Towson breaks away in second half to beat Hofstra in CAA championship
TOWSON, Md. -- Towson used a 5-0 run to close out scoring and claim a 9-4 victory against Hofstra in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship game Sunday. The Tigers (10-8) claimed their second CAA title in a row and fifth since 2005.
Junior defender Kaitlin Sheridan was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. Sheridan was joined on the all-tournament team by graduate attacker Jackie LaMonica, junior attacker Ashleigh Rohrback and sophomore goalkeeper Kelsea Donnelly.
“A fantastic performance from our team [on Sunday]. They played great lacrosse and really played as a unit,” Towson head coach Sonia LaMonica said. “We said at the beginning of the year we wanted to compete in each game and we really did that.”
Towson opened the game by scoring the first two goals. LaMonica and senior midfielder Sarah Hogan scored as the Tigers held an early lead with 22:02 to play in the half. The final 20 minutes of the first half went back and forth as the Tigers and Pride (11-8) traded goals. LaMonica’s second goal of the game gave Towson a 4-2 lead with 12:33 remaining in the half. However, Hofstra answered with a Brittain Altomare goal with 9:40 left. Towson took a 4-3 lead into the intermission.
Hofstra outshot the Tigers 8-7 in the first 30 minutes of action as each team won four draw controls.
The Pride started the second half the same way they ended the first half with a goal from Altomare. Altomare’s goal made it a 4-4 game with 26:55 to play.
The Tigers regained their lead in the 25th minute. Junior midfielder Rhiannon Coogle forced a Hofstra turnover on a clear attempt and scored on the play. That goal gave the Tigers a lead they did not relinquish the rest of the way.
Just 3:33 later, the Tigers added to their lead as sophomore attacker Paige Duncan scored off an assist from Rohrback. Senior attacker Olivia Turner scored three times in the final 16:30 for the Tigers, which gave them a 9-4 advantage. Turner’s hat trick was her third of the year. All three of Turner's goals were assisted by Rohrback.
Hofstra had one last shot at a goal with 1:06 to play, but Donnelly was able to come up with the save and the Tigers ran the clock out.
Donnelly made seven saves to earn the win in goal for the Tigers. Kelsey Gregerson made three saves in the loss for Hofstra.
The Tigers outshot the Pride 9-7 in the second half and finished the game with a 16-15 advantage. Towson controlled 4 of 7 draw controls in the second half and finished the game with an 8-7 edge.
Turner led the Tigers with three goals, while LaMonica added two goals. Rohrback had a goal and matched her career-high with four assists.
Altomare finished with two goals to lead the Pride.
The Tigers received the CAA’s automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA tournament with the win.