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Junior attackman Tim Montgomery scored his third goal with 1 minute and 19 seconds left in a 4-minute sudden-death overtime period to lift host Towson to a 7-6 men’s lacrosse win against No. 12 and rival Loyola Maryland on Saturday at Unitas Stadium.
Montgomery’s goal finished a strong comeback for Towson (3-5) which trailed 4-2 at the half, but the Tigers outscored the Greyhounds, 3-1, in the fourth period before Montgomery’s game-winner.
Montgomery scored on a low bouncer past goalie Sam Shafer after beating short-stick midfielder Payton Rezanka outside of the restraining box to the right of the goal and finished just outside the crease. Long-pole defenseman Matt Hughes’ slide was too late. Montgomery had scored with 3:15 left in regulation to put the Tigers ahead, 6-5.
In his previous years at Towson, Montgomery, a redshirt junior from Mount Laurel, New Jersey, had scored only five goals in 27 career games. But he recently has pushed for more playing time after starting this season playing midfield. He briefly was demoted before working his way back into the midfield-attack mix.
“This was a great win today,” Montgomery said. “We had to grind it down and it took five quarters. I was definitely feeling it a little bit. We talked about overtime and if we got the opportunity, we had to take advantage of it.”
Loyola (4-3) won the faceoff in overtime and missed on two shots. Towson also had an opportunity to score but once the Tigers missed a shot, coach Shawn Nadelen called a timeout and replaced several players, but one of them wasn’t Montgomery.
The hot hand stayed hot.
“We had good, long possessions at the end to try to wear down their defense,” Nadelen said. “Tim stepped up into a larger role and took advantage of his opportunities. You could see his confidence continue to build after the last couple of weeks. He is a resilient kid, a hard-nosed player.”
Towson’s team was just as resilient. The Tigers have lost close games in the fourth quarter to Richmond and Drexel, and then suffered a 13-12 overtime setback to Delaware last week. Maybe this win turns their season around especially with four of the next six games at home.
Before Saturday, Towson had been outshot, 68-56, in the fourth quarter this season and also outscored, 23-14.
“This helps our guys realize what they are capable of, gain confidence and continue to move forward,” Nadelen said.
Towson controlled the pace especially against a Loyola team that prides itself on being fast in transition. But the Greyhounds had little off-ball movement and were content to try to beat Towson in one-on-one matchups. Attackmen Aidan Olmstead and Joe Kamish each had two goals to lead Loyola, but only two of the Greyhounds six total goals were assisted.
Loyola had seven shot-clock violations compared to two for Towson.
“I have to give Towson credit, they played harder than us. They got what they deserved, to win,” said Loyola coach Charley Toomey. “I saw a lack of urgency and it was the slowest game we’ve played in a long time. They were more physical than us, and once we drew the slide, we didn’t keep it hot [ball movement].
“We’re not a team with a lot of midfielders that will run by you, so we got to win six on six,” Toomey said. “We played way too slow and they weren’t going to let us run today. We would let the shot clock get down to 17 seconds before we started to work the ball and that’s not how we want to play.”
Loyola had only two goals in the final three periods.
“Our expectation to make a stop on every run, every possession,” Nadelen said. “It’s fairly unrealistic but it’s the mindset we have to have. It was good to see the offense more in control, be patient and not put pressure on the defense with quick offensive possessions. We want to play good sound defense and challenge the shooters on every shot.”
And they did.