By: Tyler Beard, Staff Writer
Towson overcame an early 5-0 deficit to beat High Point, 10-8, in the NCAA First Four game Wednesday night at Johnny Unitas Stadium.
The win moves the Tigers into a matchup with the first-seeded Notre Dame Irish (10-2) on Saturday in South Bend, Indiana.
The Tigers (12-5) had seven different players score goals in the game against the Panthers (10-7).
“High Point put us against the wall early, which is a huge testament to them,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “We had to dig deep and string things together and I couldn’t be more proud of our team and the heart that we have.”
High Point took an early lead after freshman attacker T. Moyer buried a shot within seven seconds of the game. Sophomore attacker Michael Leclair and junior attacker Matt Thistle added goals as well.
Within the first five minutes of the game, High Point had a 3-0 lead, which prompted a Towson timeout.
Towson committed a turnover on the defensive end on a clearing opportunity a few minutes later, which gave High Point another offensive possession. High Point cashed in with a goal from redshirt junior midfielder Brad James and took a 4-0 lead.
Sophomore attacker Joe Seider, and senior midfielder Ben McCarty scored back-to-back goals for the Tigers in the last three minutes of the first quarter and cut the Panthers’ lead to 5-2.
Sophomore midfielder Alec Burckley helped secure Towson an opportunity in the first quarter after winning 6-of-8 face-offs.
Burckley finished the game 15-for-22 on faceoffs and also had 12 ground balls.
“We didn’t get off to the start we wanted to so I knew face-offs were going to be a crucial part to get us back in the game,” Burckley said. “Our wings did a great job and we were able to come up with the majority of them.”
Burckley won the opening face-off of the second quarter and senior midfielder Greg Cuccinello scored on the Tigers’ possession on a man-up advantage.
Senior midfielder Justin Mabus scored the next possession, burying a shot in the top right corner, which extended Towson’s run to 4-0 and cut High Point’s lead to 5-4.
Redshirt junior goalie Tyler White made a quick save with less than 11 minutes left in the second quarter on the Panthers’ next possession. The play led to a goal by Tigers’ sophomore midfielder Mike Lynch, and tied the game at 5-5.
Redshirt senior attacker Max Siskind scored on the Tigers’ next possession, which gave the Tigers their first lead of the game.
Both teams were held scoreless in the first 10 minutes after multiple turnovers. However, Mabus fed Lynch a pass on the other side of the goal, so that Lynch was able to get past the goal to give Towson a 7-5 lead with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.
Senior defenseman JoJo Ostander scored a couple minutes later on a 50-yard shot that caught High Point off-guard and completed Towson’s 8-0 run. High Point finally scored with two minutes left in the third quarter, which ended Towson’s run and cut the lead to 8-6.
Siskind opened up the fourth quarter with his second goal of the game off an assist from Mabus. Siskind completed the hat-trick with less than 11 minutes left in the game, which gave Towson a 10-6 lead.
“This team has a lot of heart and throughout the season we’ve had a lot of bumps in the road,” Siskind said. “We knew that if we could weather the storm that we’d be able to come back.
Faceoff for Saturday’s game is set for at 5 p.m.