Fall Snapshot: Towson Tigers

(Photo Courtesy of Towson Athletics)

Welcome to the Fall Snapshot series. Throughout the fall I will be taking an early look at all 75 DI men’s college lacrosse teams and giving a snapshot of where each is heading into the 2023 season.

Head Coach: Shawn Nadelen (12th Season, 2012-Current)

Towson 2022 Record: 7-9 (3-2 CAA)

Key Departures: James Avanzato (A), Luke Shilling (M), Koby Smith (D), Shane Brennan (G)

Key Returners: Nick DeMaio (A), Kyle Berkeley (M), Ryan Swain (M), Matt Constantinides (FO), Reece Potter (SSDM), Garrett Zungailia (D)

Transfer Additions: John Kiracofe (G, Michigan)

Towson is coming off a 2022 campaign in which it went 7-9 overall and saw its season end in the CAA title game with an 11-6 loss to Delaware. The Blue Hens were one of two teams, along with Hofstra, to have beaten the Tigers in league play.

Towson opened up CAA play with consecutive wins over Drexel and UMass before going 1-3 through the last three weeks of the regular season. That lone win came against Fairfield, 12-8. Towson defeated UMass once more in the conference semifinals to punch their ticket to the CAA title game for the first time since 2019.

After a spring in which the Tigers very much punched back into the upper tier of the CAA after multiple down years, Shawn Nadelen’s squad will be looking to push further in 2023. And with as much talent as this squad has back, accomplishing that is not out of the question.

Burning Questions

Who Starts in Cage?

Shane Brennan served as the primary starter for four of the past five seasons for Towson. He capped off his career with Tigers last season with 165 saves and a 52.5% save percentage. Now, the Tigers will be looking to fill that void in cage and anchor this defense.

Evan Long is the most experienced of the three returners at the position. Long played in six games last spring and saw three starts (@ Saint Joseph’s, vs Duke, @ Denver). He made 41 saves with a 53.2% save percentage on the year.

In addition to Long, the Tigers return sophomore Luke Downs and junior Bryce Kendrigan in cage. Downs saw limited action in two games last spring while Kendrigan didn’t see any action. Towson also brings in freshman Matthew Nilan at the position. John Kiracofe comes in as a grad transfer from Michigan. He served as the starter for the Wolverines in 2021.

How Good Can The Offense Be?

Last spring, Towson averaged 11.25 goals per game as the 39th-best scoring offense in DI (fifth in CAA). From that unit, the Tigers only lose two top five scorer in James Avanzato (31G/25A) and Luke Shilling (21G/19A). The 96 points between the two is the only major production the Tigers’ offense loses from last season.

Nick DeMaio (36G/9A) is the Tigers’ top returning attackman while Kyle Berkeley (25G/18A) is the team’s top returning midfielder. In addition, Ryan Swain (9G/5A) and Alex Reid (9G/2A) are back for fifth seasons at the midfield. Chop Gallagher (9G/4A) returns as a junior after being a key reserve last season. Andrew Milani (8G/2A) and Josh Webber (8G/1A) combined for 16 starts at attack and midfield last season and return. Freshman midfielder Michael Weisshaar is also expected to be a big factor on the offense.

Towson had a very solid top six on offense last season, but it was also that unit’s depth that helped the Tigers stand out on that end. With a good chunk of top end talent and experienced reserves back in 2023, this Towson offense could be a very good unit once more and even improve from a year ago.

Does The Faceoff Success Continue to Go Up?

As a freshman in 2022, Matt Constantinides assumed the role as the primary faceoff man for the Tigers and went 147-323 (45.5%) on the year. Against CAA competition, Constantinides went 88-for-181 (48%). Overall, Towson had a team winning percentage of 43.6% last season.

Last season marked the first time since 2019 that Towson went 40% of above at the dot as a team. The Tigers were the in 30s during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. With Constantinides back as the primary option in 2023, can Towson continue to improve at the dot and keep trending back towards that 50% or better mark?

Potential Breakout Player

Josh Webber, Midfield, Junior

As a sophomore last spring, Webber began the year as a reserve before earning starts in each of final nine games of the season. He put up eight goals and one assist for nine points. In 2023, look to Webber to be among those who take a step forward on this offense.

Freshman Class

Per the Lacrosse Bucket recruiting database, Towson brings in a 12-man freshman class with its 2022 recruiting efforts. The class is headlined by Under Armour All-American midfielder Michael Weisshaar (Archbishop Spalding,Md.). Rated as a five-star by Inside Lacrosse, the star studded freshman is the highest rated recruit Towson has gotten in some time and expected to do big things for his hometown team.

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