HIGH POINT, N.C. – The High Point University men’s lacrosse team beat Towson, 9-7, for the first win in program history on Friday afternoon at Vert Stadium. The Panthers got four goals from Dan Lomas and 11 saves from Austin Geisler in the victory.
High Point scored two goals in the first quarter and led the entire way en route to the first win in program history. Towson closed the lead to one goal with less than two minutes to play. Freshman Jamie Piluso won the next faceoff and sprinted to the goal to secure the two-goal win for the Panthers.
“This win feels great,” said head coach Jon Torpey. “The team played really hard today against a good Towson team. We tried to tighten up the defense and possess the ball more on offense, which were two things we had a little difficulty with against Delaware. We improved a lot in those two areas and it made a big difference.”
Lomas led the team in scoring for the second-straight game with four goals. Redshirt-junior Bucky Smith added two goals and one assist and redshirt-freshman Brad James scored one goal with two assists. Harris Levine picked up six ground balls and caused two turnovers.
Cory Dobyns led the Tigers with four goals and Thomas DeNapoli added one goal and one assist. Andre Wacavage had six ground balls and Jordan Fotmann had three caused turnovers for the Tigers. Towson goalie Andre Wacavage made 12 saves in the losing effort.
High Point won 13 of the 21 faceoffs, including five of six in the fourth quarter.
Piluso won 10 of the 15 faceoffs he took in the game. HPU converted 14 of its 15 clear attempts while Towson went 14-for-20.
With 8:41 to play in the first quarter, Jojo Ostrander went to the penalty box for slashing, giving High Point an extra man opportunity. Smith converted the chance for HPU, collecting a pass from Mike Messenger to give High Point a 1-0 lead. James pushed HPU’s lead to 2-0 with an unassisted goal a minute later. He went up the left alley and shot across the goal for his first goal of the season.
In the second quarter Towson and High Point tallied three goals each. Towson tied the game, 2-2 with back-to-back goals from Matthews Hughes and Dobyns. Sophomore Matt Thistle put High Point back on top, 3-2, with a goal at 6:21. James passed to Thistle right in front of the crease and Thistle turned and scored. Towson answered right back with Dobyns’ second goal of the game to tie the match 3-3. Dobyns collected a pass from Justin Mabus and shot the ball over his shoulder for the goal.
High Point closed the second half with two straight goals to lead Towson, 5-3, at the half. Lomas forced Ostrander to turn the ball over in Towson’s defensive zone. Adam Seal picked up the ground ball, allowing HPU to reset the offense. Zack Price found Lomas for a goal with 5:04 to play. Smith scored his second goal of the game, shooting the ball in from the top of the zone at 4:14.
Lomas scored High Point’s first three goals of the second half, helping the Panthers open up a 8-5 lead with nine minutes left in the game. Dobyns tallied his fourth goal of the game, assisted by Neil Hutchinson with 6:42 remaining. After nearly five minutes of scoreless play Andrew Hodgson scored to cut High Point’s lead to one, 8-7 with a minute and a half to go.
Piluso won the next faceoff and sprinted to the goal for his first goal of the season, securing the win for the Panthers.
High Point moves to 1-1 with the win while Towson starts the season 0-1. Towson received votes in the Nike/Inside Lacrosse Preseason Poll this year. The Tigers have been to the NCAA Tournament 10 times since moving to Div. I in 1980.
The Panthers will host Air Force on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Falcons open the 2013 season at North Carolina on Friday at 7 p.m.