Towson works to spark intensity
After starting the season with three losses, Head Coach Greg Paynter said that the Tigers need to start out games with more intensity if they are going to be successful in conference games.
“It’s about work ethic and changing our approach,” Paynter said. “We need to have a blue-collar approach and I think we’ve forgotten what was the key to winning games last year, which was out-working our opponents.”
After getting out-shot 46-18 in the first three games of the season, the Tigers are looking to bounce back against cross-town rival Loyola.
“We can’t afford to start out slow,” Paynter said. “We’ve just been flat. We gave up a goal about 15 seconds into the game against DePaul, and we played poorly in the first half against Valparasio. It’s just been an absolute mental nightmare. Part of that comes back to the coaching staff, and some of it comes back to the players.”
Towson’s biggest challenge this year will be dealing with the youth of its players, Paynter said. The team lost six players from last year, including Courtney McKee, who was fourth on the team in goals and assists.
“I think certainly we’re expecting for [Senior forward] Cheyenne Skidmore and [Junior forward] Emily Banes to have big years,” he said. “They both are returning and had very good offensive years and should be a very good 1-2 combination up top. On top of that, [Sophomore goalkeeper] Erin Quinn will be a key to what we do, and even though we’ve let in seven goals, she’s played very well and has had a big impact on the first three games.”
Skidmore has performed well so far this season, scoring one goal against DePaul and taking a team-leading five shots. Banes has started one game this year, and has not had any shots or goals.
The Tigers start off their season with a tough road schedule, playing Loyola, Maryland, George Washington, Navy and West Virginia before playing their first two Colonial Athletic Association games on the road against Delaware and Drexel. Towson does not play a home game until Friday, Sept. 28 against Old Dominion.
Paynter said that the team purposely set up their schedule that way to prepare the young team for challenging road games that they will face during CAA play.
“I’m not concerned with the slow start, disappointed, but not concerned,” Paynter said. “We have a tough non-conference schedule on the road to start off the season, but it’s important that we steal a few conference games on the road this year, something that we couldn’t do last year.”