For now, Towson senior attackman Thomas DeNapoli garners much of the attention from opposing defenses, but they may have to begin expanding their scope.
Six players have amassed at least 10 points in the No. 19 Tigers’ 7-2 start thus far, and two more – senior attackman Devin Grimaldi and sophomore midfielder Ben McCarty (South Carroll) – are two points shy of joining their teammates. That’s an encouraging sign considering that the squad that captured last year’s Colonial Athletic Association tournament finished with seven players in double digits in points.
“If you look at our scoring, there could be a game where we have six or seven guys putting up points, and that’s something that we really didn’t have over the past couple of years,” coach Shawn Nadelen said on Wednesday morning. “Our offense has a little bit more depth to it. I think our midfield has been depleted a little bit with injuries, but we have more guys contributing at the attack position, which is exciting to see. Last year was kind of dismal with the attack production. So I think we are a little more balanced with regards both the attack and middies contributing as well as personnel across the board.”
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DeNapoli leads the offense in points with 27, but the starting midfield of juniors Greg Cuccinello and Justin Mabus and freshman Ryan Drenner (Westminster) rank second, fourth and second, respectively.
“We’re a very balanced offense right now,” Cuccinello said after Towson defeated Delaware, 11-8, on Saturday for its sixth straight win. “The key is, we’re really trusting each other. I think we needed to feel our way out in the first couple games, especially playing with a bunch of freshmen. You can see we’re finding our groove. Everybody’s just a little bit more confident and confident in each other, especially those freshmen. And we’re starting to click.”
The Tigers’ attack unit of DeNapoli, senior Max Siskind, Grimaldi and freshman Joe Seider (Hereford) combined for just four goals on 18 shots against the Blue Hens, and they may need more efficient production if they hope to knock off No. 16 Penn (3-3), No. 17 Massachusetts (7-2) and No. 18 Penn State (4-4) over the next few weeks.
But Nadelen said he is more concerned with how the attack is working together rather than the unit’s final numbers.
“What we really look for is when you have an opportunity to make a play, make it,” he said. “If it’s to score a goal or be in a good spot on the field or dish it to a guy who’s open to get a good shot off, that’s what we expect our guys to do. Different defenses are going to have different game plans against us. Some might try to limit the attack and some might try to limit the midfield. So what we look for out of our guys is when they’re in position to make a play, they do that.”