No. 20 Towson Tames the Hawks to Win NCAA Play-in Game

TOWSON, Md. – A dominating first-half led No. 20 Towson to a 15-5 win over Monmouth (9-11) in Saturday night's NCAA Play-In game at Minnegan Field at Johnny Unitas Stadium. The Tigers (16-3) advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fifth time since 2005 with the victory.

“I'm proud of the effort the girls gave tonight,” said Towson coach Sonia LaMonica. “They were patient on offense and it helped us find the openings we needed. We are very excited to be going to the “The Dance”.”

The Tigers opened the game on a 5-0 run as junior attacker Olivia Turner scored a pair of goals, the second coming at 20:41. A pair of goals from the Hawks briefly halted the Tiger attack and made it a 5-2 game with 18:20 to go in the first half. Towson scored seven of the final eight goals in the half including six straight goals from 15:45 to 2:30. Sophomore attacker Andi Raymond had a pair of goals and an assist for the Tigers during that six-goal stretch.

The Tigers' 12-3 halftime lead was their largest of the year. Towson, which scored on 12 of 19 shots, outshot Monmouth 19-9 in the first 30 minutes and controlled 11 of the 16 first half draws.

Monmouth, which won the Northeast Conference title, scored the first goal of the second half to make it a 12-4 game with 24:07 to play. The Tigers got a pair of goals from Turner and sophomore midfielder Kelly Murkey to make it a 14-4 game with 17:17 to play. The Hawks got a goal from Sam Lillo to make it a 14-5 game with 12:50 to go. Redshirt sophomore attacker Ashleigh Rohrback scored the game's final goal with an unassisted tally at 9:47.

The Tigers finished the game with a 32-27 advantage in shots and controlled 14 of the game's 22 draw controls.

Senior goalkeeper Mary Teeters made five saves in the first half of action for the Tigers and recorded the win in goal. Freshman Kelsea Donnelly came in to the game in the second half and made eight saves, including several on point blank shots to preserve the lead. Katie Donohoe made 11 saves in the loss for Monmouth.

“Towson has so many tools and they have great stick work,” said Monmouth coach Denise Wescott. “I'm not sure if we ever played a team as fast as Towson and it was hard for us to adjust.”

The Tigers featured a balanced attack in the game as six Tigers scored at least two goals in the game. Raymond had a two goals with four assists while Rohrback finished with three goals and two assists.

Kaleigh Gibbons led Monmouth with two goals and one assist.

The Tigers will find out their NCAA Tournament fate when the NCAA Selection Show airs at 9:00 p.m. on Sunday night.

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TOWSON, Md.- Monmouth to #20 Towson, 15-5 in an NCAA Play-In Game on Saturday night at Doc Minnegan Field. The Tigers, 16-3 overall, will find out who their NCAA first-round opponent will be tomorrow at 9:00 p.m. in the tournament selection show.

Monmouth was led in the match by Kaleigh Gibbons (Candia, N.H. /Manchester Central), who scored a pair of goals and logged an assist. Freshman keeper Katie Donohoe (Peterborough, Ontario/Holy Cross Catholic Secondary) made 11 saves in the match for the Hawks.

Trailing 12-3 after the break, the Hawks showed constant hustle, forcing a number of early turnovers and scoring the first goal of the half, as Gibbons scored off of an assist from Gianna D'Urso (Fairfield, N.J. /West Essex) at the 24:07 mark. Towson answered with a pair of tallies to increase its lead to 14-4 before Sam Lillo (Short Hills, N.J. /Millburn) recorded MU's final marker in the match with 12:50 left.

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