One of Towson’s positions of strength in 2015 should be a midfield that welcomes back three starters in juniors Greg Cuccinello (20 goals and nine assists) and Justin Mabus (10 G, 17 A) and freshman Ryan Drenner (12 G, 10A).
That group could be even stronger if Andrew Hodgson returns from injury, and coach Shawn Nadelen said Hodgson, a senior who has one more year of eligibility remaining, is on pace to do just that.
“He should be back next year, and that just bolsters our midfield when we return all those guys and get Andrew back in the mix,” Nadelen said. “That’s exciting for our team to return all those guys.”
Without specifying what was ailing Hodgson – who recorded 27 goals and 14 assists in 2013 – Nadelen acknowledged that Hodgson underwent surgery in the preseason and could not demonstrate a certain level of physical recovery to satisfy his concerns or those of the university’s medical staff.
“It happened right before the season started, in late January,” Nadelen said. “We had an early timetable, but it never really came back to where we could put him out there comfortably and feel that it wasn’t going to be an issue.”
Toward the end of the season, Hodgson had rejoined his teammates to participate in some conditioning exercises, but Nadalen said he was far from being declared 100 percent to take part in all of the drills the team completes.
Hodgson, who is on schedule to be ready for fall workouts, might have been considered a candidate to shift to attack, which graduated Thomas DeNapoli (17 G, 19 A) and Max Siskind (12 G, 1 A). But Nadalen said Hodgson’s versatility lends him to stay in the midfield.
“I think the team missed Andrew because he is a guy that does so much in so many different ways,” Nadelen said. “On offense, he’s a guy that can initiate and control the tempo. He’s a guy that can play off-ball. He’s a great guy off the wings. I think our faceoff play struggled with not having him out there. He’s a great guy off the ground, and he’s a good guy on the defensive end. He can run all day and he doesn’t mind running from offense to defense. He was a captain, a leader, a voice, an energy guy at practice.”