No one knows how No. 18 Towson will react after being dealt a 15-8 thumping by No. 13 Johns Hopkins on Saturday at Homewood Field. Could the Tigers' first loss of the season impact them negatively as they prepare to visit No. 14 Loyola Wednesday at Ridley Athletic Complex?
"Hopefully not too much," coach Shawn Nadelen said Monday morning. "I think our guys understand that we were our own worst enemy out there on the field. Hopkins is a team that is very good, and they capitalized on a lot of our mistakes and miscues and issues. They’re very opportunistic. The main things for us is to not let it be a long hangover and for our guys to rebound and refocus. We need to play a much better game, a much more composed and better executed game than what we did against Johns Hopkins."
Towson (1-1) actually held a 5-3 advantage with 8:59 left in the second quarter before the Blue Jays (2-0) scored three straight to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. The Tigers actually missed an opportunity to knot the score before intermission.
“We had an opportunity to tie it up,” Nadelen recalled. “[Junior midfielder] Justin Mabus just bobbled a great feed on the crease from [freshman midfielder] Ryan Drenner. We had great momentum when we got the 5-3 lead. Our guys were feeling excited and getting going. They called a timeout to settle themselves down, and I think we just didn’t allow ourselves to make the plays needed after that timeout to make sure that we were keeping the momentum on our side. Credit Hopkins for coming out and executing better. That’s something I’ve obviously got to do better as a coach, make sure that I get our guys prepared to weather any kind of storm, that we stay focused and are ready to play.”
One silver lining was the play of junior goalkeeper Tyler White. After surrendering eight goals and making just four saves in an 11-8 victory over High Point on Feb. 8, White finished with 18 stops against Johns Hopkins.
“I thought Tyler was really, really impressive in the net,” Nadelen said. “I was excited to see him respond the way that he did after a mediocre performance against High Point. That just gives him a lot of confidence, and it gives the team a lot of confidence in him. Thankfully, he made 18 saves because Hopkins still had 15 goals and if he doesn’t make a lot of those saves, they could have had 20, 25 goals. So Tyler was up to the task and did his part. We’ve got to be a lot better in front of him.”