Drexel breathing fire in final with Impressive, 12-10 victory. Subplots were abundant in the one. The Towson Tigers (2-4) visited scenic Vidas Field in West Philadelphia to help Drexel open their 2021 season on a cold but sunny Saturday.
Philadelphia Wings fans will fondly remember the coaches in this one. Brian Voelker for Drexel and Shawn Nadelen with the Tigers, both are former Wings and still good friends. The friendship gets toned down for game days.
Drexel has not defeated Towson since 2015. A huge fourth quarter was the difference on this day and changed the Dragon’s fortune. A feel’em out opening stanza was scoreless until 6:21 was left. Sean Donnelly (4g,3a) put the home towners in front. Andrew Milani (3g) bested Drexel keeper Ross Blumenthal twice. Twenty-eight seconds after the second Milani marker, Carson Gaeger (1g) closed the first with a two-goal Towson advantage, 3-1.
To demonstrate how close these teams matched up, that would be the biggest lead either team would hold the entire contest. :36 into the second, Ryan Genord (3g,2a) got it to a one goal differential. On the advantage, Casey Wasserman (1a) hit James Avanzato (1g,1a) to muscle it back to a two goal lead at 4-2.
Exactly two minutes later, Genord hit a streaking Sean Curcio (1g) for a Dragons man up. It would be the first man advantage goal that Towson allowed since the first quarter of their opening game. Six minutes of lock down defense before Genord took center stage to put it in what would be a familiar place, a tie at 4-4.
Towson took the hit and countered with tallies from Brody McLean (2g) and Ryan Swain (1g) just :45 later. With just thirty nine seconds on the clock, Donnelly got back on the stat sheet with a nifty feed to Aidan Coll (1g,2) to close out the thirty minutes with Towson clinging to a 6-5 lead.
More defense to start the half but, at 10:02, Donnelly evened the affair before McLean added his 14th of the season at 6:50. Greg Ey (1g) and the white hit Donnelly exchanged pleasantries and goals. Avanzato assisted on the third of the afternoon from Milani and Towson seemed in control after three, 9-7.
Drexel then stormed the Bastille with a huge final frame, scoring five of the six goals. Jack Mulcahy (1g,1a),Donnelly, Mulcahy setting up Genord gave the Dragons a 10-9 lead with 9:58 on the clock. You had to know that Towson was not done scratching and clawing and, just like that, Austin Stewart (1g,1a) got it tied once again.
Strangely quiet in the heroics, the second pick in the National Lacrosse League Draft, Reid Bowering (1g)scored on the advantage with what would be the game-winner. The Mailman, Colin Mailman (1g) delivered the insurance goal to seal the first Drexel victory over the Tigers since 2015.
Dis and Dat
A Star is Born. Redshirt Shane Santoro went 20 of 26 from the “x” and garnered 6 ground balls in defeat. Shane Brennan for Towson and Ross Blumenthal for Drexel both made 12 saves. Drexel had the edge in shots, 43-36 but Towson owned face-offs, 20-6, and ground balls, 27-21. Drexel breathing fire in final with Impressive, 12-10 victory.