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Towson men’s lacrosse team moving on without two suspended starters

A pair of starters for the Towson men's lacrosse team in junior attackman Jon Mazza (No. 9, pictured here shooting against Duke on March 17, 2018) and senior defenseman Sid Ewell have been suspended indefinitely.
A pair of starters for the Towson men's lacrosse team in junior attackman Jon Mazza (No. 9, pictured here shooting against Duke on March 17, 2018) and senior defenseman Sid Ewell have been suspended indefinitely. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)

The Towson men’s lacrosse team is bracing for the possibility of playing the remainder of the season without a pair of starters who have been suspended indefinitely for violating unspecified team rules.

Junior attackman Jon Mazza and senior defenseman Sid Ewell did not play in Saturday’s 9-3 loss at Colonial Athletic Association rival Hofstra, and Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen said there is no timetable for their return at this point.

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“It’s a team thing, and we’re continuing to evaluate it,” he said Monday afternoon.

Redshirt junior attackman Dylan Kinnear has also been suspended, and his name and biography were removed from the team’s website.

Mazza leads Towson (3-6 overall, 0-1 CAA) in goals with 16 and points with 24 and is tied for the team lead in assists with eight. Ewell, a transfer from CCBC-Essex, has collected 10 ground balls and six caused turnovers.

The top five of Monday morning’s latest Maverik men’s lacrosse media poll now includes Albany, Maryland, Yale, Denver and – making its 2018 debut – Johns Hopkins.

Without Mazza, the offense converted just 13.0 percent of its shots (3-for-23) despite winning 11 of 16 faceoffs on Saturday. Junior Timmy Monahan started in Mazza’s place and finished with one goal and one assist. Ewell was replaced by freshman long-stick midfielder Koby Smith, who grabbed five ground balls and caused three turnovers.

Nadelen acknowledged that the loss of Mazza and Ewell stings, but said how Towson will respond during the rest of the season is up in the air.

“Obviously, I don’t have a crystal ball,” he said. “So all we’re doing as a team is understanding that when we step on the field, you can only practice and compete with the guys that you have.

“That’s something we have to continue to focus on — whether guys are with us on the field or not due to injury or, in this case, player suspensions. We’re a team for a reason.”

Asked whether the suspensions could galvanize the players, Nadelen replied: ‘I don’t know if it feels like a rallying point. I would just say that we’re in this together — through the good times and through the rough times. I think these guys understand that this is a situation where they need each other more and more, and I think they’re going to be able to support each other that way.”

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