Partly because of the attention opposing defenses paid to attackman Tim Stratton, Matt Hughes paced Towson’s offense in 2011, recording team highs in goals (18) and points (24).

And with Stratton having graduated, Hughes, a junior attackman, is being tabbed by coach Shawn Nadelen and offensive coordinator Anthony Gilardi as the most likely candidate to assume the reins as the offensive playmaker.

“I would say that Matt Hughes right now at the attack has the ability to do that, and he’s kind of getting more into that role,” Nadelen said. “Coach Gilardi is doing a great job of kind of working him into understanding what we want him to see within the offenses and allow his natural play-making abilities to be effective as well. So I would say that Matt Hughes has the biggest opportunity to jump into that role.”

The offense figures to be in capable hands with a projected starting attack of Hughes and seniors Sean Maguire (eight goals, seven assists) and Matt Lamon (12, 2). But that unit could use some assistance from a more consistent midfield.

Sophomore Andrew Hodgson (7, 12) is the only returning full-time starter for the midfield, but Nadelen is optimistic that guys like senior Carl Iacona (3, 5) and sophomore Thomas DeNapoli (4, 0) can provide contributions.

“We are going to be young there,” Nadelen said. “We started a couple freshmen there who got a lot of time in Andrew Hodgson and Tom DeNapoli, and they’re doing some good things for us again this year. But we also have a very strong freshman class that is showing some possibility of stepping in and doing some good things along with a couple seniors.”