Becoming Towson

TUSoccer2

Towson Center Soccer Complex (photo: Amy Topp/ Towson University student)

At times soccer is referred to as “the world’s game”; the Towson University men’s soccer team embodies this classification.  With players spanning from four different European countries, Columbia and across America, this years team supports the title “the world’s game.”

Along with a roster comprised of over 50 percent underclassmen, the Tigers have had their fair share of hurdles this season.  After starting the season 3-1, Towson has dropped its last four matches.  “We’ve yet to actually become Towson,” said junior defender and co-captain Scott Horta.

“I think we’re a little diverse with culture,” Horta said, “We just have to buy into that we need to play like Towson . . . it’s got to be something where all eleven have bought into it, we want to play one single way and that’s Towson ball.”

Now that conference matches have begun, the Tigers face the uphill battle of an 0-2 start in Colonial Athletic Association play, with nine more conference matches remaining.  The Tigers line-up will now feature junior defender Phil Greatwich, who had been injured to start the season. 

“I think with him [Greatwich] not there we lost a lot of confidence,” Horta said, “He’s in now, he’s focused, we’re focused, he gives us a lot of confidence.” 

Most teams face injury problems throughout a season, but the Tigers know they can’t let that be an excuse.  “We’ve been a bit unlucky this year, I’m not trying to make excuses, we’ve had a lot injuries, if we can get everyone fit and consistently playing we’ve got the talent to do well in this conference,” said sophomore goal keeper John Steele, the other Tiger co-captain.

Recently, the Tigers fell to Drexel University in double overtime by an unorthodox score of 6-5.  “When you score five goals, 99 times out of 100, you expect to win the game,” Steele said.

During their three-game losing streak, prior to the Drexel match, Towson was held to one goal during that time.  Although it was a loss, the Tigers can take a positive outlook on scoring five times in their latest match.  Currently ahead of last years 11.2 shots per game, the team has averaged 12.9 shots per game this season.  “As long as we’re getting chances we’ll work on that [scoring goals], it’s a problem when we’re not getting shot and that means you’re not going to score unless you shoot,” Horta said.

“It was just a matter of getting guys sharp around the box again,” coach Frank Olszewski, “Some days they [goals] fall for you and some days they don’t.”

With the team becoming healthy and confidence remaining high, Towson will look to halt their current losing streak when they play George Mason University on Oct. 7.

“Right now we’re 0-2, if we win this game tomorrow [versus George Mason] we’re back in it,” Horta said, “As long as we have that kind of positive attitude it’s going to carry forward.”

Olszewski has his squad ready, taking the one game at a time approach; he says they will look to take another step forward in their improvement.

“You’ve got to be playing significant time together so there is a time and a way to gel, and you’ve to be able to be in sink,” Olszewski said. 

Even in the midst of a losing streak confidence is not lost with the Tigers.  “Our team is good enough to match any team in the conference,” said Steele.

– – – – –

UPDATE: In their Oct. 7 match versus George Mason, Towson overcame a 1-0 second half deficit to defeat the Patriots 2-1.  Marco Mangione converted a penalty kick and Liam Maloney added the game winner giving Towson its first conference victory of the year.

2 Responses to “Becoming Towson”

  1. What an in-depth story. And your blog page looks great. How long have you been working on it? It looks like you have done intense ammounts of work. Would this post be reaction, research or interview? It kind of embodies all three. You could almost use this as a module. Good work, I like it. I am just confused as to what category it fits into.

    • Aside from following the team, S.I.D. was very helpful in setting me up with interviews. Writing about soccer is what I do ( http://worldsoccerreader.com/author/dtopp ), so this came naturally to me.
      This is actually for a seperate class, where my beat is the Towson soccer team. So sadly it doesn’t fit into any 407 catagory. I do appreciate the kind words though…

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