Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Terps Travel To Tobacco Road in Pivotal Matchup
The Terps are getting ready to head down to Chapel Hill to take on the #2 team in the nation. Maryland and UNC are 2 of the last 4 remaining undefeated teams remaining in D-1 Lacrosse. Virginia, the unanimous #1 team in Men's Lacrosse, was expected to be without a loss at this point in the season, but the biggest surprise of the entire season has been the Lafayette Leopards, who have climbed to the #10 spot in the country. There sudden ascension to the top of college lacrosse is due in large part to the play of Tewaaraton Watch List candidate, junior attackman Stefan Bauer, who has 16 assists and 9 goals in 2010.
But all eyes will be tuned in to the game down in North Carolina which pits the top two players in lax this season, Billy Bitter of the Tar Heels and Grant Catalino. Catalino has 29 points through 6 games this season which is the most since 2002, when Dave Cottle came to College park. UNC has risen quickly in the rankings nationally and in conference, breaking a looooooong losing streak in ACC tournament play with a 16-10 victory over the Terps in 2009.
The Tar Heels return 3 All-Americans from last year including Bitter and Sean DeLaney who combined for 114 points last season. The 3rd star of the team has to be Ryan Flanagan who leads the team on defense and shadowed Duke's Ned Crotty and one of UMBC's All American from last year, Alex Hopmann. One of the best best on-ball defenders in the nation for sure. James Petracca started 6 games last year, including two in the ACC Tournament and 2 more in the NCAA Tournament.
The Terps need to come out strong and get quality play and scoring from the 1st and 2nd midfield units. If both can put pressure on UNC and make the Tar Heels play catch up, they can lean on Phipps and the rest of the long poles who have kept opponents under 10 goals for 3 games in a row. With a daunting schedule looming, the Terrapins are in their make-or-break stretch and at 6-0, this team looks like it's finally ready to make some big noise.
Remember to tune in to wmucsports.com for the 2p.m. game this Saturday. Pre-game show will start around 1:45p.m.