Each week, The Baltimore Sun will publish a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Towson junior attackman Matt Hughes, who led the team in goals (18) and points (24) last season. The Tigers meet No. 4 Johns Hopkins today at Homewood Field.
How have things changed with Shawn Nadelen succeeding Tony Seaman as coach?
It's more positive now, knowing that we're going in a new direction and everything is starting to fall into place. He's got us worked hard and paying attention to the little things like details on and off the field, realizing what kind of person we are mentally and physically. He's doing a great job making us better lacrosse players and men overall.
Did it take some time for the players to adjust to Nadelen's coaching style?
Yeah, a little bit. Coach Nadelen is a lot tougher, more rough around the edges. If you're not working hard and you're not going 100 percent, he'll let you know, and he'll let you know pretty good. You've got to work hard when you're around him, and he expects the best from you. He'll never take average or just good enough.
So it sounds like Nadelen is more of a disciplinarian. Is that what the team needed?
Yes and no. I mean, last year, you saw that we lost four one-goal games. That let us know that we weren't disciplined enough to finish off games. We were up in all those games. But yeah, it's a good thing because we do need discipline. We need to learn how to finish out games and get those wins that will prove crucial at the end of the season.
You've been singled out as the player expected to lead the offense. Is that a lot of pressure for you?
Not really. Throughout my career, I've been playing that role. I'm just at a higher level, so I just have to adjust to it. There's a little bit of pressure there knowing that I've got to hold my end of the deal and keep everyone going and be a leader by example. I've just got to keep working hard and do what I do.
Towson is just 3-36 all time against Johns Hopkins, which has won the past 16 meetings. Is ending that streak not only a physical test but also a mental challenge?
It is what it is. I can't say that the scales aren't tipped in our favor. You've just got to go out and execute, and that's what we're looking to do this Friday. We know that we don't have a great record, and we know that we've lost 16 consecutive games. We're working hard this week to hopefully put a stop to that.