A Mount St. Mary’s offense that has scored a combined seven goals in losses to No. 10 Maryland and Georgetown absorbed another blow with the loss of starting midfielder Clayton Wainer.
The junior suffered what coach Tom Gravante called a “minor concussion” during practice recently. Wainer has been beset by headaches, but the greater concern is that this is his second concussion in 18 months.
“I’m hopeful that maybe within the next two weeks, he can come back,” Gravante said Thursday afternoon. “He suffered a pretty severe concussion in 2012. That was on the second day of fall ball, and he missed the entire fall. He’s suffering from migraines as a result, and what happened to him is obviously not a good thing. It’s kind of a watch and wait, to see how it goes.”
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Wainer’s absence is significant for the Mountaineers. With four goals in 2013, he returned as the team’s leading scorer and paced the offense with two goals in two games this season.
“It’s going to hurt,” Gravante said. “He’s a veteran, he’s got very good foot speed, he’s tough with the ball. We have only one returner with legitimate minutes from last season. So that hurts. But again, this is an opportunity for our guys to step and take advantage of it. We’ve got a long season, and we’ve got create players out of some of these kids.”
Gravante said freshman Spencer Smith is the leading candidate to replace Wainer on the starting midfield. Smith, who will shift from attack, is slated to join sophomore Robert Jones and either sophomore Evan Gormley or freshman Matt Yates in Saturday’s road game against Delaware.
“He did a nice job against Georgetown,” Gravante said of Smith, who took two shots and scooped up two ground balls in a 10-4 loss to Georgetown on Feb. 12. “He’s got good feet, dodges well, and does some very good things fundamentally.”