Tigers lead No. 17 Navy, 6-5, at halftime.

Junior attackman Tim Stratton already has a hat trick in the first half, and the third goal involved a little trickery as he and senior midfielder Brock Armour engaged in a ball fake behind the net. As Midshipmen sophomore goalkeeper R.J. Wickham followed Armour to the left wing, Stratton -- who had the ball -- curled around the right post and dumped the ball into the open net.

Senior midfielder Christian Pastirik has a pretty goal of his own when he accepted a pass from freshman attackman Matt Hughes, and as he was running out of real estate while running to the right side of the crease, whipped a shot behind his head into the top left corner of the cage.

Towson, which hasn't trailed in the first half, broke a 3-3 tie with three consecutive goals. But Navy answered with two goals, including a tally from senior defenseman Jake Brosnan with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.

Other notes:

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Navy at Towson: Three things to watch

Two teams hungry for wins meet Tuesday night at 7 p.m. when No. 17 Navy (3-3) meets Towson (0-3) at Johnny Unitas Stadium. Here are a few developments that could determine the outcome.

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March 15, 2010

Towson makes change in the net

Mired in a 0-3 start, Towson will make a change at goalkeeper, sending junior Travis Love for his first career start against No. 12 Navy (3-3) at Johnny Unitas Stadium Tuesday night.

Love, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, has surrendered nine goals in second halves against No. 13 Stony Brook and No. 6 Maryland and made 12 saves for a .571 save percentage. Tigers coach Tony Seaman confirmed the move Monday morning.

"I just think that we’re 0-3 and we’re going the other way, and maybe it’s time to see if a change helps us," Seaman said. "And I think this is something that he’s worked at and deserves because of his play in two halves and at practice."

Love replaces senior Rob Wheeler, a Baltimore native and Friends graduate who has registered a 15.00 goals-against average and a .362 save percentage in three starts this season. Seaman said the pair bring different styles to the net.

"Rob’s game is based more on being technically sound, and I think Travis has the ability to make some unbelievable saves at times," Seaman said. "They’re both different personalities, too."

Other notes:

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March 13, 2010

Postscript from Towson at Maryland

For all of the good vibes resulting from No. 6 Maryland’s 12-8 victory over intra-state rival Towson at Byrd Stadium in College Park on Saturday, Terps coach Dave Cottle had one concern on his mind.

The first midfield line of seniors Will Yeatman and Adam Sear and sophomore Jake Bernhardt did not record a single point and combined for 0-for-5 shooting. Bernhardt did win 5 of 9 face-offs and collected three ground balls, but Cottle said changes could be coming.

"We’ve got a dilemma with our first," he said. "We’ve got to figure this thing out: who’s the third guy on the first? That’s something we’ve got to fix in the next couple of days. We’ve got to find some guys that can run by some guys. Jake Bernhardt didn’t play as well as he’s played. He did a good job facing off, but he missed a bunch of shots, and I think it affected his game."

That eventually led to Cottle musing about some uncharacteristic displays of emotion from some players. A few players grew frustrated or pouted when plays didn’t go according to plan, and Cottle made a point to address the matter with the team in the locker room after the game.

"We’ve got to man up a little bit," he said. "The message I gave our guys after the game was that I didn’t like our body language from a couple guys when things didn’t go our way. That’s something we have to work on. You can’t let your opponent know that you feel like you should have either had that one or should have made a shot. You’ve got to keep battling, and that’s something we’re going to work on."

Other notes:

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Towson's Love could start against Navy

Towson junior goalkeeper Travis Love’s patience may be rewarded – with his first career start against No. 12 Navy on Tuesday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Love, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate, was spectacular in the second half of the Tigers’ 12-8 loss to No. 6 Maryland Saturday, finishing with seven saves – including five from point-blank range.

Love, who replaced senior Rob Wheeler (Friends) at halftime, may have earned himself Tuesday night’s start, according to coach Tony Seaman whose team is off to a 0-3 start.

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Towson at Maryland: Halftime thoughts

On the strength of a five-goal second quarter, No. 6 Maryland enjoys an 8-3 advantage over visiting Towson at Byrd Stadium Saturday.

Both teams have had to endure a steady rain and wind that has been torrential at times, but the Terps (3-0) appear to be handling it better. The Maryland players appear quicker to the ball, more solid in their footing, and more adept at causing turnovers and protecting the ball.

For the half, the Terps have taken more shots (25-6), collected more groundballs (20-13) and forced more turnovers (9-4) than the Tigers (0-2).

Maryland has also gotten goals from seven different players. Only sophomore attackman Joe Cummings (Loyola) has scored twice -- both on extra-man opportunities. Junior attackman Travis Reed (Boys' Latin) has recorded two assists.

Other notes:

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Towson at Maryland: Three things to watch

When Towson visits Byrd Stadium in College Park for an unusual 11 a.m. tilt with No. 6 Maryland on Saturday, you can expect a lot of adrenaline and intensity between the lines. Here are a few things I will be interested in seeing.

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March 12, 2010

More on Towson coach Tony Seaman

An article in Friday’s edition of The Sun noted the uncertain futures of Towson coach Tony Seaman and Maryland coach Dave Cottle – both of whom will meet at Byrd Stadium on Saturday at 11 a.m. when Seaman’s Tigers (0-2) attempt to upset Cottle’s No. 5 Terps (3-0).

Seaman’s status figures to be shaky as the team is still looking for its first win and is in the midst of a schedule that has been ranked as the toughest in Division I. Seaman, whose skills have been questioned recently, said he understands the scrutiny.

"I think that’s the way it is," he said. "When things go well, you get the compliments, and when things aren’t going your way, it turns the way. It’s still about the players who play the game. I think we do a great job of getting them ready to play the game. You can’t worry about that other stuff. That other stuff’s going to be there, good or bad."

Despite the team’s 0-2 start, Seaman pointed out that last year’s squad overcame a 1-4 start to advance to the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament championship final where Towson fell to Villanova by one goal.

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March 11, 2010

Towson looking to put together four quarters

While working on a feature to advance Saturday’s intra-state tilt between Towson and No. 6 Maryland at Byrd Stadium in College Park at 11 a.m., I had a chance to talk Tigers junior attackman Tim Stratton about the team’s 0-2 start.

Both losses to No. 17 Bucknell and No. 13 Stony Brook entailed three quarters of solid play by Towson marred by one poor period. The Bison scored six goals in the fourth quarter to climb out of a two-goal deficit and win, 13-9. Against the Seawolves last Saturday, the second quarter was the backbreaker as Stony Brook scored six times to take a 9-4 advantage into halftime.

"The thing is, those games should have been wins for us," said Stratton, who has recorded five points on two goals and three assists thus far. "That first game, we pretty much had beaten Bucknell through the first three quarters and then in the fourth quarter, we just got worked. Against Stony Brook, it was the second quarter that killed us. Our problem is we just can’t put together a full game, and we all know that. We know that we can be a pretty good team this year. Everyone’s keeping their heads up, but we also know that we’ve got to get focused and put together a full game in order to win."

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March 6, 2010

UMBC, Towson and Navy also involved in significant games

While much of the lacrosse world will be focused on the Konica Minolta Face-Off Classic tripleheader at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday, there are at least three other significant games involving local teams this weekend. Here’s a brief breakdown of those contests in chronological order:

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March 4, 2010

Towson working on endings

The emphasis in practice this week can be boiled down to one word for Towson: finish.

The Tigers’ 13-9 loss to No. 17 Bucknell last Saturday was an exercise in frustration as Towson (0-1) took a 9-7 lead into the fourth quarter. The way the team dropped the game reminded coach Tony Seaman of a double-overtime setback to Johns Hopkins and one-goal losses to Hofstra and Villanova – the latter occurring in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final.

