As notable as Towson’s 9-5 victory over Massachusetts last Saturday was for junior attackman Devin Grimaldi’s first career hat trick and first four-point display, the win also showcased the ability of JoJo Ostrander.
The 6-foot, 175-pound sophomore defenseman limited Minutemen senior attackman Will Manny to just one goal on four shots and zero assists. Manny, a Tewaaraton Award finalist last season, may not be at full strength after sitting out five games because of a broken thumb, but Ostrander’s performance earned the praise of Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen.
“JoJo’s been playing our No. 1 attack opponent all season, and I think he’s been pretty consistent for us,” Nadelen said Monday. “I think he’s done a good job of neutralizing the other team’s best dodging threat. At times, other guys on the defense have helped him out – whether it was late slides or fake slides. But when JoJo was on Will, we did a good job of steering him away from the opportunities that Will likes to get to and spots on the field that he likes to get to. Personally, I think [Ostrander] did a great job with that all game.”
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Ostrander ranks second on the team in caused turnovers with 12 and is tied for seventh in ground balls with 17. Ostrander, a second-year full-time starter who was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie team, has room to develop, according to Nadelen.
“He’s given us confidence that he can guard some of the top attackmen in the country and do a decent job against them,” Nadelen said. “He’s had their number in games, and they’ve had his number in games at times, but he’s done a real good job of getting his confidence. I’d like to see him continue to work on his off-ball play. Being a good cover defenseman is great, but there’s a lot more to playing defense than just that. So that’s what we’re going to continue to work with him on.”