The Shawn Nadelen era got off to a good start as Towson outlasted Jacksonville, 12-10, in the season opener for both teams Saturday. It also perhaps signaled a change in the net.
Junior Andrew Wascavage earned the starting nod over Travis Love, a Westminster native and Winters Mill graduate who has been a two-year starter.
Nadelen, who succeeded Tony Seaman as head coach in June, said Wascavage’s play in the preseason convinced the coaching staff to give him the opportunity against the Dolphins.
“Andrew had been playing well for the past couple weeks, and not that Travis hadn’t been playing well, but Andrew just did a good job,” Nadelen said Monday. “We felt that he was the strongest guy going into that game for us at that point and did a good job. He had some nice saves where they could’ve had some easy goals. He let a couple in that we need to make sure he can make those saves, but he earned it through coming back and being ready to compete. He’s given us two strong goalies now.”
Wascavage made eight saves in his first career start, and Nadelen said he hasn’t decided whether Wascavage or Love will start Friday against Johns Hopkins.
“I’m kind of week-to-week seeing who’s the guy playing well,” Nadelen said. “Like I said, Andrew kind of earned it through the total preseason, and Travis has been playing well also, but Andrew just had a little bit of edge to him. Travis played this morning very strong in the net, and they gave us a lot to think about come decision-time about who is going to be the starting guy. We’re going to have to see what plays out there.”
In addition to Wascavage, freshman midfielder Justin Mabus made his debut Saturday, starting with sophomores Andrew Hodgson and Thomas DeNapoli. Mabus, who recorded three assists, drew a positive review from Nadelen.
“I thought he did a decent job,” Nadelen said. “He did was he usually does. He draws some attention because he’s a big kid and he’s got great vision. He dished the ball off when he needed to, and guys cashed in on the other end. I felt like Justin did a good job of playing within himself and within the offense. He didn’t try to do too much that freshmen sometimes try to do to make plays. On the reverse side, he didn’t play timid either. I felt like he was comfortable out there and fairly confident.”