"I think the fourth quarter becomes more and more important to us," Seaman said, noting that the offense whiffed on three 10-yard shots to begin the fourth quarter and three more as the Bison protected a 10-9 edge with about three minutes left in regulation. "… We don’t get blown out. We’re always in it. But in the fourth quarter, we’ve got to learn to finish, and we’ve got to learn to overcome that and beat some teams in the fourth quarter. We’ve got to learn to finish those games and become a winner instead of a close loser."

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February 27, 2010

Bucknell at Towson: Three things to watch

The Tigers finally get to play a meaningful game, but the first opponent on the schedule is a No. 17 Bucknell team that nearly upset then-No. 1 Duke two weeks ago and routed Ohio State last Saturday. These three developments could have an impact on the outcome of Saturday’s game at Johnny Unitas Stadium at 1 p.m.

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February 26, 2010

Additional information for Stevenson games at Towson

Because the Stevenson women's lacrosse game against Ursinus at 4:30 p.m. and the men's contests against Kean at 7 p.m. have been moved to Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium this Saturday, here is some important information for fans who plan to attend.

Admission is free, but there will be no concessions. Additionally, fans who intend to arrive early should be aware that the Tigers men's team will play host to No. 17 Bucknell at 1 p.m.

Spectators should park in either lots 13 or 14 on the north side of the stadium off Olser Drive. Seating will be limited to sections 101 to 107 on the north side of the stadium, and spectators will be asked to enter through Gate C. Inform the parking attendants that you are visiting to watch the Stevenson games, and the parking fee will be waived.

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February 25, 2010

Towson to open season without returning starter

Towson's season opener this Saturday against No. 17 Bucknell just got a bit more challenging as the Tigers will be forced to play without starting attackman Matt Lamon.

Lamon, a sophomore who grew up in Annapolis and graduated from St. Mary's, started 10 of 17 games last season, registering four goals and eight assists. Lamon was expected to team with another returning starter in junior Tim Stratton, but Lamon underwent an emergency appendectomy last Saturday.

"That hurts us," Towson coach Tony Seaman conceded Thursday morning. "That really puts a damper on the attack because he’s coming back with Stratton with the experience. And Stratton got a concussion in the scrimmage against Princeton [last Saturday], and he didn’t play in the second half. I think Stratton will be back. So it’ll be [sophomore] Stephen Norris and [sophomore Sean] Maguire and a freshman, Matt Hughes, and Stratton."

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February 24, 2010

Towson gets the lead out on Saturday

While the seasons for many Division I programs have already begun (in fact, North Carolina will play its fourth game against Navy on Thursday), Towson will open its season against No. 17 Bucknell on Saturday.

The Bison have already played twice, opening the season with a 12-11 overtime loss to then-No. 1 Duke and routing Ohio State, 11-5, this past Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Tigers wrapped up the preseason with a scrimmage against Princeton on Saturday. Could that be an advantage for Towson since the coaches and players can review game film of Bucknell, which cannot do the same for the Tigers?

"Yeah, but you call people and find out things," said coach Tony Seaman, who attended a media event in which four Baltimore-area Division I coaches previewed their teams and answered fans' queries during a question-and-answer session at the ESPNZone in the Inner Harbor. "I imagine they’ve been living over at Princeton this week. You can look at it both ways."

Seaman’s biggest concern is the early part of Saturday’s contest. While the Bison players will be ready to run, the Towson players will still try to get accustomed to the pace of the game.

"The first quarter, that’s where the biggest disadvantage is for us because it’s a different pace and the level of the game is so much different than a scrimmage no matter what you tell the kids or whom you scrimmage," Seaman said. "One of the reasons why I always like to have Princeton as my last scrimmage is because our kids look at it as a game and play it like a game, and it’s almost up to that level. But still, it’s different. If we can survive the first quarter Saturday and not give them too big of a lead, I think that puts us right where we want to be."

