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2019 Men’s College Lacrosse Year In Review: #11 Towson Tigers

Towson returned to the top of the CAA in 2019 and nearly defeated Maryland in the NCAA Tournament.

CAA

With the 2019 college lacrosse season complete, it’s time to look back at how all 73 teams did during the season, along with an early look at each squad for 2020.

Note: These are not end of season rankings.

Here’s our last five Year In Review posts we’ve done:

To see all of our posts, check out the 2019 Year In Review section on the site.

Let’s continue our 2019 Year In Review with the teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament!

#11 Towson Tigers

Conference: CAA
2019 Record: 11-5 (4-1 in CAA)
Postseason: Defeated Delaware and Drexel for CAA Championship, lost to Maryland in NCAA First Round
Head coach: Shawn Nadelen (8th Season)

Statistical Leaders

Goals: Brendan Sunday (49)
Assists: Brendan Sunday (25)
Points: Brendan Sunday (74)
Faceoffs: Alex Woodall (227-of-306; 74.2%)
Ground balls: Alex Woodall (156)
Caused turnovers: Koby Smith (20)
Goals against average: Tyler Canto (10.92)
Save percentage: Tyler Canto (52.3%)

Personnel Losses

Key seniors departing: FOGO Alex Woodall (74.2% FOs, 156 GBs, 2 Gs, 6 As), SSDM Zach Goodrich (17 CTs, 37 GBs, 3 Gs, 2 As), A Brendan Sunday (49 Gs, 25 As, 24 GBs, 3 CTs), M Timmy Monahan (27 Gs, 21 As, 17 GBs, 3 CTs), D Chad Patterson (14 CTs, 28 GBs), M Grant Maloof (24 Gs, 11 As, 12 GBs, 1 CT), SSDM/LSM Jimmie Wilkerson (5 CTs, 20 GBs)
Senior scoring departing: 171 of 307 points (55.7%)
Senior starts lost: 64 of 160 (40%)

Season Summary

Despite finishing below .500 in 2018, Towson still found a way to reach the CAA Championship game. They fell to UMass in that game, but there seemed to be a bright future ahead for the program.

And it certainly was in 2019, beginning with an incredible February. Hosting Johns Hopkins in their home opener, the Tigers exploded in the second quarter with all eight goals en route to a 9-0 run en route to a nine-goal win. After wins over Mount St. Mary’s and Georgetown, Towson upset top-ranked Loyola thanks to a five-point game from Brendan Sunday and 14 saves from goalie Tyler Canto. With the win, the Tigers reached No. 1 for the first time in all the national polls.

The winning continued in North Carolina with a victory against Jacksonville, but the team suffered their first loss two days later against Cornell. Despite taking a 5-3 lead into the second quarter, the Tigers gave up the first eight goals in the frame and gave up a combined 18 points to the Big Red attack unit. Towson also turned the ball over 23 times in the game, compared to Cornell’s 14, and were just above 50% on clears. That would begin a tough three-game skid that saw close defeats against Duke and Denver. The Tigers also reached at least 20 turnovers in those three losses. But the team showed they could hang with the best.

CAA play began with a one-goal win over Hofstra, thanks in part to a 6-0 Towson in a span of 19:06. They also defeated Fairfield to go 2-0 in conference play entering their CAA title rematch with UMass. It didn’t go well, as the Minutemen scored five goals in each of the first two quarters en route to a 14-10 win over the Tigers. The Tigers then rebounded in their final two regular season games with road wins over Delaware and Drexel to claim the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.

It was another offensive explosion for Towson in their semifinal meeting with Delaware as the Tigers scored 13 goals in the second and third quarters en route to another CAA Championship with a victory over Drexel. They were the sixth seed in the NCAA Tournament and hosted Maryland in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, which was an instant classic. The Tigers led by as much as four goals in the first half, but the Terrapins clawed back with a two-goal lead in the fourth. Towson scored the next three goals and took a one-goal lead with 1:50 left on Sunday’s fourth goal of the game. But Maryland tied the game as the last second with Jared Bernhardt sending the game to overtime with three seconds left before Louis Dubick scored the game-winner to end Towson’s season.

Sunday was joined alongside Brody McLean and Luke Fromert for most of the season at attack. Timmy Monahan led the first midfield unit that also included Grant Maloof and a combination of Jake McLean and Greg Ey. Casey Wasserman, Matt Sovero, Andrew Beacham, Tim Montgomery, and Drew Laundry were other contributors on offense.

Towson strives toward being one of the best defenses in the country, and they had yet another stingy unit in 2019. Koby Smith moved down from long stick midfield and led the team with 20 caused turnovers. He also added 10 points in transition. Chad Patterson and Gray Bodden were the other two starters on close defense. Saunders Healy also got time, primary on man-down situations. Mo Sillah and Garrett Zungailia were the main long stick defenders. Zach Goodrich was once again one of the best shorties in the country, and Jimmie Wilkerson, who also spent time at long stick, and Andrew O’Dare also joined him on the unit. Alex Woodall was one of the best FOGOs in the country with Jack McNallen complimenting him throughout the backend of the season, while Tyler Canto assumed the starting goalie spot with Shane Brennan being his backup.

Looking Ahead

Towson has some notable holes to fill next season if they want to stay competitive in the CAA. They have to replace four starters as well as both of their top short stick midfielders and Woodall at the faceoff X.

McLean and Fromert are two of Towson’s top five scorers from a year ago returning. Both of them were at attack last season. McLean and Ey both return at midfield, and look for increased roles from Beacham, Laundry, and Wasserman, amongst others.

The close defense will only have to replace Patterson, which could be a hole that Healy could fill or one of the young long stick midfielders. The short stick defensive midfield takes two big hits with Goodrich and Wilkerson graduated, so look for O’Dare to be their top shortie. Jack McNallen went 55.1% on 118 draws for Woodall, so he could be a very good FOGO that will still help Towson. He also added four goals in seven games.

Poll

How many wins will Towson get in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    0-5
    (3 votes)
  • 14%
    6-7
    (10 votes)
  • 49%
    8-9
    (35 votes)
  • 32%
    10+
    (23 votes)
71 votes total Vote Now