Mount St. Mary's coach Tom Gravante had high hopes for Justin Gosnell before the season began, and the Harford Community College transfer didn't disappoint.
Gosnell, a Havre de Grace graduate, recorded team highs in goals (21) and points (27) in his first year with the Mountaineers (5-10 overall and 2-4 in the Northeast Conference). And the junior did so despite moving from his usual position on attack to a spot on the starting midfield.
Gravante said Gosnell has proven to be the producer the team needed after completing the 2014 campaign with zero 20-goal scorers and just one 20-point contributor in then-sophomore attackman Bubba Johnson.
"I wasn't too surprised by his ability and what he did," Gravante said. "We just needed to figure out where he would best benefit the team. We played him in the fall as an attackman because he had the ability to beat a long-stick. But he doesn't have a pure attack stick where he can feed the ball. … With a good attackman, his goals and assists will almost mirror each other.
"We tried him out on attack because he was very good in terms of his foot speed and being able to beat the long-stick. But he didn't have the ability to create in terms of feeding. So we moved him and we really needed [senior attackman] Mark Hojnoski to develop. So overall, I'm pleased but not surprised. I'm hopeful that he'll do even better next year."
The one thing Gravante would like to see from Gosnell is more beef on his 6-foot, 160-pound frame, but that priority is not limited solely to Gosnell. Gravante said every returning player should focus on improving his strength and durability for the style of physical play in the NEC.
"I've been saying this for the last three or four years, but we've been athletically outclassed by some of our conference opponents," he said. "They've just been bigger people. Bryant's a pretty sizable team, probably the biggest team in the conference. And a close second is St. Joe's. Sacred Heart had some sizable young men and so did Hobart. Robert Morris has men. We need to get bigger."