BALTIMORE – The UMBC men's lacrosse team went toe-to-toe with No. 14 Towson, but could not overcome an early three-goal deficit and fell to the Tigers, 8-6, before nearly 700 fans at chilly and blustery UMBC Stadium.
The UMBC defense turned in a solid effort, holding Towson below their season average of 10.3 goals per game. Junior long-stick defensive midfielder Billy O'Hara (Davidsonville, Md./South River) tied game-high honors with six ground balls and caused a pair of turnovers.
UMBC won the turnover battle, 14-12, and battled the Tigers to a near standstill on the draws. Towson entered the game winning over 72 percent of face-offs, but Retriever freshman Jake Brothers (Elkridge, Md./Mount St. Joseph) captured seven of 16 draws, including all three in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 6-2 at intermission, UMBC cut the Towson lead to a pair of goals on three separate occasions. The Retrievers produced their lone set of back-to-back goals to start the second half, Haldeman scored an unassisted tally just 2:07 into the third quarter and freshman midfielder Mitch Howell (Laurel, Md./DeMatha) converted a Maxwell feed and scored from the left wing to slice the TU lead to 6-4 at the mid-point of the period.
Towson would get one goal back when attackman Joe Seider scored with 1:14 to play in the period, but Haldeman struck with just 4.7 seconds to play in the third and the Retrievers had the momentum heading into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter featured several long possessions by both squads and the Retrievers had three chances to slice the lead to a single goal. However, UMBC committed two critical turnovers and had one routine shot saved by Towson netminder Josh Miller before TU's Ryan Drenner restored a three-goal lead to 5:19 remaining.
Retriever sophomore defender Jason Brewster (San Diego, Calif.) went the length of the field and scored with 50 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 8-6 and Brothers won the ensuing draw. But sophomore Billy Nolan's (Crofton, Md./Arundel) shot was stopped by Miller with 31 seconds remaining to end UMBC's hopes of a comeback.
Towson outshot UMBC, 10-4, in the final 15 minutes, but only enjoyed a 21-20 advantage for the game.
Miller made seven saves for the visitors, while UMBC senior goalkeeper Ruston Souder (Pasadena, Md./Chespeake) made all six of his saves in the first and last 15 minutes of play,
Towson (3-1) methodically built a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of play. UMBC registered its first goal when freshman Brett McIntyre (Calgary, Alberta) bounced in a feed from sophomore Jack Andrews (Arnold, Md./St. Mary's) with 1:26 remaining in the first period. But Towson answered on a goal by senior Ryan Drenner with three seconds to play in the stanza to give the visitors a 4-1 lead after one quarter.
The Tigers added a goal midway through the second to take a 5-1 lead before Maxwell quick-sticked a pass from Ryan Frawley (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) past Miller on a man-up opportunity with 5:50 to play in the period. Towson got that goal back minutes later and took a 6-2 lead into the break. .
Drenner led all goal scorers with three for the visitors.
UMBC (1-4) visits Marist next Saturday before opening America East play at Stony Brook on March 18.