By: Sam Peterson, Staff Writer, and Trevor Letourneau, Contributing Writer
Towson University’s Men’s Lacrosse team (1-1) lost 16-13 to Saint Joseph’s University (2-0) at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Saturday.
Attackmen Nick DeMaio led the Tiger offense with four goals, with Midfielder Kyle Berkeley contributing two goals and two assists.
“This was a game we expected as these were fairly even teams,” Head Coach Shawn Nadelen said. “Last year, when we came up there, we didn’t play well at all, and they beat us down. Coming out this year, we stepped on the field, ready with who we had. We just didn’t play as clean as we needed to.”
Saint Joseph’s started off strong to start the game, winning the first faceoff and taking a 2-0 lead at 12:23. The Tigers went on a 3-0 run after scoring three goals from DeMaio and Midfielders Austin Stewart and Jamison Gaskins at 7:14
The Tigers trailed the Hawks 7-4 at the end of the first quarter after a 3-0 run from Saint Josephs. Two Towson penalties forced the Tigers down a player for the final 3 minutes of the quarter.
“That was a tough stretch for sure,” Nadelen said. “You want to try and get a stop and have your offense kill as much as they can with that. It’s a part of the game, and we’ve been prepared for it.”
After trailing throughout the second quarter, the offense started to pick up, with DeMaio scoring his third goal of the game at 4:31. The Tigers tied it up 9-9 just before the one-minute mark after two consecutive goals.
At the end of the first half, the teams were tied 9-9. Berkeley ended the first half with one goal in the second and two assists, while DeMaio finished with a team-high three goals.
The Towson defense caused three turnovers, and Goalkeeper Evan Long finished with three saves.
“Pumping in nine goals in the half is solid,” Nadelen said. “Unfortunately, we let the other team do the same thing. Both teams were kind of sitting back in the zone and making you have to work a little bit more.”
At the start of the second half, the Tigers took a 10-9 lead after an unassisted goal by Attackmen Chop Gallagher. The Hawks went on a 3-0 run to put themselves up 12-10 at the five-minute mark.
The Tigers trailed Saint Joseph’s heading to the fourth, 11-13. Long finished the quarter with five saves, with the rest of the Towson defense forcing three turnovers.
Towson continued to trail into the fourth quarter at the 12:14 mark after the Tigers gave up their 14th goal of the game. The Tigers’ offense began to revive after back-to-back goals from DeMaio and Berkeley right before the seven-minute mark.
After two more Saint Joseph’s goals, the Tigers continued to trail into the end of the fourth. A Hawks penalty put the Tigers up a man in the final minutes, but the team was not able to capitalize on the advantage. The Tigers fell short to the Hawks, 16-13.
“I feel we could’ve played smarter, you know, we lost a couple possessions on offense here and there, which made it very hard to protect the lead we had,” Nadelen said. “At the end of the day, we just had a couple poor decisions on both sides of the ball, which really let them creep back into it.”
The Tigers travel to the University of Richmond to take on the Spiders on Friday, Feb. 24, at 4 p.m.