by Bailey Kennedy Dec 15, 2021
Next on our countdown of Top 10 Games on LSN VOD, we get to number 9.
Now back in 2017 a lot of people might not have thought much of this game. But these two teams would go on long post-season runs in fact both teams reached the Final Four this year but both ultimately end up losing in their semi-final matchups Towson to Ohio St. 11-10, and Denver to Maryland 9-8.
How their seasons ended had nothing to do with how incredibly back and forth this game was. Coming into the game both teams were coming in off losses to Ohio State. Towson had lost a low-scoring battle 6-3, while Denver had gotten steamrolled losing 16-7. And Denver was hungry to get going early.
This game was riddled with future Premier Lacrosse League Players and guys who would star in Major League Lacrosse as well. On the Denver team, you had current pro players in Trevor Baptiste (Atlas LC), Ethan Walker (Waterdogs LC), Danny Logan (Atlas LC), and Colin Squires (Whipsnakes LC). Denver also had players like Colton Jackson who would go on to play for the Atlanta Blaze in the MLL, Christian Burgdorf who played for the Denver Outlaws, Sean Mayle who was the 6th Pick in the 2018 MLL Draft spent a couple of seasons with the Chesapeake Bayhawks, and you also had the star of this Denver team at the time in Connor Cannizzaro who spent two seasons in the MLL with the Ohio Machine, including one MLL Championship before he called it a career.
Towson had current PLL pros in Ryan Drenner (Cannons LC), and Zach Goodrich (Cannons LC). The team also had Jon Mazza who was a 2nd round pick for the Philadelphia Barrage in the 2020 MLL Draft. The Tigers also had the 2019 MLL 1st overall pick on their roster in Face-off man Alex Woodall who would play two seasons for the Atlanta Blaze and the Philadelphia Barrage.
It was a low-scoring first half with just 5 goals being scored in the first half but Denver held a 4-1 lead at the half thanks to two goals from Jackson, one from Walker, and Colton McCaffrey. The lone Towson goal was scored by Drenner.
At the time nobody knew how big the battle at the face-off X would become as we got to see a battle between the only two face-off players ever to be drafted 1st overall in professional lacrosse. It was Denver’s Baptiste who would be taken with the 1st overall pick by the Boston Cannons in the 2018 MLL Draft and Woodall for Towson who the very next year would be taken with the 1st pick by the Ohio Machine. Baptiste and Woodall battled at the X but Baptiste was in control winning 5 out of 7 face-offs in the 1st half which helped Denver control the 4-1 lead at the end of the 1st half.
Towson would get the first goal to start the second half to make it a two-goal game from Ryan Drenner. Once it became a two-goal game Denver would proceed to score three unanswered goals and went on a 6-2 run with 14 minutes left in the game. The run for Denver was led by Baptiste’s dominance at the X as he went 8-8 in the 3rd quarter. On the offensive side, Walker and Cannizzaro who each scored 2 goals on the run, Danny Logan and Tyler Pace scored the other two goals as part of that 6-2 run to put Denver up 10-4 with 14 minutes left in the game.
Towson would try and get back into the game with two straight goals for the Tigers including one coming from their start Short-Stick Defensive Midfielder in Zach Goodrich.
But once it was a four-goal lead Jackson netted his 3rd goal of the game to put them on top by 5 with just 7:40 to go.
Towson went on a mini run-scoring the next two goals with the final one coming from Goodrich on the assist from his future PLL teammate Drenner. Now down just three goals, the lead didn’t feel as safe for Denver. But Ethan Walker stepped up as he did all game and netted his 4th goal of the game to put the Pios up 12-8 with 4:41 to go.
But the Tiger’s never-give-up mentality that they played with all season got them back into the game. Drenner scored to make it 12-9 with 1:52 to go in the 4th quarter. Then with 40 seconds left Drenner would find Brian Bolewicki for a goal to make it 12-10. The drama got even higher when Bolewicki then found Tyler Konen for a goal with just 22 seconds left to make it 12-11.
Three goals in the last two minutes from the Tigers set up for an epic finish it all came down to the final face-off a battle between two future 1st overall picks. Woodall had battled Baptiste in the 4th quarter at the x. And heading into this last draw Baptiste had the slight advantage in the quarter as he had won 5 of the 9 face-offs between him and Woodall, but Woodall had won the last two. In the biggest face-off of the game, the two were tied up for about 11 seconds before Baptiste pulled the ball out to the side and the groundball would be picked up by Danny Logan who would run out the clock and help the Pios escape with a 12-11 victory over Towson.
Watch the full game here.
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