Here is the second installment of a series that checks in with the seven Division I programs in the state to give a glimpse into the past and the future. Teams are scheduled to appear according to the chronological order in which their seasons ended. Monday’s visit was with Navy. Tuesday’s visit is with Towson.
The good: After wrapping up 2011 with a 3-10 overall record and a 1-5 Colonial Athletic Association mark that got former coach Tony Seaman dismissed, the team went 7-8 overall and 2-4 in the conference, finishing in fourth place and qualifying for the league tournament. It was a positive step, according to coach Shawn Nadelen. “Our guys put themselves in position to do that with some strong wins throughout the year,” he said. “And I think with how much we asked of them this year and their ability to get some strong character wins with the Hofstra and UMBC games, it really showed that the hard work and attention to detail were helping them find the field. I think towards the end of the season, we wore down and didn’t quite have that pop in our game that we did throughout most of the year, but I think confidencewise, our guys really grew up this year, especially the young group of freshmen and sophomores.” … Defensively, the Tigers surrendered 9.9 goals per game this spring, which was an alarming increase from the 8.2 average last year. But the team discovered its starting goalkeeper for the next season in junior Andrew Wascavage, who recorded a .567 save percentage and a 9.53 goals-against average and made at least 10 saves in five of his last six starts. “I’ve seen a lot of goalies in my day, and he was pretty much right up there in terms of how well he was seeing the ball and him being able to save the ball at a consistent pace,” Nadelen said. “As we got into CAA play, he was extremely impressive with double-digit saves on a consistent basis. When teams were peppering him, it would’ve been easy for a goalie to shut it down, especially in some of the games where we were giving up a lot of shots. But he just kept stepping up and making the saves as much as he could and tried to keep us in the fight. So he was extremely impressive for us.” … Both freshmen Jojo Ostrander and Justin Mabus were named to the CAA All-Rookie team, but Mabus’ emergence was more surprising to Nadelen. Mabus finished second on Towson in assists with 11 and tied for sixth in points with 15, but his transition to the collegiate game impressed Nadelen. “I wasn’t quite sure with him coming out of high school how well he would develop and how quickly he would develop,” Nadelen said. “He comes from a strong program, so that wasn’t really the question. It was just his own personal game, and I was really impressed with Justin and how well he adapted. He’s got a great knack and IQ for the game, which I think really helped him out, and his size is a plus as well.”