Other Towson notes:

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Snow forces Stevenson to move home openers to Towson

The storms that dumped massive amounts of snow on the Baltimore metropolitan area have forced Stevenson to move Saturday's home openers for its men's and women's lacrosse teams from Caves Athletic Complex to neighboring Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium.

The Mustangs women's squad will play against Ursinus at 4:30 p.m., and the men will play host to Kean at 7 p.m. Both games will come on the heels of the Tigers men's game against No. 17 Bucknell at 1 p.m.

Admission to both Stevenson contests is free, but concessions will be unavailable.

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February 6, 2010

Towson preview

Today's entry is the second of a week-long series taking a look at each of the seven Division I programs in this state according to their order of finish from last season. Tune in Sunday for a preview of Loyola, and The Sun's lacrosse preview is slated to be published on Friday, Feb. 12. Today is Towson's turn.

Overview: The Tigers fell to Villanova in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament final, missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four years. But Towson was coming off a 5-9 campaign in 2008, and the team mixed in a fair amount of freshman and sophomore talent with the experienced veterans. Things don’t get any easier with the addition of Massachusetts and Penn State to the conference, but the Tigers have the potential to make some waves.

Reason for optimism: Towson’s defense will likely pace the team until a still-developing offense finds its rhythm. Sophomore defenseman Marc Ingerman made the CAA All-Rookie squad last spring, and senior Joe Wascavage and sophomore Michael Landy figure to start at the other close defense positions. The goalie spot is hotly contested, but senior Rob Wheeler (8.97 goals-against average and a .557 save percentage) is expected to start for the second consecutive year. "It’s probably his job to lose," coach Tony Seaman said of Wheeler, a Friends graduate. "He’s got another year under him, and we expect him to play better."

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January 27, 2010

Towson picked fourth in CAA

The Tigers were selected to finish fourth in preseason voting among Colonial Athletic Association coaches. Towson, which earned 12 points, trailed preseason favorite Hofstra (25 points), Massachusetts (21) and Delaware (17).

Towson senior midfielder Will Harrington was picked to the preseason All-CAA team. Harrington, who led the team with 23 goals last season, was a first-team conference selection last year.

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January 22, 2010

Five seniors named captains at Towson

Originally announced in the fall, midfielders Brock Armour and Will Harrington, defensemen Matt Vetter and Cameron Zook and goalkeeper Rob Wheeler will captain the Tigers for the 2010 season.

Harrington, a first team All-Colonial Athletic Association selection last year, ranked third on the team with 26 points, scoring a team-high 23 goals with three assists. Armour finished sixth last season with 16 points (eight goals and eight assists).

Vetter returned from an injury-plagued 2008 campaign to play the entire 2009 season, collecting nine groundballs and eight caused turnovers. Zook, a long-stick midfielder, registered 28 groundballs and six caused turnovers last year.

In 17 starts, Wheeler ranked fourth in the CAA with an 8.97 goals-against-average and a .557 save percentage. He posted ten or more saves in nine games.

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January 16, 2010

Towson and area players make CAA Silver Anniversary team

I'm a little late to the party with this, but the Colonial Athletic Association earlier this week released its Silver Anniversary team and five Towson players were named to the squad.

The Tigers representative are:

Midfielder Casey Cittadino: the Most Valuable Player of the 2004 CAA Championship who ranks second in Tigers history with 65 caused turnovers

Long-stick midfielder Danny Cocchi: the CAA Defensive Player of the Year in 2003 who ranks second with 283 ground balls

Midfielder Ben DeFelice: the CAA Co-Player of the Year in 2004 who ranks fifth in career groundballs (231) and sixth in faceoff wins (357)

Attackman Jonathan Engelke: the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2004 who is the  CAA career leader in goals with 113 and ranks second in career points with 156

