Justin Mabus
Courtesy: Rich Riggins
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Justin Mabus
2014 Towson Lacrosse Preview Pt. 2
Courtesy: Athletics Media Relations  
Release: 01/28/2014
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This is the second part of the preseason outlook for the 2014 Towson Lacrosse team.

Defensive Midfield

A member of the 2013 CAA All-Rookie team, sophomore Pat Conroy has moved to the defensive midfield after playing 12 games at close defense and becoming Towson’s primary face-off man. He missed the first six games of the 2013 season due to illness but quickly made an impact for the Tigers.

Classmate Dan Livingston was another newcomer who made waves in his first season as a Tiger, seeing significant time in the defensive midfield. He posted his first career assist in the CAA championship win over No. 9 Penn State.

Freshmen Tyler Mayes and Tyler Young have potential to make contributions in this area. Mayes is a local product, playing his high school lacrosse at Calvert Hall College. Mayes’ teams were an MIAA-A finalist in 2011 and won the title in 2012.

Head Coach Shawn Nadelen calls Young “pound-for-pound probably the strongest and fastest player on the team.” He plays with consistency and level-headedness. Young started on Arundel High School’s varsity squad, captaining it for two seasons. He scored 65 goals, added 71 assists and totaled 223 ground balls for his career.

Face-Offs

A debate has raged in college lacrosse about the correlation between winning face-offs and winning games. Towson seems to be an outlier here, winning 141 of 386 face-offs (.365) while going 10-8 on the year.

Last season, Conroy took the most face-offs as a long pole, and he may still have a role at the “X” in 2014. But sophomore Conor Pequigney, who went 31-for-79 on face-offs (.392) in 2013, returned to campus and played well in fall ball – competing strongly against Richmond but struggling early in the team’s Black & Gold game before regaining his form in the second half to help his team win.

Sophomore Zack Gregory is another part of the returning face-off corps. He went 41-for-101 for the season, and his 41.6 percent on face-offs was the best on the squad.

Freshman Alec Burckley could also see time on face-offs.  He earned a slew of all-county, all-conference, and all-state honors both as a junior and a senior, while his Ridge High School team won the 2013 county, Group 4 state and Tournament of Champions titles. The New Jersey native holds his high school’s record for career ground balls (461) and posted a 63 percent career face-off percentage.

Offensive Midfield

The Tigers return the bulk of their offensive midfield from 2013. Junior Ben McCarty earned Cascade National Rookie of the Week honors as well as a spot on the CAA All-Tournament team after he scored six goals in the semifinal win over Drexel. McCarty finished the year with 13 goals and five assists for 18 points. He also had 25 ground balls.

Junior Greg Cuccinello had an explosive sophomore campaign. He scored one goal and two assists in 2012 before tallying 23 goals and six assists last season. The 2014 captain stared 15 of 18 games and was the team’s third-leading scorer. Cuccinello scored the game-winning goal at Navy, in what was a major turning point in the 2013 season.

Junior Justin Mabus is another integral part of the midfield. His production over the last two seasons has been consistent – four goals and 11 assists in 2012 and eight goals and 16 assists in 2013. His solid play is key to the Tigers’ success. Sophomore Brian Bolewicki stepped up last season, scoring four goals and posting four assists. He is expected to continue to improve and contribute.

Newcomers Mike Lynch and Matt Leonard add depth to the midfield.  Lynch totaled 40 goals and 25 assists for his career at Boys Latin. He and the Lakers reached the MIAA championship game and finished the 2013 season ranked third in the country.

Leonard played attack at Winston Churchill High School, but Nadelen believes his best opportunity to fit into the Tigers’ rotation is as a middie. Leonard will have opportunities up top and behind the cage.

On Wednesday, the season outlook series will wrap up with the attack unit.


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