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Shawn Nadelen says Pat Conroy needed more on Towson men's lacrosse defense than faceoffs

Last year, Pat Conroy demonstrated his versatility for Towson, lining up as a long-stick midfielder and taking faceoffs. He did the same thing in the team’s 8-7 decision over Georgetown on Saturday, winning 5-of-9 draws and picking up three ground balls.

But Tigers coach Shawn Nadelen said he would prefer to have the sophomore concentrate on playing defense rather than taking faceoffs.

“I’d rather have him stay in our defensive end of the field and not try to tax him too much as a faceoff guy,” Nadelen said Thursday. “But he’s always available. We’re not trying to make him a permanent fixture. We’ve got talented enough faceoff guys that we need to step up and do better there.”

Conroy teamed with freshman Alec Burckley (3-of-6, one ground ball) and sophomore Zach Gregory (0-of-4) to help No. 19 Towson (2-2) against the Hoyas. Sophomore Conor Pequigney, the team’s primary faceoff specialist, was given the day off after combining to win just 10 of 29 draws in back-to-back losses to No. 9 Johns Hopkins and No. 10 Loyola.

Nadelen said the day off was a chance for Pequigney to reset.

“I think every now and then, you need an opportunity to take a breather,” Nadelen said, adding that Pequigney has been battling an unspecified injury that has interfered with his focus. “Conor’s a competitive kid, and he wants to be out there. But he also needs to understand that he has to turn up his craft as well, and when he’s not playing the way he should be playing, it can be a little bit of an awakening.”

Nadelen said Pequigney has responded well with his play in practice this week, but declined to say whether he would handle a majority of the faceoffs when Mount St. Mary’s (0-4) visits Johnny Unitas Stadium in Towson on Saturday at 1 p.m.

“We’re not quite sure yet,” Nadelen said. “We’ve had some good competition through practice, and we’ll see what kind of pans out leading into the game on Saturday.”

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