Through its first two games, Towson had caused 13 turnovers. In 60 minutes against Georgetown on Saturday, the Tigers nearly matched that total.
Towson forced 11 turnovers in a 10-7 victory over the Hoyas at Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson. For the game, the Hoyas (0-2) coughed up the ball 14 times, and coach Kevin Warne said his players made some uncharacteristic mistakes against the Tigers (3-0).
"Those guys do a really good job," he said. "They're very good defensively. They're unbelievably well coached. That's coach-speak, but you can see it. Those guys know what they want to do. And they're really aggressive, and they're really fast."
Senior defenseman Mike Lowe, junior long-stick midfielder Tyler Mayes and junior midfielder Mike Lynch paced Towson with two caused turnovers each, and Lowe said the players stressed effort without extending themselves.
"We just wanted to stay within ourselves," he said. "We emphasized flying around, and when we were making slides, we were making sure they were good, hard, smart slides where they had to make a play to get their hands free. If we were on-ball, not trying to make a takeaway, but making sure they were staying in their hands again. Just making them have to make a play and us pouncing off of that."
Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen said the caused turnovers are a byproduct of the team's defensive plan.
"We try to have that happen throughout our defensive scheme if we have those opportunities," he said. "I thought our discipline on the defensive end was probably the best it's been so far this season. We were a little sloppy against Mount St. Mary's in that department. Some of it was being aware as well. [Senior defenseman] Andrew Cordes made a couple of nice plays in the middle of the field and in the scrums to be able to earn those caused turnovers. It's a credit to our guys to be able to stay engaged during the course of a game whether the ball's at their end or not to be able to maximize when we have an opportunity to create a turnover."
Circling back to "Three Things to Watch" …
1) Towson's defense. Georgetown scored the most goals by an opponent against the Tigers this season, but the defense has surrendered an average of just 4.7 goals. The Hoyas were limited to one goal on seven shots in the first quarter and one goal on six attempts in the third period. Lowe said the unit was motivated by what it thought should have been a better showing in last week's 9-5 win against Mount St. Mary's.
"After last week, we emphasized flying around," he said. "We had not our cleanest game off the ground and with spacing and with communication. So we emphasized flying around. We came out hot and right away, we caused a turnover on the first faceoff, and we just kind of built off that and used everybody's energy."
2) Georgetown's accuracy. For the second straight game, the Hoyas scored seven goals, and their efficiency was a problem. After converting just 17.9 percent (7-for-39) of its shots in a 12-7 loss to No. 1 Notre Dame, the offense shot 20 percent (7-for-35) against Towson. Redshirt senior goalkeeper Tyler White made 11 saves for the Tigers, but Warne said White was only part of the issue for Georgetown.
"Towson was on our hands," Warne said. "I'm not sure we took great shots. A guy like Tyler White, you've got to try to get to the middle of the field and put him in certain spots. We took a lot of shots down the alley. We took a lot of shots with people on our hands. So you're not going to have a lot of success against him."
3) Towson's faceoffs. The Tigers won 11 of 20 draws, but the thought was that they could fare much better against a Georgetown team that won just five of 22 against Notre Dame. Sophomore Riley Mann, who went 4-for-14 against the Fighting Irish, won seven of nine faceoffs against Towson's trio of junior Alec Burckley (7-for-13), sophomore Steven Stillwell (4-for-6) and freshman Zach Goodrich (0-for-1), and Warne was pleased to see Mann's numbers.
"He did an excellent job today," Warne said. "… That's pretty good for a team that struggled last week. It was good to see him scrap. That's something we harped on all week to get better, and we certainly did. But I would say the 50-50 ground balls and the extended possessions they had, they play a certain way, and that's OK. But they shrank the game, and when you have a big lead, you can do that."