Raymond's Goal Lifts Tigers Over Hofstra in CAA Semifinals

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. CAA Co-Player of the Year Andi Raymond scored with eight seconds to play to lift Towson to a 6-5 win over Hofstra in the CAA semifinals Friday evening. Raymond's fourth game-winning goal of the season lifted the Tigers to their fourth straight CAA Championship game.

"That was a huge win," said CAA Coach of the Year Sonia LaMonica. "Shannon Smith and her team had a phenomenal game today and we were fortunate to have a phenomenal play to get the win in the closing seconds. Kelsea Donnelly came up with some pivotal clutch saves for us today. The score was low for both but to hold a team to five goals is huge and Kelsea was key."

In a first half that was eerily reminiscent of when the two teams met in Hempstead, N.Y. earlier this season, the half ended in a 2-2 tie. The Tigers (10-7) got on the board first as senior midfielder Kelly Murkey scored on a free position goal at 16:34. Towson added to its lead at 15:12 as junior attacker Taylor Moore scored off a pass from redshirt senior attacker Ashleigh Rohrback. Hofstra (8-10) got goals from Julia Riemer and Erika Neumen in the final eight and a half minutes to tie the game.

Hofstra outshot the Tigers 7-6 in the first half and won three of the five draw controls.

Raymond put the Tigers back on top 3-2 to start the second half with a goal at 28:38. A Brittain Altomare goal at 27:51 allowed Hofstra to tie the game at 3-3.

A 2-0 run by the Tigers allowed the No. 1 seed Towson to take a 5-3 lead with 16:56 to play. Raymond scored her second of the game at 18:55 before freshman midfielder Colby Unkle found the back of the net with 16:56 to play. The two sides continued to battle as a free position goal from April Iannetta at 4:26 pulled Hofstra to within one, 5-4.

Donnelly came up with some big saves in the second half to keep Towson in the lead.

However with just 38 seconds to play, Jen Ward snuck one past Donnelly which allowed Hofstra to tie the game at 5-5.

With under 15 seconds to go, Towson got possession and brought the ball into the offensive zone. LaMonica called timeout to set up a play with her team. The play started up with the ball on the far side, Raymond was able to come around the front of the net and beat her defender. She then fired the ball home for the game-winner with eight seconds to play.

Donnelly finished with eight huge saves to earn the win for the Tigers. Kelsey Gregerson made six saves in the loss for Hofstra.

Towson outshot the Pride 11-7 in the second half and finished with a 17-14 edge in that category. The Tigers also won five of eight draw controls in the second half and ended the game with a 7-6 edge.

Raymond led the Tigers with three goals while Rohrback had three assists.

Five Hofstra players scored a goal in the game.

Towson advances to face the winner of the semifinal featuring No. 2 James Madison and No. 3 Delaware on Sunday, May 3 at 1:00 p.m. in the championship game.

* * * *

Williamsburg, VA Hofstra gave top-seeded Towson all it could handle before dropping a heartbreaking 6-5 decision to the Tigers in the semifinals of the CAA tournament on Friday evening at Martin Family Stadium on the campus of William & Mary.

With the loss Hofstra ends its 2014 campaign with a record of 8-10, while Towson improves to 10-7 and will meet either James Madison or Delaware in Sunday's championship game.

Hofstra had five different goal scorers in the contest and seven different players recorded at least a point in the game for the fourth-seeded Pride.

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