Natalie Szopo records only meet win at Bucknell

By: Tyler Young, Staff Writer

Towson’s men’s and women’s teams finished eighth and fourth, respectively, at the nine-team Bucknell Invitational this weekend in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

The results didn’t surprise Head Coach Pat Mead, given the team that went to Bucknell.

“It was an interesting weekend,” Mead said. “We have a meet right after Thanksgiving and we didn’t take a lot of our best swimmers this weekend. So, we didn’t expect to be in the upper echelon.”

The lone win Towson took home was from junior diver Natalee Szopo. She placed first in the three-meter event. The same event in which senior Lyndsey Dickson came in fourth and junior Hannah Ostrem was fifth.

Szopo later claimed second-place in the one-meter board. Junior Molly Arceri took fourth in the event.

Another bright spot came from freshman Kendall Krumenacker, who posted solid times in the 500-yard and 200-yard freestyle events, but her most impressive feat was her second-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke. She set a Towson record with a time of 1:58.78.

“Kendall was the standout,” Mead said. “She had a breakout meet. If she continues to progress, she could, as freshman, make it to NCAA’s. We have never had that happen.”

Freshman Corie Morton was “phenomenal,” according to Mead. She placed third in the 500-yard freestyle, fourth in the 1,650-yard freestyle and seventh in the 400-yard individual medley.

Morton was also a part of the relay team, along with senior Taylor Paskoff, senior Taylor Jarsocrak and junior Lynn Juan, to come in third in the 800-yard freestyle race, the best finish by a Towson relay team throughout the entire meet.

Paskoff added a fourth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly. Jarsocrak participated in the 1,650-yard freestyle, coming in sixth place.

“On the guys side, we had some bright spots,” Mead said. “Brandon Ress and Tim Schade were both good. But we were looking for a little bit more from some of the other guys.

Ress, a sophomore, placed sixth in the 500-yard freestyle, 15th in the 400-yard individual medley, seventh in the 1,650-yard freestyle and 25th in the 200-yard breaststroke.

Schade, also a sophomore, came in 15th in the 500-yard freestyle and 13th in the 1650-yard freestyle.

Both men were a part of the 800-yard freestyle medley relay, in addition to sophomore Noah Pritchard and freshman Matthew Sieffert, and took sixth in the event.

Pritchard added an eighth-place finish in the 400-yard individual medley, a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard butterfly and a 10th-place spot in the 200-yard backstroke.

“It is the middle of the season,” Mead said. “Now is the time where we start to look at the numbers on paper and take those times to narrow down who will be on our conference team.”

The Tigers will be back in action on Dec. 4 at the U.S. Winter Nationals being held in Greensboro, North Carolina.


Tigers struggle in the redzone, fall to Rhode Island

By: Matt Hamilton, Sports Editor

Towson came into the 2014 season with hefty expectations after advancing to the Football Championship Subdivision Championship game last season. After a 0-2 start and a slew of injuries, the goals for this team changed.

However, not many expected the season to end the way it did, falling 13-7 at the hands of the previously winless Rhode Island Rams in Kingston, Rhode Island on Saturday.

The loss clinches the first losing season for the Tigers since a 1-10 campaign in 2010.

“[The season was] disappointingly inconsistent,” Head Coach Rob Ambrose said. “And that’s nobody’s fault but mine. I know it will [change next year].”

Rhode Island got the ball to start the game and established its offense right away. Running back Lyle McCombs had a 24-yard run that highlighted a 12-play, 70-yard drive that ended in a touchdown pass from linebacker T.J. Anderson to fullback Justin Favreau to make it 7-0 early.

Towson got its run game going on the next drive, moving down to the Rhode Island 18-yard line after a 24-yard run from junior quarterback Connor Frazier. However, Frazier was sacked at the 29-yard line on third down and Towson could not convert on a 4th-and-21 to end the opportunity.

After the teams traded punts, the Tigers put together their first scoring drive as the second half progressed. Frazier led a nine-play, rush-only drive that ended in a six-yard touchdown run from sophomore running back Darius Victor to make it 7-7 with 1:53 left in the first half.

The ensuing kick hit the foot of a Rhode Island player, allowing the home team to take over at its 45-yard line. McCombs rushed for 11 yards on a 28-yard drive that ended with a 44-yard field goal by kicker Dylan Smith to make it 10-7 at the end the half. It was the first field goal for the team this season.

Towson finished with 88 yards total in the first half. Frazier was 1-for-5 for 13 yards and was sacked three times.

Ambrose said he is confident Frazier will be in completion for the starting quarterback spot next year.

“He’ll be competing for a starting spot,” Ambrose said. “I don’t have any question about that. It’s kind of clear to the team but it hasn’t been spelled out in exact detail, but there are no returning starters on this team. They are all going to have to earn it.”

Two more punts followed at the start of the half, but the Tigers built some offensive momentum on their second drive. Starting at the Rams’ 44-yard line, the Tigers moved to the Rams’ nine-yard line, but Victor was stopped for a loss of five on fourth down for the turnovers on downs.

After another Rhode Island punt, it was much the same for Towson. Frazier completed for 22 yards to senior wide receiver Derrick Joseph and rushed for 25 yards of his own, but he fumbled at the Rhode Island 23-yard line and the home team recovered to stop Towson deep inside its territory for the third time.

The Tigers were stopped at the Rams’ 26-yard line on their next drive.

“That was us being ineffective technically and schematically, which is coaching,” Ambrose said. “Couple that with the fact that right now we don’t have much a kicking game that we can count on to kick field goals. That makes for a very bad day.”

Rhode Island was stuck in its territory most of the second half, but managed to put together a 10-play, 50-yard drive with the help of 31 rushing yards by McCombs. Smith made it 13-7 after converting on a 42-yard field goal with 7:22 left in the game.

The Tigers defense stopped the Rams deep inside the Tigers territory and got their last chance to win the game. Frazier led the offense to midfield, but fumbled and the Rams took over to clinch the 13-7 win.

Ambrose said he’s already started recruiting for future classes, much like he did immediately after the 2014 season.

“You take the last four years of this program, we’ve got to be one of the winningest programs in the country,” Ambrose said. “We’re still building towards the level of success that a North Dakota State or an Eastern Washington would have, but all those took well over 10 years to build. We’re right in the thick of it.”


Good news for PIKE

By: Danny Tress, Contributing Writer

Courtesy of Pi Kappa Alpha

After years of sending only four to five members, the PIKE fraternity chapter Lambda Omega brought 35 members to this year’s Leadership Summit in Philadelphia, the most in attendance, earning them a shout-out from Kim Novak, director of risk education prevention and featured speaker at PIKE University. Continue reading

Bookmarks: Transported to another world

By: Laura Antonucci, Columnist

I don’t like “Ghost World.” It is so close to home for me, with every page and each panel, I had a flashback of something from high school. Memories were drudged up from tightly packed corners and flew around my head while I tried to read this intense story about two girls so lost in themselves, they have no clue who they are. Continue reading