By: Desmond Boyle, Staff Writer
Number 16 Towson saw its comeback effort stifled by No. 6 Denver, which secured a 12-11 win Saturday afternoon at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
In a defensive opening quarter, Colton Jackson scored an unassisted goal to give Denver a 1-0 lead. Later in the quarter, Ethan Walker extended Denver’s lead to two after capitalizing on a two-man advantage.
However, Towson senior attacker Tyler Konen found fellow senior attacker Ryan Drenner to cut Denver’s lead to 2-1 going into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Tigers failed to find the back of the net. Solid goalkeeping from the Pioneers keeper Alex Ready kept the Tigers off the board.
“It’s tough to build a rhythm,” Drenner said. “It’s hard to find rhythm, especially because their offense holds the ball each time for about three minutes.”
Denver scored two early goals in the second to take a 4-1 lead into halftime. Jackson scored his second and Colton McCaffrey scored 30 seconds later.
Despite outshooting Denver 18-17, Towson struggled to create consistent offense.
In the third quarter, the Pioneers scored three straight goals to open up a five goal lead. Later in the quarter, the Pioneers scored twice to take a 9-4 lead going into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, senior Brian Bolewicki and sophomore Zach Goodrich sparked a Tigers rally with two goals in the opening five minutes.
The Pioneers responded with a goal of their own, but midfielders Mike Lynch and Goodrich kept the Tigers in the game after finding the back of the net.
With 4:41 left in the fourth, Walker tallied his fourth and final goal of the game to give Denver a four-goal lead.
Despite falling behind late, Drenner, Bolewicki and Tyler Konen pulled Towson to within one goal with only 22 seconds. However, Denver won the final faceoff to end Towson’s comeback.
“We have to take that fourth quarter and turn it into four quarters,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “When the whistle blows on game day, you’ve got to be able to go. When you don’t play well for a half, it’s tough to earn a victory.”
Towson will have a chance to get back in the win column Saturday at Drexel in Philadelphia. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.