As expected, No. 18 Towson opened the season Saturday against High Point without senior midfielder Andrew Hodgson. The team played without another midfielder in sophomore Ben McCarty.
McCarty, a South Carroll graduate who had 13 goals and five assists last season, is considered day to day and is a question mark for Saturday’s game at No. 13 Johns Hopkins. Coach Shawn Nadelen said McCarty is on track to practice Wednesday.
“I just got a report today saying that things look promising for him,” Nadelen said Tuesday afternoon. “Tomorrow, he’ll practice. So we’ll see how he feels. … I’m always optimistic. We’d like to have him back, but we’ll see about that. Tomorrow is a big indicator as far as what that is going to look like for us.”
Without McCarty, the second midfield consisted of sophomores Brian Bolewicki (Calvert Hall) and Chris Vetter and freshmen Tyler Young (Arundel) and Tyler Konen. That group combined for one goal on three shots and collected four ground balls.
Speaking of Hodgson who registered 27 goals and 14 assists last spring, Nadelen did not have any new information on his possible return. “Nothing new from our medical staff yet,” Nadelen said. “We’re still in a holding pattern with Andrew.”
Hodgson’s spot on the first midfield with juniors Greg Cuccinello and Justin Mabus was filled by freshman Ryan Drenner, a Westminster graduate who made the switch from attack.
“He’s a guy that’s used to having the ball in his stick, and he’s used to dodging against long sticks,” Nadelen said of Drenner, who finished with one assist and zero goals on four shots. “So him playing at the midfield gives him the opportunity to do that, but possibly against short sticks at times. He’s made some pretty good plays in practice that gave us confidence to put him in the field. With Greg and Justin kind of on the same line as him, those guys can make a lot of people look good just with the plays they can make and with the attention that they draw. So we hope that helps Ryan out.”
Last week, Nadelen said that the Tigers were unconcerned with getting revenge against High Point, which upset Towson, 9-7, in the 2013 opener . He reversed field somewhat, acknowledging that the players were happy to make amends for that loss.
“I think our guys were excited to have another shot at High Point after going down there and laying an egg,” Nadelen said. “High Point’s a scrappy team. If you make mistakes, they make you pay just like any good team. So we knew we’d have to earn it. So it felt good for our guys to leave Saturday with a win in our back pocket and be able to move forward.”