Towson earned a berth in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament despite dropping games against league foes Hofstra on April 18 and Drexel on Saturday. But rather than worry about the team sliding from the No. 1 to the No. 3 seed and giving up homefield advantage for a road trip, coach Shawn Nadelen emphasized that the Tigers (9-5) are blessed to have a shot at the championship and possibly earning a spot in the NCAA tournament.
"We're excited to be in the tournament," he said this morning. "We know it's not a guarantee for anybody. Four out of six teams make it and two teams are not in it right now, and we're glad we're not one of those teams. You work hard all season to put yourself in position to win the regular season or be able to be in position to go to the CAA playoffs, and we've done that. We haven't played our best lacrosse in the past coupe of games, but we still have a body of work that qualifies us to be in position for the CAA championship."
The last time Towson qualified for the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed occurred in 2013 and that squad upset Drexel and Penn State for the title and the automatic qualifier to the NCAA postseason. Nadelen chuckled when asked if he could envision history repeating itself.
"We'd like for that to happen, but we know it's not just going to happen on its own," he said. "We've got to put a lot of effort and energy and focus and playmaking into it. It's not like our guys are saying, 'Oh, we're back in this position, and it's going to miraculously happen again.' That's not anything our guys are thinking."
The Tigers, who lost, 11-10, at the Dragons on Saturday, will face Drexel again on Thursday in the first CAA tournament semifinal. This will mark the third consecutive season in which the two sides meet in the regular season and the playoffs, and Nadelen is hoping that the Towson team that rallied with eight goals in the second half will make another appearance on Thursday.
"I don't know if it's revenge more than going out there and competing the way we know how," he said. "Obviously, we don't want to lose to those guys twice. That's something our guys are going to be focused on. … As far as the revenge factor, I'm sure our guys are seething at the opportunity to get after Drexel after losing by a goal up at their place and not playing well in that first half and letting an opportunity slip. So I know our guys will be motivated."