Towson’s 7-6 upset of then-No. 19 and Colonial Athletic Association rival Hofstra last Saturday night extended the team’s winning streak to three, but it also exemplified the squad’s ability to emerge with close victories.
This season, the Tigers (6-5 overall and 2-0 in the CAA), are 4-1 in contests decided by a single goal. They have beaten Mercer, Navy, Delaware and now the Pride by one goal and suffered their only one-goal loss in a 10-9 overtime setback to Marist.
Coach Shawn Nadelen said the team’s perseverance is a unique mixture of luck and resiliency.
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“I think we’re fortunate, and I think our guys believe in themselves, which allows us to come away with those wins,” he said. “We have to execute to get those, and sometimes we’ve executed early in games and then had to hold on towards the end like we did against Hofstra. At times, we didn’t execute early, and we had to dig in and execute at a really high level towards the end of games to be in a position to win. I think our guys know that each game is a grind, and we kind of end up going through the ebbs and flows of games because we really haven’t put together an entire game yet. So our guys continue to focus on that and work hard towards that. There’s no doubt that we’re fortunate to win these games, and I’ve been on the other side where those one-goal games haven’t gone our way. … So we’re appreciative of that, but we also know that we’ve got to continue to work hard to improve.”
Towson is just 2-4 in games decided by two goals or more. Although Nadelen said it “would be nice” to enjoy more comfortable margins of victory, he said he also understands that it’s becoming more difficult to coast in college lacrosse.
“I just don’t think that’s the way it’s going to be in the landscape of Division I lacrosse,” he said. “You can see it in the scores every weekend regardless of opponents and matchups and things like that. Games are tight, teams are playing at a high level, there are so-called upsets every week, there are quite a few overtime games every week. It’s just the way it’s going to be. We’d love to be in a position where we have three- or four-goal differences as the outcomes with those going in our favor, but we know that there are a lot of good teams and a lot of good players out there. Being a part of those games is probably far and few between with the talent pool that’s out there. So we’re going to approach every game to play our best. If we come out with a cushion, that’s great. If we come out with a one-goal win, that’s great, too.”