By Glenn Kaplan, Staff Writer
photo courtesy of towsontigers.com
For the first time this season, Towson played outdoors in a battle between two top-20 teams. The No. 19 Tigers (0-3) traveled to Annapolis to face the No. 18 Navy Midshipmen.
The cold weather created difficult conditions for both offenses as the first half was low-scoring.
The Midshipmen (2-1) scored five goals by four different players in the first half, including freshman midfielder Raegan Roelofs, who scored two goals in 19 seconds to extend Navy’s lead to 5-2.
Trailing 5-4 at halftime, Towson struggled out of the gate, falling behind 8-5 in the first 5:16 of the second half.
Junior midfielder Annie Sachs put the team on her back, scoring the first four Tiger goals in the second half. Sachs would add a fifth goal late in the game and bring her season total to a team-high seven goals.
“Despite the final score, we had a number of strong efforts but Annie was definitely on fire,” said Head Coach LaMonica. “She played with no fear and took advantage of some mismatches.”
Towson trailed by as many as four in the second half, but five goals from five different Tigers created a 5-2 run in just over eight minutes.
“We’ve always preached that everyone needs to be dangerous,” LaMonica said. “The more depth we have the further we will go this season.”
This late rally wasn’t enough, as Towson ran out of time and dropped its third straight game to start the season, 14-13.
Despite a much better showing by Towson this week, LaMonica believes her team could be more focused on the defensive end.
“Our defensive struggles are connected to our draws,” she said. “Losing runs of draws adds extra pressure to your defense, so continuing to focus on this area of the game will alleviate the opponent’s possession of time. When you have the ball, you have control.”
The Tigers’ tough schedule has played a big part in their difficult start to the season, and it will continue to get tougher for Towson’s home opener.
“The road ahead doesn’t get easier,” LaMonica said. “This Friday will provide an opportunity to keep building that part of our game and I expect the team will be eager to do so on our home turf.”
Towson will host No. 4 Stony Brook on Friday, March 1 at Johnny Unitas Stadium at 7 p.m.