Goalkeeper Reed Sothoron: the  2005 CAA Tournament Most Valuable Player who helped lead Towson to three CAA titles and ranks second Tigers history in career GAA (9.13) and third in career saves (578)

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June 12, 2009

Review & preview: Three teams under the radar

Last June, I published my version of the 2009 preseason poll and added another entry of three teams that I thought had potential. So in keeping with that tradition, here are three teams that did not finish above .500 and missed the tournament this past season. But what they do have is intrigue in either the form of returning players, a new head coach or a campaign that just fell short of the tournament. In alphabetical order, the teams flying under the radar are:

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May 27, 2009

2010 Women's Final Four in limbo

The men’s Final Four returns to Baltimore next year. What about the women’s Final Four?

Towson, which enjoyed record attendance in three categories while hosting the women’s tournament this past weekend, did not initially submit a bid for the 2010 and 2011 events due to potential conflicts with the proposed construction of a 5,000-seat arena next to Johnny Unitas Stadium.

"We were anticipating being in construction of our new arena, and so we didn’t feel as though – with [construction affecting] one of our parking lots – that would be a good idea to try to host a large event such as women’s lacrosse," Nance Reed, Towson senior associate athletic director and tournament director of 2008 and 2009 Women’s Lacrosse Championships, said, adding that the school has since applied to be the host next year. "But for 2010, we know right now we won’t be under construction at that point. Maybe close to it, but not quite there."

Reed, who is a sitting member of the NCAA’s Sports Management Cabinet, said the panel is expected to discuss the site selection either before or during a conference call at end of June.

"We like to host championships," she said. "We think we’ve got some great facilities, especially Johnny Unitas Stadium, and we like to show it off."

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Review & preview: Towson

Here’s the second installment of a new series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Today, we take a look at Towson.

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May 21, 2009

Navy and Towson resume long-awaited series

I just got off the phone with Towson coach Tony Seaman, who informed me that he and Navy coach Richie Meade have agreed to resume a short-lived series that probably should have gotten a longer run -- especially for area fans.

The Midshipmen last faced the Tigers on April 12, 1997 (a 14-6 victory for the Tigers), and Navy leads the series, 5-3.

There is, however, a price for Towson. The game against Navy will fall between contests against Maryland and Virginia, which makes for a tough stretch leading up to Colonial Athletic Association play.

"So we’ve got Maryland on Saturday, Navy on Tuesday night, and Virginia on Saturday," Seaman said in what sounded like an am-I-crazy-or-what chuckle. "I’ve been wanting to play Navy since I’ve been here, and I think it’s a game we should have, and they thought it was a great opportunity, too. ... I just thought that’s a game we should play -- even though it’s suicide."

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May 4, 2009

Towson's Tony Seaman isn't going anywhere

The season may be over for the Tigers, but the same can’t be said for Tony Seaman’s coaching tenure at Towson.

The only coach in Division I history to aid three different schools to the NCAA tournament, Seaman was informed in a meeting Monday afternoon with school officials that he would be retained for at least another season.

"I’m just looking forward to having this team and my staff and myself back for 2010," said Seaman, who boasts an overall record of 253-148 (a winning percentage of .631) in 26 years and a mark of 89-75 (.543) in 11 years with the Tigers. "We couldn’t be happier to be part of the Towson lacrosse program."

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May 2, 2009

Towson's Will Harrington and Mitchell Rosensweig get CAA honors

Junior midfielder Will Harrington and senior faceoff specialist Mitchell Rosensweig were voted to represent the Tigers on the All-Colonial Athletic Association first team.

Harrington, a Baltimore native and Friends graduate, leads the team in goals with 23 and ranks second in points with 26. He has registered three four-goal outings this season, including in a 10-2 victory over Drexel in a CAA tournament semifinal Wednesday night.

Rosensweig, a Baltimore native and Pikesville graduate, ranks 11th in the country with a .569 faceoff percentage, and he leads the conference with 107 ground balls. He ranks 10th on the school’s all-time list with 212 career ground balls.

