Freshman midfielder Michelle Gildea scored with 34 seconds left in overtime to lift the top-seeded Towson University women’s lacrosse team to a 12-11 overtime win against second-seeded James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) championship game Sunday at William & Mary. It is the Tigers’ third straight CAA title and sixth overall. Towson is the first team to ever win three straight CAA women’s lacrosse titles.
The dramatic championship victory, coupled with Friday’s 6-5 semi-final win over Hofstra, earned the Tigers an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament. Sunday night it was announced that Towson will face Stony Brook this Friday, May 9, at Syracuse University. The game time has not yet been determined. The Towson-Stony Brook winner will face Syracuse on Sunday, May 11.
In this past weekend’s CAA tournament in Williamsburg, Va., Towson junior and CAA Co-Player of the Year Andi Raymond was named Most Outstanding Player. Raymond had six goals and two assists in the two games, including three goals and two assists in the championship game. She was joined on the all-tournament team by senior midfielder Kelly Murkey, junior goalkeeper Kelsea Donnelly and junior defender Michelle Dufault.
“The team took care of business today,” said head coach Sonia LaMonica. “We knew it would be a tall order against a tough James Madison team and our Tigers hung tough and managed to pull it out. There were momentum shifts throughout the game but our girls stayed focused. It’s great to have such a team effort.”
Tied 10-10 after regulation, Towson took a one-goal lead as freshman Colby Unkle scored with 4:24 left in overtime. James Madison answered with 1:24 remaining to tie the game at 11-11. The Tigers won the ensuing draw control, and freshman Gabby Cha found a cutting Gildea, who fired home a high shot to give Towson the 12-11 lead with 34 seconds to play. Towson won the last draw and ran out the clock to secure the championship.
Raymond led Towson with three goals and two assists while Cha had two goals and an assist. Senior Ashleigh Rohrback contributed a goal and two assists, while freshmen Unkle and Samantha Brookhart each had a goal and an assist. Donnelly made eight huge saves to earn the win in goal for the Tigers.
Towson Softball earns berth in CAA tournament
For Towson softball, this past weekend was a classic case of “good news, bad news.” First, the bad news. The Tigers dropped all three games against the College of Charleston, falling 3-1 and 13-3 on Friday and 4-1 on Saturday. The good news is, despite the setbacks, Towson qualified for its second consecutive CAA tournament, which begins Wednesday. Towson earned the CAA tournament slot by virtue of UNC Wilmington’s doubleheader loss to James Madison on Friday.
Top-seeded JMU will host the fourth-seeded Tigers in the tournament’s first game on Wednesday at noon.
The Tigers finished the regular season with an overall record of 27-23 and a 6-9 mark in the CAA.
Towson Baseball drops three at William & Mary
Although junior Brendan Butler had four hits, Towson’s baseball team saw its ninth inning rally fall short as William & Mary completed a CAA three-game weekend series sweep with a 9-7 victory at Plumeri Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Tigers are now 20-22 overall and 2-12 in CAA play, and return to action Tuesday afternoon when they host UMBC at 3:30 p.m.
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field places sixth at CAA championships
Towson sophomore sprinter Kaitlyn Davis ran the second-fastest time in the 200-meter dash in school history, leading the Tigers to a sixth-place overall finish at the 2014 CAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships on the campus of James Madison University.
The University of Delaware won the women’s team championship with 158 points. Northeastern and the College of William & Mary tied for second with 138 points. UNCW was fourth (127 points), followed by James Madison (119), Towson (87) and the College of Charleston (50).
“It was a very good two days for us,” said head coach Roger Erricker. “We were very pleased with the amount of points we scored with freshmen and sophomores.”
After qualifying for the finals of the event on Friday, Davis timed 24.69 to qualify for the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) meet and finish third overall in the event. She was .02 off the school record of 24.67 set in 2001.
Other medalists for Towson on the meet’s final day included sophomore sprinter Kelsey Fiddes in the 100-meter dash; the 4×100-meter relay team of Evan Campbell, Zanae Freeland, Fiddes and Davis; the 4×400-meter relay team of Campbell, Davis, Sarah Robbie and Leslie Miles; and senior Katie Salke in the heptathlon.
In the 10,000-meter run, junior Elisabeth Tauber placed third with a 36:40.59 time. She is the school record-holder in the event for Towson. In the pole vault, sophomore Tiger record-holder Maggie Rampolla was the runner-up with a mark of 11′ 7.75″.
Those who qualified for the ECAC meet will head to Princeton, N.J., beginning on May 16.