The starting attack for reigning national champion Stevenson has had somewhat of a quiet start, and that has been especially true for Edward McLoughlin.
In three starts for the No. 3 Mustangs (2-1), the freshman has failed to score a goal despite taking nine shots and has recorded just one assist. And he has more turnovers (four) than ground balls (three).
But coach Paul Cantabene expressed his confidence in McLoughlin.
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“Eddie’s a freshman, and he’s getting better and better,” Cantabene said recently. “I think he’s only going to get better as it goes on. We’re really heavy in the midfield, and we’ve got a lot of great guys, but nobody is sliding from our attack right now. Nobody’s leaving Stephen, nobody’s leaving Chris. They’re trying to make our midfielders players, and I thin our midfielders are doing a great job. We’re eight, nine, 10 guys deep at the midfield position, and we’re going to continue to play well. If we play well, they’re going to start to leave our attack, and then they’ll start making plays. We’ve got to take what teams are giving us, and I think our middies are playing well.”
McLoughlin has been running with senior Chris Dashiell and sophomore Stephen Banick. Dashiell leads the offense in assists with five, and Banick is tied for second in goals with five, but both players have just six points, which averages to two points per contest.
Asked if he planned to keep McLoughlin as a starter, Cantabene said he is not concerned with labels such as starters and reserves and said his priority is finding the right mix of players to be productive on attack.
“We’re going to play our guys,” he said. “We also had some guys that were hurt, that didn’t play a little bit. [Sophomore] Matt Stango should play a little bit, but we’re going to rotate guys in and all that stuff and see how it goes. We have a lot of guys we want to play in games. We have good depth, and we’ve got to continue to use our depth to our advantage.”