Towson Women’s Lacrosse avenges OT loss in 2022 CAA Championship game, defeats Drexel 9-6

By: Courtney Ott, Sports Editor and Jake Shindel, Deputy Sports Editor

Towson Women’s Lacrosse took care of business in the semifinals on Thursday afternoon, ending their three-game losing streak and Drexel’s five-game winning streak. The Tigers won 9-6, giving up the second-lowest number of goals for the team all season. Last year, Towson’s season came to an end in an overtime loss in the CAA Championship game against Drexel.

“So proud of defense. They really shined today,” Head Coach Sonia LaMonica said. “It was a defensive battle for both teams, but our defense really locked down and that was huge…I know how the team played today demonstrated, most importantly to them, how good they are. It was really great to see them shifting, playing, communicating and working so well together as a team.”

Towson’s players all wrote “Grrr” on the back of their wrists before the game started. The word, a nod to Towson’s mascot, also pushed them to play their best.

“We have ‘Grrr’ on our hands that means relentless, redemption and respect. Respect our field, we’re coming back for redemption this year and we’re going to fight to the end,” said midfielder Lindsey Marshall. “We really had an emphasis today on fighting for every ball, working as a team and also respecting our home field.”

Drexel took a two-goal lead early as Towson struggled to generate anything on offense to start the game. However, Marshall was able to tie the game at two with seven minutes left to go in the first quarter as Towson’s offense took advantage of a yellow card penalty on the Dragons. 

It looked like Drexel took a 3-2 lead heading into the second quarter, but the goal was called back because of a crease violation. The teams were knotted at two at the end of the first quarter. 

Midfielder Blair Pearre went coast to coast to record her second goal of the game early in the second quarter. Towson’s three unanswered goals gave them a 3-2 lead. Midfielder Milana Zizakovic gave Towson a 4-2 lead, which the team took into halftime.

Goalkeeper Jo Torres recorded five saves for Towson, which was led by Pearre’s two goals and one assist. For Drexel, Hayleigh Simpson and Kate Murano scored the team’s only two goals of the half, both unassisted. CAA Goalkeeper and Rookie of the Year Jenika Cuocco allowed four goals and recorded six saves.

“I think that the more that you think about the goal, the more you see the goalie in the goal and not the net,” said Marshall. “She’s a fantastic goalie and for being just a freshman she’s going to be outstanding and win those awards the next four years.”

To start the second half, the Dragons cut Towson’s lead to one from midfielder Maddie Fowler. Pearre scored two straight goals in the span of two minutes to increase the Tigers’ lead, 6-3. To end the third quarter, Fowler scored her second goal of the game and cut Towson’s lead to 6-4.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Marshall gave Towson their three-goal lead back as she fired the ball past Cuocco’s right side. Just over seven minutes remained in the fourth quarter and Marshall logged her ninth hat trick of the season as she rolled the crease and put the ball in the top left corner. 

The Dragons responded on the next possession with a goal from midfielder Corinne Bednarik but Towson still held a large lead at 8-5. At the 4:53 mark in the fourth, Marshall fired off another goal as she came down the right side of the eight meters and put it in the top left corner.

“We’ll celebrate this for a hot minute, and then it’s going to be recovery for the players and getting their bodies in a good spot so that they’re fresh and feeling charged up and ready to go for [Saturday],” said LaMonica. “That’s what tomorrow’s focus is. Mentally, we’ll enjoy this for a brief moment for sure, because it was a hard-fought, awesome victory.”

Towson looks to bring home the CAA Title for the first time since 2016 on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on Tiger Field against No. 1 Stony Brook University.


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