Senior attackman Bill McCutcheon and redshirt freshman defenseman Marc Ingerman were named to the second team. Ingerman was also selected to the All-Rookie team.

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May 1, 2009

Villanova at Towson: Three things to watch

The Tigers have a golden opportunity to not only capture their fourth Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship, but also assure themselves of a berth in the NCAA tournament.

Here are a few things that must turn in Towson’s favor Saturday night so that the team can avoid the anxiety of Selection Sunday:

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April 25, 2009

Towson's playoff picture updated

Towson has cemented the No. 2 seed and a semifinal game at home in the four-team Colonial Athletic Association tournament next week.

With No. 9 Hofstra routing Villanova, 10-3, Saturday night, the Tigers finished second in the league with a 4-2 conference mark. So on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., Towson will play host to Drexel, which earned the No. 3 seed by virtue of a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Wildcats. (The Dragons beat Villanova, 9-8, on April 11.)

The Tigers defeated Drexel, 7-4, on March 28 and if they win again Wednesday, they would meet the winner of the Hofstra-Villanova semifinal on Saturday. If it’s Hofstra, Towson would have to travel to New York. (Hofstra won, 11-10, on April 11.) If it’s the Wildcats, the Tigers would be the hosts. (Villanova won, 13-4, on April 8.)

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April 23, 2009

Postscript from Johns Hopkins at Towson

The Blue Jays got a taste of what could become familiar.

The Tigers disrupted Johns Hopkins’ offense by carrying the ball into their offensive end, holding onto the ball despite several stall warnings and waiting for the Blue Jays’ defensemen to either get frustrated or over-aggressive before going on the offensive.

Through the first three quarters, Towson had a 26-19 advantage in shots and a 9-6 lead on the scoreboard.

"It’s definitely frustrating as an offense," Johns Hopkins junior midfielder Michael Kimmel said. "Especially when you get down by three goals, you want to score three goals in one possession. That’s not possible, obviously. But it’s definitely frustrating as an offense when you see your defense out on the field a lot. And then we get the ball and throw it away and then more defense. We were trying to press out at the end there. But we were playing defense the entire game. They were doing a good job of keeping the ball away."

The key for the Tigers was their ability to be patient and score when the opportunities arose. Then when they got the lead, they were able to sit on it and milk the clock. That formula might not work for every team, and senior midfielder Brian Christopher wasn’t sure every opponent might employ a similar strategy.

"It depends on the kinds of teams you see," he said. "Teams like Virginia and Syracuse push the ball no matter what. It all depends on what they want to do."

Other notes:

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April 22, 2009

Johns Hopkins at Towson: Three things to watch

The Blue Jays have enjoyed a lopsided relationship with the Tigers, winning 33 of 36 meetings, and Towson hasn’t earned a victory in the series since 1996. Here are a few things I will be looking for from the press box at Johnny Unitas Stadium Wednesday night.

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April 21, 2009

Will Harrington finding groove at Towson

Will Harrington has found a home in Towson.

After transferring from Maryland to Hobart to the Tigers, the junior midfielder has settled into his role as a finisher. Harrington ranks second on the team in goals with 18 – 11 in his past four contests.

"I’m not that much faster than anyone," he said. "I use my body a lot when I dodge, so I guess I’m strong for my size, and I try to utilize that against smaller people. But most of the time, it’s just being in the right place at the right time with my teammates."

Harrington, a Baltimore native and Friends graduate, spent last season sitting out and playing on the scout team after transferring from the Statesmen. It was a difficult role, he acknowledged.

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April 16, 2009

Towson's playoff picture

With a 5-7 overall record, the Tigers won’t get an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. But Towson still has a shot for the automatic qualifier that comes with winning the Colonial Athletic Association tournament, which begins April 29.

