April 5, 2014

White Wall: Towson Goalie Helps Topple UMass

by Stephen Sellner | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

In-Game Blog Replay


AMHERST, Mass. — Fifteen saves wouldn't be enough for Towson goalkeeper Tyler White to send the Tigers home with a win. There would have to be one more.

With Towson clinging to a one-goal lead at CAA foe No. 15 Massachusetts and 20.1 seconds remaining, the Minutemen's Nick Mariano sent one last attempt at White as he fired a shot toward the goalkeeper's ankles. But White hauled in the shot with the head of his stick, putting the final stamp on a 6-5 win at Garber Field on Saturday afternoon.

White, a junior, finished with 16 saves, including six in the fourth quarter.

"Goalies have good days," he said. "You see the ball well and one of those was today for me. I played really well."

Mariano (two goals) was the lone Minuteman that found success against White, but the freshman could only muster a tough shot through traffic that didn't have enough behind it.

"I wanted the ball in that situation," Mariano said. "We were getting the looks all the time on that play so I figured we'd go right back to it. I got a good look. I just didn't get a good shot off."

In a game where offense was at a premium, Towson (8-3, 2-1 CAA) relied heavily on White and the Tiger defense. With 5:23 to go, senior defenseman John Fennessy was whistled for a pair of slashing penalties to put the Tigers down a man for two minutes. But the defense stood strong and White capped off the penalty-time with a save on Andrew Sokol at the doorstep.

"Tyler White was fantastic," Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said. "If he wasn't in the cage today doing what he did, it's a much different game."

Redshirt sophomore Zach Oliveri tallied 13 saves in net for UMass (7-3, 1-1 CAA).

Neither offense could find any rhythm during the game largely because of the physical play, particularly in the fourth quarter where both sides were held off the scoreboard.

The physicality, coupled with Towson's patient offensive approach, was something Nadelen had his team preparing all week for.

"We said, 'Our offense isn't going to pour on the goals today,'" White said. "'We just got to shut the door.'"

"Anytime anybody plays UMass, they know they're going to be in for pretty much a streetbrawl," Nadelen said. "And it wasn't any different today."

Freshman Joe Seider and junior Greg Cuccinello had a pair of goals for Towson. Senior Thomas DeNapoli and sophomore Ben McCarty also scored.

Seider put Towson up a pair when he finished from point-blank range with 9:01 left in the third.

Rookie Jeff George brought UMass back within one with 4:52 left in the third when he worked around the net and uncorked a rocket to the back of the net to make it 6-5.

Juniors Grant Whiteway and Ryan Izzo also scored for the Minutemen.

With the win, the Tigers jump to second in the CAA, one game behind Hofstra. Towson dropped a 9-7 decision to the Pride last Saturday.

"We knew this (game) was a big part for us to continue to move forward in the CAA," Nadelen said, "as well as maybe get some (publicity) in the national rankings."

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