Towson's struggles on offense also affecting defense

Lack of scoring punch puts onus on defense to limit opponents' opportunities even more

May 01, 2012|By Edward Lee

Towson’s four-game losing skid includes setbacks of 8-3 to No. 10 Penn State on April 14 and 6-3 to St. Joseph’s this past Saturday.

Surrendering eight and six goals would usually be an opportunity for wins, but coach Shawn Nadelen said an offense that has scored just three times in the second halves of those four contests has ramped up the pressure on the defense to be even stingier.

“It’s decent,” Nadelen said of the defense. “But as far as where we’ve been leading up to that game, I wouldn’t be overly excited or confident that we’d be able to win that game, knowing that we’ve only scored three goals three times and five goals in the previous four games. We need to be better defensively.”

The task doesn’t get easier on Wednesday night as the Tigers (7-7) tangle with a 13-0 Massachusetts squad that ranks third in Division I in defense, allowing just 6.7 goals per game this season. Towson scored just three times in an 11-goal loss to the Minutemen on April 7.

Nadelen said the team is working on adding a few wrinkles to reinvigorate the offense.

“It’s a big concern,” he said. “We’re preparing for UMass, and we’re putting in some things that we think are going to help us win against them. But we’re playing against ourselves right now. Keeping UMass in mind during practice, we’ve got to make sure that we understand what they do and what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. It comes down to the execution as far as how well we run things offensively, being able to connect the dots with moving the ball, and then putting the exclamation point on it when we have the opportunities. We know how physical they are and how tough and aggressive that UMass defense is. We’ve obviously struggled up there a few weeks ago. I think that’s the part of the challenge that our guys are excited about.”

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