For the past two seasons, senior Cody Tidwell has been one of St. Mary’s top short-stick defensive midfielders. Now the South River graduate is adding faceoffs to his list of responsibilities.
Tidwell won 13-of-23 draws and scooped up a game-high nine ground balls in the No. 14 Seahawks’ 21-5 pasting of Drew on Saturday. He also posted a goal and an assist and will start when the team tangles with No. 8 Washington College (2-0) on Wednesday.
“Cody Tidwell is a kid who was never the best, pure, technically proficient faceoff kid that we’ve had,” coach Chris Hasbrouck said Monday. “But he’s pound-for-pound probably one of the toughest, strongest kids on our team. He’s got great reflexes, and as a defensive midfielder, he’s been starting for us for two years now. He’s been working. He does all the drills and does everything, and after the first two games, we just felt that it was time to give him a shot at seeing what he could do during the game. … We just wanted to see what he could do against other live opponents, and he won a number of faceoffs, and he had a goal and an assist in the game. So he’s going to have to continue to do it.”
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With sophomore Teddy Secor (38.1 percent on 8-of-21 and one ground ball) and junior Reese Cassard (28.6 percent on 6-of-21 and five ground balls) struggling at the X, Hasbrouck said it was time to give Tidwell (52.0 percent on 13-of-25 and 11 ground balls) an opportunity.
“It was just a change we had to make,” he said. “We still feel that Reese and Teddy are very capable kids. They came up against a very tough opponent. [Junior] Carter Moore from Dickinson is a heck of a faceoff kid. We just wanted to keep our options open. That was kind of Plan B, to see what he could do, and we thought he went up there and did a really nice job.”
Tidwell’s effort on faceoffs may have been hampered by his absence on defense, but Hasbrouck said a trio of sophomores have helped fill that void.
“With Austin Toland and J.G. Hahn and Steve Adams really playing well defensively, it kind of allowed us to be able to think of Cody more as a faceoff kid,” Hasbrouck said. “So if he doesn’t get the same amount of shifts there, we’re OK with that right now if he’s winning at the X.”