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In the South regional, hosted by James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., Towson defeated UNC-Wilmington 39-11. In an incredibly sloppy contest filled with lots of ill-advised kicks and numerous penalties, Towson scored 34 unanswered second-half points to advance to the regional final.
Wilmington jumped out to the early lead and seemed to be carrying the momentum into the break with an 11-5 advantage.
"The team had not played in three weeks," said Towson coach Don Stone. "We were incredibly rusty and the scoreline reflected it."
However, in the second half, three Wilmington players were sent off with yellow cards, leaving them down a man for much of the period. Towson was able to capitalize by adding back-to-back tries midway through the second half. As the half progressed, Towson's talent and fitness ultimately took over.
Stone added that 2012 RUGBYMag All Americans No. 8 Pat McKenna and flyhalf Kyle Sweeney were the catalysts behind the second half comeback with their strong leadership and quality performances. McKenna notched two tries and Sweeney jump started a potent back line that added three second-half tries.
The Tigers will face a tough test tomorrow as they battle the 2011 National champions, UW-Whitewater.
"Solid come-from-behind victory has this team brewing with confidence," Sweeney said.
"Overcoming adversity in the first match of the weekend will bode well for
a grueling contest on Sunday," Stone added.
Tries: McKenna (2) Shields, Rockstoh, Fluke, Frencescugel, Finnell
Cons: Sweeney (2)
Pens: Frazier (2)