By Pete Schlehr
Director, Athletics Media Relations
If Glenn Smith had failed to score another goal during the remaining two years of his college lacrosse career, it wouldn't have kept him from being inducted into Towson's Athletics Hall of Fame.
The former All-American attackman graduated in 1991. There's a 10-year wait before a graduating student-athlete can be considered for nomination.
Glenn was eligible in 2001. He was nominated in 2001. He was inducted in 2001. In other words, the Hall of Fame wasn't going to wait a day longer. They wanted Glenn in the fold.
Glenn, of course, went on to become the Tigers' all-time leading scorer in men's lacrosse with 154 goals. But the goal he scored on May 6, 1989, the 78th of his career, was his biggest in a Tiger uniform.
For Towson fans, it was like that "shot heard 'round the world", the phrase used in the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson's Concord Hymn, or how folks referenced the bullet that killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand and plunged Europe into World War I.
Glenn didn't shoot anybody. He didn't fire a weapon. He certainly didn't start any wars.
But he smoked a 95 mile per hour rocket passed Blue Jays' goalkeeper Quint Kessenich that gave the Tigers their first-ever lacrosse victory over Johns Hopkins, 9-8, in double overtime. Taking a feed from John Blatchley, Glenn beat Kessenich with 3 minutes and 48 seconds left in the second overtime.
The Towson lacrosse community exploded.
"We went against the best goalie in lacrosse and won," said then Tiger coach Carl Runk. "In 30 years, I was never so happy to see a net shake as I was when Glenn's shot went in."
The consequences of the victory were huge.
It was the final regular season game for 1989. Unbeaten Johns Hopkins, ranked number one nationally with its 9-0 record, was denied a third undefeated season in its storied history. The Tigers improved to 9-4. The victory that night vaulted the Tigers from 15th to 11th in the national rankings and eventually sent Towson into the NCAA Division I post-season tournament for the first time as the 11th seed.
"If he never scores another goal Glenn Smith just punched his ticket into your hall of fame," quipped Doug Brown, who was covering the game for the now defunct Baltimore Evening Sun. "
It was the 15th meeting between the Tigers and Blue Jays. Johns Hopkins had won the first 14. The Blue Jays have continued to dominate the series. Going into this Saturday's 39th meeting, the Tigers can claim just three victories.
Each of the three wins has been by the slimmest of margins - one goal (9-8, 14-13, 13-12). The Blue Jays have won the last 15.
There were a number of Tiger heroes in that game 22 years ago; defenseman Ed Stephenson, midfielders Rob Shek, Lindsay Dixon, Tony Millon and Marc Austin plus attackmen Michael DeSimone and Blatch. Towson's goalie that night was David Lintchicum who outplayed his All-American counterpart, making 17 saves off 40 Blue Jay shots.
That memorable game actually produced five Hall of Fame Tigers, proving that a lacrosse victory over Johns Hopkins does wonders for one's future Hall of Fame hopes at Towson.
And if you hit the game winner, be sure to buckle your seat belt because you'll be put on a very fast track.