--The Tigers Get Down on Friday
The past few mornings I've recapped the Tigers 2009 Playoff Run which put them in the CAA semifinals and just two games away from the NCAA Tournament. Despite their 11-20 season and 11th seed, the Tigers knocked off CAA contenders Drexel and Northeastern.
Towson's success was not solely in 2009 - in fact the Tigers have seemed to find success on the opening game of the CAA playoffs year after year. The Tigers are 4-1 in their last 5 postseason openers - last year's 75-69 loss to Drexel in the opening round was their first one-and-done since 2006.
Former Towson teams always had talent, despite what their records showed. While this year's squad is younger than previous teams their hustle is impressive. There's a reason they constantly outrebound other teams - there's a reason why Robert Nwankwo was named to the CAA All-Defensive team. They're not the most experienced, biggest, strongest or fastest - they simply out hustle their opponents.
Standing in their way at 2:30 today - their rivals, Delaware. Standing behind them is a history of first-round upsets.
--Men's Lax Opens the U
I spent a good chunk of my college experience at Johnny Unitas Stadium. I love that place.
Tomorrow, Men's lacrosse will open their home schedule after three straight road games at Jacksonville, then down Charles Street at Hopkins and Loyola - the Tigers will host Mount St. Mary's Saturday night.
Shawn Nadelen's squad will have to answer these three questions with their play on Saturday.
But I will attempt to answer them today....
1. Will the Tigers offense have a double-digit performance like in their win against Jacksonville?
My thoughts: Yes they will. Anthony Gilardi's offense, which he brought over from Navy, has been well respected....by opposing coaches. Both Dave Pietremala and Charles Tulley said during post-game press conferences how much they studied up on his offensive philosophy from watching and breaking down plenty of tape on Navy.
But I don't believe the Mount has the physical ability of these two top-ten teams, to take away scoring opportunities the way that Hopkins and Loyola did.
The greatest threat to the Tigers offense has been putting the ball on the ground and clearing - but in the short season so far, Towson doesn't seem to make the same mistakes twice. One
2. Will Travis Love start at goal? Will he come away with more saved than goals allowed?
My Thoughts: Yes he will start and Yes he will have more saves than goals allowed.
Travis is a seasoned goaltender with experience against national powerhouses like Maryland and Virginia. He split time in the cage last week - not out of neccesity but Nadelen said he planned to play Travis for at least half the game because he worked his way up during practice. I think this is the perfect setup to start his veteran goalie.
Last week - Loyola put on one of the most agressive offensive campaigns I've ever seen with 49 shots. They were shooting from the point A LOT and they were getting plenty of second chance shots, as well.
After watching that game tape, I would doubt any head coach with a stellar career as a defender would allow his team to not to take away those scoring chances from a team that does not have the same weapons Loyola did.
3. Will the Tigers beat the Mount?
My Thoughts: Yes they will. Towson will score double digits, they may not outshoot the Mount but there's no way in the world they allow another shooting clinic like they did last week.
Towson 11 - Mount 7