Towson graduated just two starters from last year’s squad that captured the Colonial Athletic Association tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, but the team may open the upcoming season without a third starter.
Senior midfielder Andrew Hodgson’s availability is in question due to an unspecified injury, and coach Shawn Nadelen declined to elaborate on Hodgson’s status for Saturday’s game against High Point at 11 a.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson.
Hodgson ranked second only to senior attackman Thomas DeNapoli in both goals (27) and assists (14) last spring, and Nadelen conceded that Hodgson’s absence could impact the offense.
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“Andrew is obviously a talented player and brings a lot to the field,” Nadelen said. “But we’re not going to ask [junior midfielders] Greg [Cuccinello] or Justin [Mabus] to step outside of their ability and not do what they’re capable of doing. We’ve just got to make sure that they understand that, that they don’t have to try to be superheroes out there and just do what they’re supposed to do within our system. I think they’re very capable of doing that.”
Cuccinello (23 goals and six assists last year) and Mabus (8, 10) will anchor the first midfield, and sophomores Ben McCarty (13, 5) and Brian Bolewicki (4, 4) could join them.
Nadelen said DeNapoli will be paired up with senior Max Siskind on the starting attack. Curiously, Nadelen did not name junior Cory Dobyns, who recorded 19 goals and three assists in 14 starts last season, but Nadelen said Dobyns figures to be a member of the attack even if he is coming off the bench.
“With the way Cory played and how he put himself in position to be a strong, consistent player for us, other guys have had to raise their level of play and understand that they’ve got to be better,” Nadelen said. “Cory is continuing to make himself better with other guys, challenging them in that role now. Cory’s going to have an opportunity to get onto the field and be a player for us, and we’re excited to get him back in the mix.”
Finally, the goalkeeper situation is still in flux. Junior Tyler White and freshman Matt Hoy are vying for the right to succeed Andrew Wascavage, and Nadelen said a decision will be made Saturday morning.
Nadelen did not rule out a rotation of White and Hoy against the Panthers.
“I think one guy is the best way to do it, but you’ve got to feel it out,” he said. “As a coach, you’ve got to give your team the best possible chance to be successful, and if I feel two guys are part of that process, then we’re going to go with that. If we want to stick with one guy and go at it that way, we’ll do it. So I’ve got to kind of feel out how it goes and see what we’re getting out of our goalies.”