Towson Knocks off No. 9 Penn State to Claim Fourth CAA Title

Penn State took the lead with 11:11 remaining in the second as Sanders tallied his first goal of the day, an eight-yard rocket following a pass from Manley. Less than a minute later, Ahern caught a Kyle Zittel (Eden, N.Y.) offering and whipped his fifth goal of the year for Penn State's largest lead of the game at 6-4. Ahern posted a season-high three points on the afternoon behind his goal and two assists.

The Nittany Lions finished a victory shy of tying the program record for consecutive wins (11, 1991-92). Penn State also had its three-game win streak over Towson snapped. The Tigers, who went 4-2 during CAA play, avenged both losses by defeating second-seeded Drexel on Wednesday before downing Penn State.

Penn State was uncharacteristically careless with the ball by committing 15 turnovers, while Towson had 12 turnovers. Each team had nine caused turnovers with JP Burnside (Garden City, N.Y.) and Bogert each forcing a team-high two turnovers for Penn State.

In the CAA Championship, Penn State received quality performances from Bogert (14 ground balls, seven caused turnovers), Sturgis (six goals, one assist), Sanders (five goals) and Henneghan (27 of 45 faceoffs, nine ground balls). Henneghan went 25 for 36 in the last six quarters.

The Nittany Lions will look for their first at-large bid since 2005, from the NCAA selection committee on Sunday. The selection show will be shown live on ESPNU at 9:00 p.m.

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University Park, Pa. Towson (10-7) withstood a late rally from No. 9 Penn State (12-4) to defeat the Nittany Lions, 11-10, and claim its first CAA title since 2005 Friday afternoon at PSU Lacrosse Field.

PSU outscored Towson 4-3 in the fourth quarter to try and rally from an 8-6 deficit at the end of the third. The game was tightly contested until late in the second quarter and into the third when the Tigers broke it open with a five-goal run.

Towson was making its first appearance in a CAA final since 2010, when the Tigers fell to Delaware, 12-9 on May 8. Today's championship is Towson's fourth title in its ninth appearance at the CAA Tournament. Towson's Thomas DeNapoli, Jordan Fortmann and Ben McCarty were named to the All-Tournament team. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wascavage received Most Outstanding Player. It is Head Coach Shawn Nadelen's first CAA championship.

Sophomore Greg Cuccinello's second hat trick of the season led the Tigers. He also had one assist. DeNapoli added two goals and two assists, while senior Matt Hughes scored his fourth and fifth goals in four games.

TJ Sanders's three goals led the Nittany Lions. Jack Forster and Shane Sturgis each posted two goals. Goalie Austin Kaut made six saves.

McCarty opened the game's scoring with his seventh goal in two games off a pass from DeNapoli at 11:10 in the first quarter. The Tigers took a 2-0 lead at 10:25 when sophomore Cuccinello beat PSU's Kaut middle right.

Penn State struck back with a three-goal run starting at 9:28, getting scores from Forster, Kyle VanThof and Steven Bogert. But DeNapoli cut short the rally with his 40th goal of the season at 2:05. Hughes caused a Penn State turnover, picked up the ground ball and fed it to DeNapoli for the score. Hughes capped the quarter with his seventh goal of the year and, fourth in four games, with one second left.

The Nittany Lions started the second quarter on another three-goal rally when Forster connected with Tom LaCrosse on a fast break at 13:53. Sanders scored at 11:11 and Gavin Ahern followed at 10:18 to give PSU a 6-4 lead.

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2013-05-03



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