**TRIBE 7, TOWSON 16**
If there’s been one key to the success of Towson University’s team this season, it’s likely the gaudy offensive production of junior Hillary Fratzke. Named 2008 CAA Player of the Year, Fratzke tallied a league-high 80 points, including five goals during a 14-13 loss last month against the Tribe.
In a rematch Sunday afternoon at Albert-Daly Field for the CAA Championship, the Tribe’s defense held Fratzke scoreless until the midway point of the first half and limited her to only three goals and zero assists for the game.
The only problem for the tournament host and no. 1 seed Tribe was that the no. 3 seed Tiger’s didn’t have to rely on Fratzke’s offensive output as they cruised to a 16-7 victory, claiming the
league’s automatic bid in the NCAA tournament. With the loss, the Tribe dropped to 1-4 all-time in CAA Championship title games.
“Towson played one of their most complete games of the year, from their attacking to their defense,” Tribe Head Coach Christine Halfpenny said.
Leading the attack for Towson was their third-highest scorer this season, sophomore Nikki Marcinik, who finished with six goals. Towson senior goalie Mandy Corry was recognized as the tournament’s most outstanding player after she recorded 12 saves Sunday.
“[Towson’s] defensive unit protected Mandy really well and forced us to take some low angle shots,” Halfpenny said. “That’s something that I don’t think has happened all year, where we rushed some shots. But to her credit, she came up with big stops.”
As Corry kept the Tribe’s offense in check, Towson won consecutive draw controls and jumped out to an early 5-0 lead. It wasn’t until there was 15:01 remaining in the first half that Tribe freshman attacker Maggie Anderson finally put her team on the scoreboard, tallying the first of her three goals. Twenty-two seconds later, freshman midfielder Grace Golden sprinted past two Tiger defenders and fired a pass to sophomore attacker Mary Zulty, who cut the deficit to 5-2.
What appeared to be the start of a Tribe comeback was soon stymied when Fratzke erupted for three of Towson’s four goals over the ensuing seven-minute stretch, pushing the lead to 9-2.
The Tribe threatened Towson again with two goals in the waning minutes of the half. The first came after Golden, the CAA Rookie of the Year, broke her team’s 10-minute scoring drought when she raced down the length of the field and fired a shot past Corry. Anderson’s goal following a Towson turnover made it 9-4.
At the start of the second half, Towson picked up where they left off in the game’s opening minutes. Marcinik tallied three of her six goals in a two-minute span and the Tiger’s lead ballooned to 12-4 with 24:12 remaining. The Tribe did not answer until their leading-scorer, senior Jaime Sellers, tallied her first and only goal of the game, 14 minutes later.
During a timeout after Seller’s shot, Towson Head Coach Missy Doherty told her players to maintain their intensity against the Tribe and “slam dunk it down their throats.” The Tigers responded with four more goals to cap off the victory.
Despite the loss, Halfpenny praised her team for bouncing back this season from a mediocre 2-6 start to a 10-9 finish.
“A lot of teams would have rolled over and died at 2-6,” she said. “This team was bent on improving down the stretch.”
**TRIBE 15, DELAWARE 14**
Friday night, the Tribe rallied back from a 9-6 halftime deficit to defeat the no. 4 seed University of Delaware, 15-14. Led by Sellers, the Tribe rattled off four unanswered goals in the first six minutes of the second half to reclaim the lead. The contest featured 11 ties and 12 lead changes.
After freshman Ashley Holofcener scored a go-ahead goal on a free position shot with 6:56 remaining, the Tribe defense buckled down and held the Blue Hens scoreless for the rest of the game. Freshman goalie Emily Geary also made several key saves down the stretch to preserve the victory.
“Our attack supported our defense more in the second half,” said Sellers, who broke the College’s 30-year old single-season goal record of 64 when she tied the game at 12. “That gave our defense a rest, so we had more intensity at the end.”