Ben McCarty (South Carroll) scored a career-best six goals to lead Towson to an 11-8 victory over Drexel in a Colonial Athletic Association men's lacrosse semifinal Wednesday night at the Penn State Lacrosse Field.
The Tigers (9-7) face the host, top-seeded and No. 9 Penn State, in Friday's championship at 3 p.m.
McCarty's six goals led all scorers. Andrew Hodgson scored twice and Justin Mabus had three assists. Andrew Wascavage made 14 saves for Towson. Robert Church led Drexel (11-4) with five points (three goals, two assists).
The Tigers advance to the CAA final for the first time since 2010, when they defeated Massachusetts in the semifinals before losing to Delaware in the championship game.
McCarty opened the scoring with an unassisted goal at 11:27 when he beat Drexel's Cal Winkelman top left. Drexel quickly equalized at 10:41 when Garrett McIntosh received a feed from behind the goal and sneaked a shot past Wascavage high left.
But the Tigers reeled off two quick scores to take a 3-1 lead at 8:26 when Thomas DeNapoli notched his 39th of the season and McCarty found the back of the net again. Drexel's Hank Brown kept the Dragons in it with a tally at 7:51. Rob Zoppo (Calvert Hall) added a goal for Towson at 3:18 off a pass from classmate Cory Dobyns to increase the Tigers' lead to 4-2.
Towson opened the second quarter with an extra-man opportunity goal from Hodgson, assisted by Mabus, after Drexel was called for delay of game. Matt Hughes made it 6-2 with his sixth goal of the year at 11:52 when he scored from just outside the crease.
McCarty notched his first career hat trick at 5:38 in the second to give the Tigers a 7-2 lead, and added an extra-man goal from just outside the crease off a dish from Mabus at 1:14.
Hodgson took a pass from DeNapoli and fired a shot from distance past Winkelman to put Towson up 9-3 at 12:36 of the third quarter. However, Drexel mounted a comeback over the next four minutes. The Dragons' fourth goal came off an odd play. Drexel committed a turnover but the ball was checked out of a Tiger defender's stick and rolled in the goal. It was credited to Church at 11:25. He scored twice more: at 8:50 when his bounce shot skidded in and six seconds later off a faceoff.
But McCarty scored his fifth goal at 8:00 to keep Towson in front, 10-6. The Dragons didn't go away. After Towson was called for offsides, Chris Frederick caught a pass just outside the crease and scored. McIntosh scored his second at 3:05 in the third on an extra-man chance to inch the Dragons to within 10-8.
McCarty equaled his season goal total (six) when he scored on a man-up opportunity at 10:37 in the fourth off a pass by Mabus pass to make it 11-8. The Tigers held Drexel scoreless in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Stevenson 23, Lebanon Valley 7: The host Mustangs (16-2) powered through a Commonwealth Conference semifinal, scoring eight of the first nine goals against the Flying Dutchmen (11-6).
Stevenson hosts Widener in the conference championship Saturday at 7 p.m.
Pat Candon and Peter Green (Hereford) each scored three goals for Stevenson, which led 15-3 at halftime.
Merchant Marine 6, Goucher 5: The host Gophers (8-8, 6-0) put together a three-goal rally in the fourth quarter but lost to the Mariners (9-7, 3-3) in a Landmark Conference semifinal.
Pierce Ingram led Goucher with two goals and two assists.
Merchant Marine broke a 1-1 first-quarter tie by scoring the next five goals over the second and third quarters.
Dickinson 14, Washington College 7: Brian Cannon had five points (three goals, two assists) and the host Red Devils (16-0) downed the Shoremen (12-4) in a Centennial Conference semifinal.
Sid Looney scored two goals for Washington College. Dickinson opened with a 4-0 run and Washington College answered with a 3-0 run in the first quarter.
Looney tied the game on his first goal, unassisted with 10:12 left in the first half. Dickinson scored the next three and Washington College never got closer than two the rest of the way.
Washington College 11, McDaniel 10: The host Shorewomen (13-4) took a four-goal lead at halftime and held off a late rally by the Green Terror (9-8) to win a Centennial Conference quarterfinal.
Washington College faces top-seed and defending champion Gettysburg in Saturday's semifinal.
Emily Hubley (three goals, one assist) scored two of the first three goals, the first coming 13 seconds into the game, as the Shorewomen took a 3-0 lead.
McDaniel answered with a 2-0 run before Washington College had another 3-0 run and led 8-4 at the break.
The Green Terror outscored the Shorewomen 6-3 in the second half, and Monica Parcell scored with 5:44 left to draw McDaniel within one goal.
No. 9 Penn State 10, Massachusetts 7: Shane Sturgis totaled five points (four goals, one assist) and the host Nittany Lions (12-3) used a 5-0 run over the third and fourth quarters to beat the Minutemen (7-8).
The win was Penn State's 10th straight and first in the postseason, advancing the Lions to the Colonial Athletic Association championship game.
"I am very proud of our team's effort today. We knew we would have our hands full, and I am proud of the way our team responded at halftime," coach Jeff Tambroni said. "These guys have fought through a ton of adversity all year, and we are very fortunate to be playing in the CAA championship."Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times