Coaches don’t like to discuss it, but injuries and conditioning can take a toll on the players and help shape a team’s success.
While pointedly noting that No. 3 Massachusetts overpowered Towson, 14-3, in a key Colonial Athletic Association contest for both sides Saturday, Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen conceded that rallying from a three-goal deficit in the fourth quarter of Wednesday night’s 12-11 decision against UMBC did sap some of the energy that his players usually have.
“I’m not going to put it on that, but I do feel that while we were watching them go through practice up there on Friday and warming up on Saturday and then how that game unfolded, I just don’t think we really played with a lot of bounce in our legs,” Nadelen said Monday afternoon. “Especially offensively, we just didn’t have that ability to break away off our dodges and explode out of our dodges. I didn’t think we did a poor job getting up and down the field, but I just don’t think we had that extra burst that we’ve shown that we have.”
After trailing 4-2 at halftime, Towson (7-4 overall and 2-1 in the CAA) could manage little fight against the Minutemen (10-0, 3-0), who outscored the Tigers 4-1 in the third quarter and 6-0 in the final period. Nadelen, a first-year coach, said toeing the line between practicing and preserving the players’ legs is a delicate balance.
“It’s a tough situation,” he said. “You’re worrying about preparing the guys for the next opponent on Saturday and trying to keep your guys as healthy as possible, but you also have to get what you need to get done in practice. So you can try to motivate them as much as you want through your best pump-up speeches and things like that, but when there’s little or no gas in the tank, the car’s not going to run.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun