Transferring to TU was Alex Woodall’s ‘Best Decision Ever’

By Kyle Hobstetter on March 28, 2019

During his time at TU, the men’s lacrosse senior has lost 30 pounds and helped the Tigers reach the Final Four and their first No. 1 ranking

TU Lacrosse's Alex Woodall
Alex Woodall, who is a senior lacrosse player from Annapolis, transferred to TU from High Point University. Behind Woodall, the Tigers have reached a NCAA Tournament Final Four and the program's first No. 1 ranking. 

When he was looking at his college options, Alex Woodall felt his best choice would be away from home.

The Annapolis native didn’t want to go where he already knew a bunch of people. He wanted a fresh start. 

So as the No. 10 ranked lacrosse player in the country, Woodall started his academic and lacrosse careers at High Point University in North Carolina.

But as his freshman year went on, Woodall didn’t feel at home. And while he initially thought Towson University wasn’t ideal for him, he began to feel he needed to move closer to home and become a Tiger.

That only intensified when he watched the Tigers struggle with faceoffs in the NCAA Tournament. That’s when Woodall, a faceoff specialist, truly started to think about transferring to TU.

“My family and I just sat down and watched that game and they just lost every faceoff,” Woodall says. “(Towson) had the better team and we thought they should have won the game, but they just couldn’t win the faceoffs. 

“It was then I thought, maybe I should have gone to TU.”

It was the summer after his freshman year that Woodall was driving with his friends and he called TU men’s lacrosse coach Shawn Nadelen to see if there was room for him on the Tigers’ roster. 

Nadelen told him he wouldn’t have a scholarship and he would have to earn his spot, but there was room for him. There was also one more caveat — he had to fill out an application on the same day he talked to Nadelen, because it was last day the university was accepting them.

So Woodall pulled off the road. He and his friends went into a McDonald’s and put together an application inside the restaurant. The rest was history. 

“Transferring was for the best because I want to go to a school that I love,” Woodall says. “I saw other people say, ‘I love my school, I love my school,’ and I didn’t really feel that at High Point. And now that I’ve come here, it’s one of those things where I can say that I love Towson University.” 

It’s easy to see why he’s grown to love Towson University. In his three years at TU, the men’s lacrosse team has won a CAA Championship, reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament and achieved the first No. 1 ranking in program history

But it was tough for his parents for him to leave High Point. Woodall had a good scholarship, and he was leaving that for just a chance at TU.  So while he didn't have his parents’ blessing, he still contacted Towson University without his parents’ knowledge. 

But after he earned a scholarship and found success as a Tiger, Woodall says his parents are thrilled that he took the initiative to transfer.

“Now I think they’re happier than me that I made the decision to come here,” Woodall laughs. “They remind me after a good day or a good game that ‘This was the best decision and we’re so happy you came to Towson.’”

Alex Woodall in game action
Woodall has lost 30 pounds since last season, and is three wins away from becoming TU's all-time leader in faceoff wins.

But after a disappointing junior season, the communications major wanted to find a way to help his team. After weighing close to 250 pounds his junior season, he spent the offseason working on his diet and in the gym with TU alumni Matt and Brian Vetter. 

The Vetter brothers, who both played lacrosse at TU and were Woodall’s seventh-grade lacrosse coaches, helped him with his diet and also worked out with him in the mornings.

It was through that hard work that Woodall’s weight dropped to 220 pounds. 

“It’s nice knowing that I made the change and it’s not only benefited me but also my teammates,” Woodall says. “I definitely notice it, my team definitely notices it and I hope to keep it going and help us go far.”

The weight loss has helped Woodall continue his success in faceoffs. In fact, entering Saturday’s game against Hofstra, Woodall is just three wins away from setting the TU record for career faceoff wins.

His effort and success has also reached the external lacrosse community. In early March, Woodall was selected by the Ohio Machine as the first overall selection in the Major League Lacrosse Draft. 

But most important for Woodall, his teammates saw the change and elected him as a captain for his senior season. After earning the captain designation, Woodall knows for sure that transferring three years ago was the right move.

“(Being named captain) was one of the biggest moments of my life and something that I’ll never forget because it’s an honor no matter where you are,” Woodall says. “Looking back at the whole story of how I got here, I didn’t think I would be a captain.

“To being named captain, and doing the best I can to help us win, I can’t express how amazing these past three years have been.”

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This story is one of several related to President Kim Schatzel’s priorities for Towson University: TIGER Way.