The CAA isn’t willing to speculate on which schools will earn a berth in the four-team tournament, but here’s what we know:

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April 9, 2009

Towson getting involved in cancer awareness

When No. 6 Hofstra visits the Tigers at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday, the Colonial Athletic Association rivals will join forces against non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

The Pride has been a key campaigner for the HEADstrong Foundation, which was created by former player Nick Colleluori to help raise awareness and funds to battle the disease. Colleluori was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma and passed away on Nov. 28, 2006.

Hofstra players have been wearing lime green HEADstrong shoelaces to honor Colleluori, and Towson will wear similar apparel during Saturday’s game.

The idea came from freshman midfielder Kevin Lalley, who is all too familiar with the disruptive nature non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can have on a family. His sister Jen was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2005, and even though she is in her third year of remission, Kevin Lalley said watching her ordeal was a struggle.

"It was tough to watch her go through that," he said. "My sister is strong. She beat it."

Lalley – who chose the No. 27 jersey in honor of his sister and Collelouri, both of whom wore that number at Ohio State and Hofstra, respectively – asked Tigers coach Tony Seaman for permission to ask his teammates to buy and wear the shoelaces Saturday.

"They were all very supportive," Lalley said. "They all thought it was a great idea, and they backed me up 100 percent."

For more information, visit www.HEADstrongfoundation.org.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:08 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Towson
        

April 8, 2009

Pivotal weekend matchups

A lot of attention has been devoted to Saturday’s Smartlink Days of Rivals, which features Army against No. 12 Navy at 11:30 a.m. and No. 11 Johns Hopkins against No. 15 Maryland at about 2 p.m.

But there are some critical games involving other local teams Saturday.

* Since UMBC joined the America East conference in 2004, the Retrievers and Albany have split the league titles with UMBC winning in 2006 and 2008. The two schools will tangle Saturday, and with both teams undefeated (2-0) in conference play, the winner will likely sit in the driver’s seat to host the season-ending league tournament. The No. 7 Retrievers are just 1-2 when playing the Great Danes on their home turf, but UMBC boasts one of the most prolific midfields in Peet Poillon, Kyle Wimer and Alex Hopmann. No. 17 Albany is hopeful that senior attackman Corey Small will play for the first time since undergoing leg surgery last month.

* Despite Georgetown’s troubles this season, Loyola coach Charley Toomey has consistently held to his theory that the road to the Eastern College Athletic Conference title runs through the Hoyas. The No. 19 Greyhounds are the reigning league champions and with a 3-1 record in the ECAC, they are a half-game behind current leader Massachusetts (3-0 in the conference). But Loyola is 0-3 at Georgetown, which has won seven ECAC championships since the league was formed in 2000. The Hoyas, who upset then-No. 20 Fairfield last Saturday to improve to 1-2 in the conference, would love to play spoiler again. The Greyhounds could use another big outing from attackman Shane Koppens, who has posted six goals and four assists in his past two games against Georgetown.

Continue reading "Pivotal weekend matchups" »

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:47 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola, Mount St. Mary's, Towson, UMBC
        

March 30, 2009

UMBC's Latham, Towson's Wheeler collect awards

Matt Latham of UMBC and Rob Wheeler of Towson were honored by their respective conferences for their performances last week.

Latham, a junior attackman, was named the America East Player of the Week for his three-goal, one-assist effort in No. 7 UMBC's 14-8 win against Stony Brook on Saturday. The Eldersburg native and Liberty graduate has scored six times in the last two contests, and the Retrievers (6-2) are 6-0 when Latham records at least one point.

Wheeler, a junior goalkeeper, anchored Towson's victories over Bucknell and Drexel, surrendering just 11 goals and making 24 saves. His 14 saves against the Bison are a career high. The Tigers (4-4) have won their last three games.

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:47 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson, UMBC
        

March 23, 2009

UMBC's Alex Hopmann and Towson's Bill McCutcheon honored

UMBC's Alex Hopmann and Towson's Bill McCutcheon collected America East and Colonial Athletic Association Player of the Week accolades, respectively.

