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Winning streak ends in close loss to Towson

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After having won their third game in a row March 18 against the St. John’s University Red Storm, the Drexel University men’s lacrosse team looked ready to keep their run going. The Dragons hadn’t won three or more games in a row since 2014.

By the end of the first half in that contest against St. John’s, the Dragons held a  6-1 lead. In the final two quarters, the Red Storm outscored the Dragons. Junior Jake O’Donnell had the only goal for the Dragons in the third quarter and the Red Storm were able to score three goals in this quarter to trail the Dragons 7-4.

In the fourth quarter, the Dragons won the opening faceoff and then immediately scored within the first minute of play to bring the score 8-4. Senior goalkeeper Jimmy Joe Granito had three saves, but the Storm picked up two goals to bring the score within two.

With 9:42 left to play, Robert Frazee completed his hat trick with a goal to extend the lead for the Dragons. A final goal from the Red Storm with 4:25 left to play ended the scoring for both teams. Granito commanded the Drexel goal with four saves to help the Dragons win 9-7.

In total, Granito had 16 saves in this game, bringing his total for the season so far to 81 saves, which is already more than half of his total saves from last year.

The Dragons had a week to prepare for their next game, March 26 against the Providence College Friars in Providence, Rhode Island. The Dragons unfortunately did not continue their momentum from the past two weekends. The Friars were a difficult matchup, and the game was forced into overtime.

The Friars came away with a 4-3 lead over the Dragons after the first quarter. In the second frame, each team only scored once to leave the Dragons still trailing by one entering the third.

A tough battle through the third quarter left the score tied 7-7. Neither team scored in the fourth quarter until there was only 5:52 left to play. A goal by Providence with 2:23 left tied the score again, forcing the sudden death overtime.

At the start of overtime play, Granito recorded his 14th save of the game. Providence had two missed shots, one wide and one that flew too high, but a turnover by Drexel returned the ball to Providence, who scored for the win. The final score was 9-8.

Sophomore Marshal King led the Dragons in scoring for this game with a hat trick. Five other Dragons had one goal each. A total of 19 turnovers was the most made by the Dragons since their first game of the season.

The Dragons continued their training during the spring break as they prepared for their first Colonial Athletic Association conference game against the No. 14 Towson University Tigers on April 1. The Dragons had the home field advantage leading into the game.

Towson was the first to score, after the opening three minutes of play. Three saves by Granito prevented Towson from scoring again and allowed the Dragons to gain control of the ball to tie the score at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Cole Shafer stepped up in the second quarter as he scored his first goal of the game within his first minute of play and his second goal with 3:54 left in the quarter. Robert Frazee also scored to help the Dragons lead 4-2 going into the third quarter.

Towson wasn’t backing down; they scored the two goals of the third quarter to tie the game within the first three minutes of play. A goal by Will Manganiello put the Dragons on top for a moment, but two minutes later, Towson responded with 4:54 left to play. Frazee had his 16th goal of the season to lead the Dragons into the fourth quarter with a score of 6-5.

Not even two minutes into the fourth quarter, Towson charged down the field to go on a 2-0 scoring run and lead 7-6 with 8:54 to play. The last goal for the Dragons was recorded by Manganiello. Towson found the net 30 seconds later to claim the win.

The Dragons are now 5-5 leading into the rest of their conference games. Their next matchup is against the Fairfield University Stags this Saturday, April 8 at Vidas Field at 4 p.m.