Thursday, May 19, 2016
John Mazza At Towson Lacrosse
Coach Shawn Nadelen was not sure what Towson would get from midfielder Jon Mazza in his first year on the collegiate level. But it did not take long for the Davidsonville resident to make an impression.
Despite playing on the second line, Mazza ranks sixth on the Tigers (16-2) in goals (15) and points (22). He has been especially productive in his last 11 games in which he has posted 19 points on 13 goals and six assists.
Nadelen acknowledged that he didn’t initially have high expectations for Mazza.
“When I recruited him, I thought he was more of a guy who would be able to create for himself but wasn’t a great shooter mechanically,” Nadelen said Tuesday. “He’s still working on that, but I’m more impressed with his field sense and awareness and his vision and his ability in being more of a complete player, not just a shooting kind of guy. He can dodge with his head up, feed, make the right looks, and pass it. He does a really good job of being more of a complete midfielder than being more one-dimensional.”Mazza -- whose brother Nick is a junior midfielder for No. 7 seed Loyola Maryland (13-3), which will clash with Towson in Sunday’s NCAA tournament quarterfinal at 2:30 p.m. in Columbus -- has been welcomed by his teammates for his easygoing personality.
“He’s got nothing but confidence, and the kid does throw a skip pass that he shouldn’t, but he’s always trying to make a play for the team,” said redshirt senior midfielder Ben McCarty (South Carroll). “I can always rally behind a guy like him.”
Confident in his own abilities, Mazza is willing to take some ribbing from older players while also dishing it out. Nadelen said Mazza hasn’t let his youth prevent him from trying to make an immediate impact.
"He's a confident kid--even as a freshman," Nadelen said. “He’s a fun kid because you can mess with him and joke with him. He’s got that personality where he’s confident, but not overly cocky -- at least with us coaches. I know with his teammates, the older guys especially love just hammering him, which is great because he gives it right back to them. There’s that mutual respect between those guys. He still realizes that he’s a freshman and that he has to do what freshmen do, but he has been a key player for us.”