Hopmann tied his career-high with four goals, including the game-winner, in the No. 8 Retrievers' 9-8 overtime victory over No. 18 Ohio State on Saturday. The senior midfielder and Annapolis graduate -- who shared the award with Stony Brook's Jordan McBride -- leads the team with 19 goals and is one score shy of tying his single-season best total of 20 goal set in 2007.

McCutcheon also racked up four goals, including the final two in the Tigers' 11-9 win against Robert Morris. The senior attackman leads the team in goals with 13 and points with 20 and is tied with senior midfielder Randall Cooper for a team-best seven assists.

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:52 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson, UMBC
        

March 16, 2009

Seaman, Towson try to remain positive

A 1-4 start has the potential to tear a team apart, but the Tigers are resolute that brighter days are ahead.

All four losses have come at the hands of opponents ranked in The Sun's top 20 (Virginia, Maryland, Denver and Loyola). Only seven of the 45 players on the roster are seniors and two freshmen have started four of five games on attack. So the program sort of expected growing pains, coach Tony Seaman says.

"We've tried to be matter-of-fact about where we were at the beginning of the year and where we needed to develop and what kind of experience we were hoping to get out of that," he said earlier today. "If you compete against a Maryland and you compete against a Virginia, then it doesn't surprise you a lot when other teams walk on the field against you athletically. We're playing good teams, and we've got good teams coming up."

Seaman acknowledged that one of challenges associated with his job is keeping optimism high and frustration low among the players.

"That's the other thing you're always worried about," he said. "Certainly, losing breeds [pessimism], but I felt coming out of the Maryland game [a 9-7 loss], we weren't at all. We felt we played pretty well and with a couple breaks, we had a chance to win that game. But we never had a chance to win that game Saturday [against Virginia] with the way we played."

Towson's upcoming contest against Robert Morris will be only the school's second game at the friendly confines of Johnny Unitas Stadium before the team embarks on its second three-game road trip of the season.

"We played a couple of really, really good teams," Seaman said. "Hopefully, we grow on that. Let's see how we do this week against Robert Morris and Bucknell [on March 24] and Drexel [on March 28]. It puts us back in our league, in our world so to speak. Let's see how we come out of it and if we've grown and if we're ready to compete against those people."

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:14 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: Towson
        

February 18, 2009

Towson midfielders focusing on their future

The lives of Randall Cooper and Mitchell Rosensweig have centered on lacrosse. Now the Towson senior midfielders are preparing for life after lacrosse.

Cooper and Rosensweig are putting the finishing touches on successful academic careers.

Cooper, 23, is a biology major who has earned only three B's en route to compiling a 3.849 cumulative grade point average. The surprising thing is that Cooper, who wants to specialize in orthopedic medicine with a focus on youth-aged athletes, admits he wasn't much of a student at Friends, where he recorded a 2.9 GPA.

Cooper said his transformation began in the latter half of his senior year in high school when he tagged along with a family friend who was a general surgeon as part of a work study program.

"After spending about a month and a half with him, I decided that medicine was what I wanted to go into," Cooper said. "After that, I knew I’d have to put in the time and effort if I wanted to go to med school. That kind of turned it around for me."

Cooper isn’t a slouch on the lacrosse field either. He has posted 31 goals and 25 assists in the past two seasons, and his 25 points ranked third among the Tigers last year.

Rosensweig, 21, is a business administration major with a 3.644 cumulative GPA who wants to pursue a degree in sports law with an eye on becoming a sports agent. The Pikesville graduate credited his mother Fran, an educator in the Baltimore County public school system, and his father Jeffrey with instilling a strong work ethic.

"They were always on my back since middle school, making sure I did well," said Rosensweig, who returns as the nation’s fourth most successful faceoff specialist, winning 58.4 percent of them last season.

Posted by Edward Lee at 3:10 PM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Towson
        
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