Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 05/02/2009
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The Tigers earned their second straight CAA title with an 8-7 victory over...
Courtesy:Towson Athletics

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – For the first time in Colonial Athletic Association history, a fourth-seeded team has won the conference championship as the Tigers (13-5) held off a late comeback from second-seeded University of Delaware (10-8) to win their second straight CAA title with an 8-7 victory in the championship game at Albert-Daly Field on Saturday afternoon.

The Tigers, who won their seventh straight game, will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA® Division I Women’s Lacrosse Championship, which begins next weekend. The selections will be announced on Sunday night at 10 p.m. on CBS College Sports.

Junior midfielder Steph Taylor led the Tigers to the victory with three goals while senior attacker Meggie McNamara added a goal with two assists for Towson, which reached the 13-win mark for the second straight year.  

“This was a great tournament and both teams we faced gave us a good fight each time,” Towson Coach Missy Doherty said. “In today’s game, the shots weren’t falling for us, so the defense had to step up, especially in the second half.

“This year’s team is entirely different than last year,” Doherty added. “There are different leaders and the team has really come together as a unit. It is not as predictable to see who is going to lead this team.”

The teams traded goals twice in the first 11 minutes before junior midfielder Nikki Marcinik ignited a three-goal run by converting a pass from McNamara with 16:12 left. Senior midfielder Britt Woodfield and freshman midfielder Katie Cloud added goals as the Tigers led by 5-2.

Freshman midfielder Stephanie Allen ended a 15-minute scoring drought for the Blue Hens when she scored her second goal of the game, an unassisted marker past freshman goalkeeper Mary Teeters with 7:33 remaining.

After a slow start to the second half, the Blue Hens narrowed the deficit to 5-4 with 14:19 remaining when junior midfielder Emily Schaknowski scored an unassisted goal past Teeters. But, Woodfield answered with her second goal of the game to give the Tigers a 6-4 cushion with 10:12 remaining.

Taylor upped the Towson lead to 7-4 with her third goal of the game before McNamara scored just 20 seconds later, giving the Tigers a four-goal advantage.

Trailing by 8-4, the Blue Hens began a comeback attempt when Schaknowski converted a pass from sophomore attacker Corinne Drost for her 20th goal of the season with 7:16 left. With 4:50 remaining, sophomore Ali Libertini scored an unassisted goal before Drost narrowed the gap to 8-7 with 2:20 remaining.

But, the Tigers held off the Blue Hens over the final two minutes to earn the victory.

Senior defender Julie Ondrako was named as the CAA Championship Most Outstanding Performer after leading the Tiger defense. In the title game against Delaware, the senior co-captain had three ground balls and three caused turnovers.

“I don’t see this as being an individual award, but it is completely a team honor,” Ondrako said. “We have become a complete unit this year. This year’s championship is really special because we came in as the underdogs with being the fourth seed and we have faced so much adversity this year.”

In addition to Ondrako, Taylor, McNamara and Teeters were all named to the All-Tournament Team. Taylor scored seven goals in the two games while McNamara added three goals with seven assists, including a two-goal, five-assist performance against William & Mary on Thursday afternoon. Teeters made 26 saves in the two games, including a season high-tying 14 saves in the semi-finals.

Allen and Schaknowski led the Blue Hens with two goals each while Libertini added a goal with two assists. Senior goalkeeper Jessica Cerveny made 12 saves in a losing effort for Delaware, which was attempting to win its first conference title since the 1999 season.  

Women’s College Lacrosse: Towson University 8, University of Delaware 7 (CAA Championship)
Towson (13-5)  5-3 / 8
Delaware (10-8)  3-4 / 7

Goals: TOW – Steph Taylor 3, Britt Woodfield 2, Meggie McNamara 1, Nikki Marcinik 1, Katie Cloud 1; DEL – Stephanie Allen 2, Emily Schaknowski 2, Corinne Drost 1, Ali Libertini 1. Assists: TOW – Meggie McNamara 2; DEL – Ali Libertini 2, Corinne Drost 1. Saves: TOW – Mary Teeters 12 (60:00, 7 goals allowed); DEL – Jessica Cerveny 11 (60:00, 8 goals allowed). Shots: TOW – 22; DEL – 24. Free-Position Shots: TOW – 1 for 5; DEL – 1 for 6. Attendance: 116.

Post-Game Notes:                                             

·         Saturday’s meeting was the 43rd installment in the all-time series between the Tigers and the Blue Hens ... The Tigers have won three straight meetings against the Blue Hens, but Delaware still leads the series by a 30-13 margin.

·         The Tigers and the Blue Hens were also meeting in a conference tournament for the ninth time, but the first time since the 1999 America East Conference semi-finals when Delaware won by a 9-4 margin.

·         The Tigers won their seventh straight game, marking their longest win streak since the 1984 season when Towson won eight straight games ...It is the third time in school history that the Tigers have won seven or more games.

·         The Tigers have won 26 games over the last two years ... During that span, the Tigers are 26-11.

·         The Tigers will be making their second straight NCAA® Tournament appearance ... It will also be the third appearance in the NCAA Tournament in the program’s history.

·         The Tigers also improved to 9-0 away from Johnny Unitas® Stadium this year ... It was the Tigers’ first neutral site game of the season after winning all eight road games.

·         The Tigers won their second straight conference title and their fifth overall ... It is the first time the Tigers have won back-to-back conference titles since taking three straight East Coast Conference titles from 1990 to 1992.

·         Woodfield tallied her 12th multi-goal game of the season and the 26th of her career ... She also extended her point-scoring streak to 13 straight games.

·         Taylor recorded her second straight “hat trick” and her third of the season ... Taylor now has four “hat tricks” in her career ... She also has a goal in six straight games.

·         Taylor also has multiple points in five games this year ... She has 13 multi-point games in her career.

·         With two assists, McNamara extended her point-scoring streak to 20 straight games ... She has recorded a point in every game since the CAA semi-finals against George Mason last year.

·         McNamara also recorded her 14th multi-assist game of the season and the 15th of her career ... She now has 57 assists in her career, which ranks fourth in school history.

·         Teeters had 10 or more saves for the third straight game and the eighth time this season ... Over the last three games, Teeters has made 39 saves while allowing just 23 goals.

·         The Tigers failed to score 10 or more goals for just the fourth time this year ... It was also their first win when scoring less than 10 goals.

·         With her one-goal, two-assist effort against the Blue Hens on Saturday, McNamara has now scored 14 goals with 9 assists in five career games against Delaware.

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