By: Tyler Beard, Staff Writer
Towson trailed Hofstra, 2-1, on Saturday and the offense was out of rhythm. Pride goalie Chris Selva was playing well and the Tigers struggled to get going early.
However, the attackers worked in repetition and orchestrated one of the usual plays: Junior Spencer Parks attracted the defense and passed to the cutting sophomore Ryan Drenner, who buried it in the back of the net to tie the game.
This is a common occurrence for Drenner and Parks, along with attacker Joe Seider, who have filled the stat sheet for Towson this season.
Together, they make up the top 3 scorers, combining for 56 goals in 13 games this season.
The trio’s connection has helped the Tigers move to 12th in the nation team with a chance to host the Colonial Athletic Association tournament.
“It’s really exciting because you grew up as kid watching the teams like North Carolina and Hopkins on TV and now we have a chance to take them down,” Drenner said.
Seider is just a sophomore and leads the team with 26 goals. He led the team with 23 goals last season as a true freshman and is climbing up Towson’s all-time scoring list.
Seider was one of Head Coach Shawn Nadelen’s prized recruits in the Class of 2013. He went to Hereford High School and was part of a team that won four straight championships. Seider was also named a Top 50 Rising Senior by Inside Lacrosse.
“Joe was one of the better players in the state and we wanted to attract him with success,” Nadelen said. “We pitched to our recruiting class that we want to keep them in Maryland and have them play in front of their hometown.”
Seider said he was impressed with the tenacity Nadelen and his staff showed when recruiting him.
“Everyone is getting recruited by the same type of schools so it’s pretty much the same type of speech every time you talk to a coach,” Seider said. “[Towson] was pretty aggressive about it and they let you know about your future and let you know how you can be a Towson Tiger.”
Drenner was the other star attackman in the same recruiting class as Seider and made a name for himself at Westminster High School.
The attacker finished his senior season with 69 goals and 69 assists. His strong play was recognized as he was selected as The Baltimore Sun Player of the Year in 2013.
Nadelen said Drenner was recruited a little later in the process than some of the class but was he impressed with his ability.
“Coach Gilardi and Coad Nadelen were really adamant on building local guys up,” Drenner said. “We were Coach Nadelen’s first class and he made it a point to get a bunch of the good local guys that slipped through the cracks of recruiting and really build the program here at Towson.”
Drenner has started every game this season and has 15 goals. He is also second on the team with 11 assists.
Parks rounds out the group of attackers, but is the most experienced of the three.
The junior went to St. Paul’s School for Boys and originally started his collegiate career at North Carolina.
He scored seven goals and had seven assists in his freshman season for the Tar Heels but decided to transfer back home to Towson. Seider gave Parks his tour of the campus and it helped sell him on joining the Tigers, along with a family connection.
“Both of my cousins went to Towson so they gave me a pretty good opinion of the school,” Parks said. “Being local to home the second time around was also the biggest thing for me.”
Parks is second on the team with 15 goals this season and leads the team in assists with 13.
This isn’t the first time the trio has played together. There were a few occasions when they played with each other in their high school years.
Drenner and Seider played with each other in the Under Armour Underclassmen games. Parks practiced with Drenner over a summer and Seider played with both players over time.
The three were familiar with each other coming into Towson and shared a bond of local Maryland products trying to go against other top local players at bigger schools.
“After moving into the dorms the first day, I had already seen Joe [Seider] at an Under Armour dinner so I was able to approach him,” Drenner said. “We instantly had a connection and that connection translates out onto the field.”
Parks said the bond that he made with Drenner and Seider helps them when it comes time to play.
“I think a big thing is knowing everyone off of the field,” Parks said. “Everyone is pretty good friends with each other on the team and we connect with each other on the field through that way.”
This season, Seider said the team needs to continue working hard and ignoring polls because the CAA is the most important thing for the team at the moment.
“You can’t think about the polls too much because they don’t mean anything until the tournament,” Seider said. “It feels good right now but we can’t put too much into it.”
Nadelen said he hopes the success of his young team can convince other top local players to join Towson’s program in the future.
“We still have the continuation this year, but the success of our young guys proves the point that we have a good program,” he said. “Local kids in the state of Maryland now understand Towson is playing at a high level of lacrosse.”