Loyola Exposes Towson Men's Lacrosse
By Stan "The Fan" Charles
On a cold, windy day, the 5.5 miles between Towson's Johnny Unitas Stadium and Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex looked to be far greater than that, as the Greyhounds men's lacrosse team easily topped the Tigers, 13-6. In fact, for two teams that battled to a 3-2 final a year ago, with Loyola winning that one, on this day it looked like the men versus the boys.
"That was a pure beatdown," Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said afterward. "I'll take the full share of the blame. We have to come out better prepared."
It didn't take long for the better-prepared Greyhounds to assume total control. Of the first 13 goals during the game, Loyola scored 11 of them. Until Thomas DeNapoli scored at the 8:17 mark of the second quarter, the only other goal Towson connected on was an extra-man goal from Sean Maguire on a nifty pass from freshman Justin Mabus.
A lot of how a lacrosse game unfolds can be seen in the numbers, and during this game, the numbers were there in black and white for the Greyhounds. Loyola outshot Towson, 49-22. Senior J.P. Dalton, who has taken on the new task of winning faceoffs, fueled an awful lot of that superior work.
"Going into the season, we thought we were looking at a 50-50 proposition or less on faceoffs," Loyola coach Charley Toomey said. "And I can't say enough about the work J.P. has done to get us the ball."
Today, Dalton won nine of the first 11 faceoffs, and 13 of 18 overall.
Towson's struggles at putting the ball in the net that doomed the Tigers last year were on display again. Things were so bad today for Towson, that on the day, Loyola's goalie, Michael Bonitatibus, had only three stops during the 53:53 he played.
Loyola's Mike Sawyer, the team's leading scorer from a year ago, scored four, as did Sean O'Sullivan, a junior transfer from Army. The guy who threaded the needle all day was self-proclaimed "feeder" Justin Ward. The sophomore distributed five assists.
These local rivals leave today's game a world apart. Towson (1-2) must ready itself for a must-win game versus a Mount St. Mary's team that just beat No. 16 Delaware. Meanwhile, the Greyhounds hit the road at 2-0 and as they go off to play back-to-back road games versus Bellarmine and Michigan, they get to wonder whether they are good as they looked today.
Posted Feb. 25, 2012