By: Jordan Kendall, Senior Staff Writer
Photo by Jake Shindel / The Towerlight
The Towson University men’s lacrosse team’s 2022 season is off to a 3-3 start, and they are winners of two straight games, against Loyola University and UMBC. However, before their two game winning streak, they were 1-3, with a loss to the University of Richmond in triple overtime.
The Spiders outscored Towson 7-1 in the second period. Richmond also outscored the Tigers 4-2 in the fourth period; however, the Tigers forced overtime with a goal by Nick DeMaio with one second left in regulation. After two scoreless overtime periods, the Spiders scored the game-winning goal with 16 seconds left in the seventh period.
“They capitalized on their opportunities, whether they created them or we created them,” Head coach Shawn Nadelen said. “…Just like we capitalized in the first quarter, they capitalized in the second quarter. We didn’t manage that well, we didn’t play as clean in the first quarter.”
Towson has faced some of the top competition in the country so far and will continue to face top competition going forward. Of their first four opponents, three are either ranked or received votes in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll.
“Playing games like that gives us a better look at the top teams in the nation and gives us a look at what we need to be one of those guys,” Fifth-year defender Koby Smith said.
That includes the second-ranked University of Virginia who beat the Tigers 18-9. Towson blew another first-period lead after the Tigers led 4-1. The Cavaliers outscored Towson 17-5 in the final three periods.
“It’s all the little things between the lines that you don’t really see unless you’re on the field or understand the sport of lacrosse,” Redshirt senior goalie Shane Brennan said. “…No one really notices the small things, the small details that lead you to be successful and we just need to make sure we don’t forget about the small things.”
One of the Tigers’ wins this season was a 13-8 victory over Mount St. Mary’s. After trailing 3-2 in the first period, Towson outscored the Mountaineers 11-5 the remainder of the game. Junior attacker Nick DeMaio and senior attacker James Avanzato each scored three goals for the Tigers. Brennan made 12 saves in 54 minutes played.
“It’s easy to say when you come out on top we did a good job,” Brennan said. “…We held Mount St. Mary’s over 20 minutes of not scoring, if you can do that in another game its going to put you in a successful spot.”
Towson’s next eight opponents are all either ranked or received votes in the latest poll. They will have back-to-back games against ranked opponents when they face no. 7 Duke University and the no. 16 University of Denver.
The Tigers will do so mostly away from Johnny Unitas Stadium. Of their remaining eight games, only two will be played at Towson, with one being played at a neutral site. That includes a stretch from March 11 at Saint Joseph’s University to April 2 at Drexel University of four consecutive either true road games or neutral site games.
“It definitely gives you an advantage to be home, but whether we’re home or away it’s not that hard to think of yourself,” Brennan said. “It’s still the game of lacrosse, and you still need to put together a good plan to win.”
Despite this, Towson’s expectations remain high. The Tigers have won five CAA championships under Nadelen and believe they can make it six this spring.
“We got the team, we got the personnel, we have the culture,” Nadelen said. “We just have to continue to put it all together in an efficient way and play a smarter brand of lacrosse. …The CAA’s gonna be a battle as it always is, but we have the team to be able to battle at the top of the CAA and to put ourselves in position to win another championship soon.”
Towson’s next home game is Saturday, April 9 at noon against the University of Massachusetts.