Towson Men’s Lacrosse struggles early, can’t comeback against Denver
By: Jake Shindel, Sports Editor and Waindim Tufoin, Contributing Writer
The Towson Men’s Lacrosse team (3-8) outscored No. 11 Denver (6-4) by three goals over the last three quarters, but its poor start, allowing Denver to lead 5-0 after the opening frame, was not enough to overcome as the team fell 12-10.
“I somewhat joked with our guys that we kind of took that playoff hockey mentality where we were only ready to play three periods instead of four quarters,” said Head Coach Shawn Nadelen.
Attackman JJ Sillstrop’s five goals were the difference-maker in the game for Denver, while attackman Nick DeMaio’s three goals provided a spark for Towson. Towson’s run over the middle two quarters coincided with a combined 11/14 faceoffs won for Towson, which was 5/12 combined in the first and fourth quarters.
Coming into the matchup, Towson won two of its last three games, most recently with a win on the road at Hofstra. For Denver, the team was 3-2 across its previous five matchups, but each came against a ranked opponent.
The game was scoreless for the first five minutes before Denver scored three goals in 14 seconds. Midfielder Michael Lampert, faceoff man Alec Stathakis and attackman Richie Connell each scored, giving Denver a 3-0 lead.
After the opening quarter, the Pioneers held a 5-0 lead. Denver scored in bunches, with their fourth and fifth goals coming in the span of 1:42 of each other. Denver outshot Towson 15-7 in the first quarter.
Towson got on the board early in the second quarter, with attackman Joaquin Villagomez scoring his 21st goal of the season, a team-high. Villagomez scored another goal, and then Towson tacked on two more after midfielder Matt Constantinides took the face-off victory for a score after DeMaio’s goal. Towson called timeout with just over four minutes remaining in half after cutting the deficit to 7-4.
At the half, Denver led 8-5. Sillstrop and midfielder Mic Kelly netted two goals each for Denver. Towson’s second-quarter surge, in which they outscored Denver 5-3, was carried out evenly, with no player scoring more than one goal. The difference in the second quarter was faceoffs, as Towson won 7/9 in the second quarter after only winning 2/6 in the opening frame.
Towson carried their second-quarter momentum into the second half, cutting its deficit to 9-8 by the time the third quarter ended. DeMaio, Villagomez and midfielder Kyle Berkley each scored for Towson in the quarter. Towson once again won the faceoff battle in the quarter, winning 4/5.
“When you dig yourself in a hole, you gotta swing those possessions. I think [Constantinides] did a great job.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Denver scored two goals, but DeMaio responded with his third of the night to put the game at 11-9. Both teams scored a goal during the remainder of the game, but Towson fell 12-10.
“Even though we let a team get a cushion, we know what it takes to get it back, and we just have to be that much sharper and play that much cleaner,” Nadelen said.
Towson’s next game is at home against Hampton at noon on Saturday.