The last three years have been a period of increasing returns for the Towson men’s lacrosse team. The program made an appearance in the first round of the NCAA tournament in 2015, advanced to the quarterfinals in 2016, and then marched to the semifinals in 2017 for the first time since 2001.
As thrilling as those achievements were, however, coach Shawn Nadelen said it’s time to put the past in the past, especially when it comes to the journey to the Final Four at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough last May.
“That was for last year’s team, and that’s how I want them to treat that,” he said. “That was for them. This year is for us and for this group, and I want them to understand the work ethic that needs to go into being able to compete every day in practice and get the best out of each other in practice every day and stack those days together leading into a game and stacking those weeks together into hopefully a very successful season. But I want those guys and our team to understand that it’s always a process, it’s always work, and it’s something that we have to commit to not just on the field, but off the field and how we handle ourselves and how we work on and off the field together. So understanding that last year was last year and that it’s over and done with and that this is a new year and a new season with some new players in the program, we’re trying to make the best out of it as we do every year.”
From replenishing an offense decimated by graduation to tackling a non-conference schedule that includes national runner-up Ohio State and fellow semifinalist Denver to holding off Hofstra in the Colonial Athletic Association, the Tigers have plenty to occupy themselves.
Nadelen said he senses that the players have embraced his message.
“Almost half of our team is new, and a lot of them weren’t on the team last year,” he said. “The guys that were understand that was an exciting year, and let’s make it better. Let’s take it another step further because we were in position to do that and didn’t finish it off and didn’t provide ourselves with an opportunity to move onto that last day. We understand the work it took to get us to that point, and we understand we have to dedicate ourselves.”