When Towson scored just three goals in an 11-goal loss to Colonial Athletic Association leader Massachusetts April 7, the result raised a few eyebrows. When the Tigers repeated that output and managed just three goals in a five-goal setback to No. 11 Penn State last Saturday, the outcome set off a few alarms.
Towson coach Shawn Nadelen said the tenor of the loss to the Minutemen two weeks ago was much different from the loss to the Nittany Lions.
“Against Penn State, we got a little selfish and didn’t allow ourselves to play within the offense the way that it should be played,” he said Wednesday. “Good ball movement, getting to the right spots, our decision-making was fairly poor. We took some shots that we knew we didn’t want to take – whether it was shot location or areas from where we shot the ball. They just weren’t good decisions, and a lot of times with the ball movement, we didn’t make good decisions there. We saw some good things on film that we did, but we also saw some possible goals that we left on the field. So we definitely learned a lot from the film, and I think that’s something we can clean up. We had opportunities. We just have to maximize them.”
The Tigers’ last two contests have been drastically different from their first 10 games of the season. After averaging 10.2 goals, placing 65.1 percent of shots on cage, and winning 53.6 percent of faceoffs, the team has averaged 3.0 goals, put 55.8 percent of attempts on goal, and won just 27.3 percent of draws.
The task doesn’t figure to get any easier against a Drexel defense that ranks 12th in Division I (8.1 goals per game) and 14th in man-down situations (seven goals in just 25 chances).
But Nadelen said Towson doesn’t plan on backing down from the challenge.
“We’re going to be aggressive when we have the opportunities as far as transition and unsettled situations,” he said. “We know we’ve got to let the offense work with the way we want it to, and that includes tempo, hard dodging, movement off-ball, ball movement. There’s a lot of components that play into it, and we need to make sure we’re executing at a high level.”Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun