With the 2016 season opener against Mercer looming on Saturday at 12 p.m. at Johnny Unitas Stadium, Towson has made a couple of decisions regarding its starting lineup.
Coach Shawn Nadelen said Tuesday afternoon that senior Nick Gorman will join seniors Mike Lowe and Andrew Cordes as starting defensemen. Gorman beat out freshman Chad Patterson (Westminster) for the role.
Gorman had started the last 11 games of the 2014 campaign, leading that squad in ground balls with 40 and ranking second in caused turnovers with 12. But Gorman was bumped from the starting lineup as Lowe and Cordes joined recent graduate JoJo Ostrander on defense.
"He's earned it through this preseason," Nadelen said of Gorman. "He's gotten out there, and his experience has shown through. His tenacity has increased big time, and his level of play has increased big time. Nick missed quite a bit of practice in the fall due to his class schedule, and I think that allowed Chad to earn the opportunity that he did in the fall and to be the starter for us. I'm not saying that sat well with Nick or not, but you could definitely see the focus that he put in over the winter break and the mentality he's come back with. He really wants to have a key role in the defense and be an impact guy."
The lineup for the starting midfield is not as clear, but four players have separated themselves from the rest of the pack. Senior Ben McCarty, redshirt junior Brian Bolewicki and juniors Michael Lynch and Tyler
Young Konen will form the first line, although which trio might not be determined until later in the week.
Nadelen said all four players are comfortable playing with each other.
"We've had, because of injuries in the spring, some fluidity in our midfields with our top six to eight guys," he said. "We've always communicated – not just this year, but every year – that guys have to be ready to play around with different lineups. We'll just see what things look like on Saturday. They're going to play. Everybody knows that. It might not just be on a solid three-man group. They know they will be mixed and matched throughout the day."