Towson Edges Drexel to Advance to CAA Final
from press release
TOWSON, Md. -- Led by two goals and an assist each from senior attacker Jess Dunn and junior attacker Sarah Appelt, the top-seeded Tigers (11-6) advanced to the Colonial Athletic Association Women's Lacrosse Championship Game with a 10-8 victory over fourth-seeded Drexel University (9-8) at Johnny Unitas Stadium on Thursday evening.
With the win, the Tigers avenged their only CAA loss of the season, a 7-5 setback against the Dragons on April 8 at Unitas Stadium.
The Tigers will advance to meet the winner of the James Madison-William & Mary semi-final in the CAA Championship Game at Unitas Stadium on Saturday at 5 p.m. The CAA champion earns an automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament.
"A win is a win and we will take it," Towson Coach Sonia LaMonica said. "I thought Drexel came out and played a nice game tonight. We have some things that we need to continue to work on, so we can compete hard on Saturday. We are looking forward to the opportunity to compete again."
With the score tied at 6-6 in the second half, Dunn scored a goal that sparked a three-goal run. After she gave Towson a 7-6 lead, Appelt gave the Tigers an 8-6 advantage by scoring off a pass from freshman midfielder Kelly Murkey with 16:16 left. With 12:07 remaining, sophomore defender Alexa Demski scored the first goal of her career on a fast break to give Towson a 9-6 lead.
After the teams traded goals, the Dragons closed the deficit to 10-8 when senior defender Katie Blazer scored an unassisted goal. But, junior goalkeeper Mary Teeters made three saves in the final three minutes, including a stop on a shot by junior attacker Jaclyn Klunder with seven seconds remaining, to preserve the victory.
The Tigers, who won their sixth game in a row, took a 2-0 lead in the first eight minutes of the first half with goals from sophomore midfielder Kelly Custer and freshman midfielder Katie Leech.
However, the Dragons responded by scoring four of the next five goals to take a 4-3 advantage with 10:28 left in the period. Klunder and junior attacker Charlotte Wood each scored two goals during the run.
With 7:30 left in the first half, Custer scored her second goal of the game before sophomore midfielder Ashley Waldron regained the Tigers' lead at 5-4 on a free-position shot.
After the teams exchanged goals to start the second half, sophomore attacker Alyse Maiden tied the game at 6-6 when she scored an unassisted goal past Teeters. It was the fifth tie of the game.
While Dunn and Appelt each recorded three-point efforts for the Tigers, Custer added two goals. Teeters made all seven of her saves in the second half as the Tigers were outshot by a 22-21 margin.
Wood, Klunder and Joran each scored two goals in a losing effort for Drexel, which lost for the fifth time in the last six games.
"This game really could have gone either way," Drexel Coach Anna Marie Vesco said. "Towson's fast breaks were very impressive. They really pushed the ball and they caught us back on our heels."
- The Tigers and the Dragons met for the 30th time in the
all-time series on Thursday ... Towson now leads the series by a
28-2 margin and has won 18 of the last 19 games ... In addition,
the Tigers are now 14-1 all-time against Drexel at Towson.
- The Tigers played in their 10th CAA Tournament game on Thursday night ... They are now 7-3 all-time in CAA Tournament games, including a 4-3 mark in the semi-finals.
- The Tigers will be making their fourth appearance in the CAA Championship Game. Towson is 3-0 in CAA championship games and will host the title game for the first time ever.
- Drexel made its first CAA Tournament appearance in school history ... It was the Dragons' first postseason appearance since 1991 when they lost to Delaware in the East Coast Conference semi-finals.
- The Tigers have won seven of their last eight games, including four games decided by two goals or less.
- The Tigers have held seven of their last eight opponents under 10 goals.
- Junior midfielder Jackie LaMonica (Hereford H.S./Parkton, Md.) had her 11-game point-scoring streak snapped on Thursday night ... She also had a six-game goal-scoring streak and a streak of five straight games with an assist ended.
- With the win, the Tigers have posted 11 wins in four straight years ... Over the last four years, the Tigers have posted a 50-23 record.
- With her two goals on Friday afternoon, Dunn extended her goal-scoring streak to 14 straight games ... During the streak, she has scored 35 goals with 3 assists.
- With her three-point effort, Appelt now has a 12-game point-scoring streak ... She also has a streak of seven straight games with an assist ... During the streak, she has posted 32 of her 39 points.
- Custer has now scored a goal in six straight games after her goal in the first half ... She has also scored the Tigers' first goal of the game three times this year.
- Waldron has a goal in four straight games ... She has scored nine goals in that span.
- The Tigers have now trailed at some point in 16 of their 17 games this season ... The only game when the Tigers did not trail was against George Washington on March 12 in a 17-10 victory.