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Towson men’s lacrosse left with more questions about offense

The new-look offense unveiled by the Towson men’s lacrosse team in Saturday’s season opener against Johns Hopkins was certainly new, but left a lot to be desired in the looks department.

The offense accounted for five goals and one assist in the No. 14 Tigers’ 14-6 drubbing at the hands of the No. 13 Blue Jays at Homewood Field on Saturday night. But only two goals came in a first half in which Johns Hopkins sprinted to a nine-goal advantage, and one of those came from the stick of junior defenseman Chad Patterson.

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“I thought we just came out pretty timid, almost scared, which is pretty disappointing,” said junior midfielder Jon Mazza, who had one goal and one assist. “Our coaches give us a great game plan every single week, and we failed to cover it. I will say that with all these new guys, there is no excuse for how we played tonight.”

Mazza is the only returning starter from last year’s unit, which graduated attackmen Ryan Drenner, Joe Seider and Tyler Konen and midfielders Mike Lynch and Tyler Young. And two of the three starting attackmen Saturday night were transfers in junior Timmy Monahan (Maryland) and sophomore Brody McLean (Stony Brook). The other starting attackman was freshman Phil Wies (Loyola Blakefield).

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The offense committed at least three of the team’s five turnovers in the first quarter and did not force Johns Hopkins senior goalkeeper Brock Turnbaugh to make a save until about two minutes were left in the opening period. By that time, the Blue Jays had opened a 4-0 lead, and the rout was underway.

Ryan Moran, UMBC's second-year coach, got a glimpse into the future as he unveiled his first recruiting class in UMBC’s 9-6 season-opening win over visiting Richmond.

Towson’s offensive woes surprised head coach Shawn Nadelen.

“You hope you don’t struggle as much as we did,” he said. “I don’t know if we just had jitters. I don’t know how many possessions we had in the first quarter, but we looked down there, and the ball was just sailing over guys’ heads. I’m not going to say it was inexperience or anything like that. It was just us not doing a good job of executing. Obviously, we’ve got to figure it out quickly – chemistry more so.

“I feel like we need to do a much better job of building that and being able to connect the dots. We didn’t really attack the game plan that [associate head] coach [Anthony] Gilardi had in the way that we expected to. We allowed them to do what they wanted to do without really forcing them to get out of their comfort zone. When you turn the ball over a lot like in that first quarter, it’s hard to get into a rhythm. But we’ve got good players on the offensive end. We’ve just got to figure out why this happened and how we move forward.”

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The Tigers’ four goals in the second half might be the seeds for a little optimism, but that was of little consolation to Mazza.

“I think every team expects hiccups. But tonight, we did not expect this,” he said. “We did not plan for this. We’ll just get back at it next week.”

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