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Monday, October 5, 2015

Towson Beats Georgetown

Press Release

The men of Towson traveled down to the nation's capital this weekend to take on PRU opponent Georgetown University.  Coming off of last week's forfeit by George Mason University, the lads were ready for a challenging contest. Georgetown, who was recently ranked in the top 10 last week had the boys ready to take it up a notch from our previous contests.  Having 3 nationally ranked teams in the PRU is a HUGE benefit for Towson, since many programs play non-ranked teams week in and week out and rarely meet stiff competition until the playoffs.  Needless to say, our work rate at practice prior to this match was much higher than most weeks.
    
We prepare for Georgetown a little differently, since they predominantly run a "ground and pound" game with their forwards.  Our defensive scheme is a little different for this match, much in the same way we change our scheme for kicking teams like Salisbury.  True to form, Georgetown started the match with their "pod" system and was satisfied to gain 5 meters with each possession.  Since we knew what to expect, we were prepared to handle their attack and forced a couple of turnovers by poaching the ball from rucks.  To their credit, their defense was solid for the first 10-15 minutes, but at the 15 minute mark Towson was awarded a 5 meter scrum from a held up ball in the try zone and FH Vince Francescangeli hit senior center Brian Shields on a crash play and he drove in to score.  Sweeney's kick was good and Towson was on the board 7-0.
 
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Georgetown went back to their "ground and pound" and our defense held true until the 28th minute when senior flanker Will Ngonga poached a ball and rambled 40 meters before off-loading to senior wing Tim Finnell who took the ball at pace and scored in the corner.  Sweeney's kick was into the wind and hit the cross bar.  Towson 12 Georgetown 0.  Georgetown finally got on the board at the 33 minute when Towson was penalized inside their 10 meter line and quick tapped to ramble in near the posts.  The kick was good - Towson 12 Georgetown 5, and the boys were refocused and ready to attack.  Georgetown took possession of the ensuing kick and but ended up kicking for field position and Towson immediately went on the attack.  The backs set quick back line getting the ball to Brian Shields who drew in the defense then off-loaded to his younger brother junior Tim Shields whose blistering speed was too much for the Georgetown backs and dashed in for the try.  Sweeney's kick was good and Towson was up 19-7.  That score would hold for the half.

The second half is where we tend to get stronger and with 25+ players who have played A side minutes this season, we were positioned to turn up the heat.  Towson came out immediately and started working the ball across the field and spreading the defense, getting the ball down to the Georgetown 10 meter line.  Georgetown was penalized for being offsides and senior lock Tyler Honeycutt pounded his way into the try zone at the 43 minute mark.  Sweeney's kick was on the mark and the score was Towson 26 Georgetown 7.  We started bringing in fresh legs and turning up the heat and the labor intensive forwards game of Georgetown started to falter, rarely making the gain line.  At the 52 minute mark, Sweeney went weak side from a ruck, then hit Francescangeli who took the ball in untouched.  The kick was wide and Towson was sitting comfortably 31-7.  Four minutes later, junior FB Alex Walsh was inserted in the line, drew a defender and hit Brian Shields to score in the corner.  Sweeney's kick was wide and Towson was up 36-7.
 
With a comfortable lead, we pulled our starters and brought in more fresh legs.  At the 60 minute mark, Sweeney stole the ball from a defensive 5 meter scrum that got wheeled by Towson.  He dashed in unassisted, then gained his composure to hit the conversion to make the score Towson 43 Georgetown 7.  Finally, at the 69 minute mark, Finnell once again took the ball at pace and scored once again in the corner.  Sweeney's kick just missed outside the post and Towson finished the contest 48-7.  The score was not an indication of how well Towson played.  There we 2 tries that were called back; one for not grounding the ball in the try zone (which was questionable), and another for a forward pass.  Towson played 75 percent of the match in Georgetown's half of the pitch and essentially neutralized Georgetown's forwards game with exceptional defensive play from the forwards; notably flankers Anthony Bria (23 tackles), Will Ngonga, standout #8 Nick DiPietro, and locks Tyler Honeycutt and Michael (Rabbi) Gouterman.

We look forward to homecoming and parent's weekend next Saturday at home against George Washington University.  Game time is 1pm at Burdick field.  Don't forget to mark your calendar for the follow week Oct 17th for Alumni weekend at Burdick for our contest against rival Salisbury University.  Contact Alumni Association officer (and attorney) Mark Stiller with questions.

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