Thursday, April 29, 2010
Fairfield University Preview
Just two days away from the first of two games to tune-up for the NCAA Tournament. Maryland made a strong case this past weekend for a potential #2 seed. With the 3rd highest RPI and the toughest schedule in the nation, the Terps, although they have 3 losses on the season, are in a great position if they can take care of business against Fairfield University and Colgate in the upcoming weeks.
Fairfield (8-4, 4-2 MAAC) is coming of a 9-8 loss to #16 Denver on April 24th. That loss dropped them out of the rankings. The Stags were previously ranked #17 in the country. Away from their home field, they have an impressive 3-1 record, while they are close to .500 at home with a 4-3 mark on their own turf.
As a team, the Stags score 8.83 goals per game while they only give up 7.42 goals each contest. In fact, the highlight of their team is Senior Goalkeeper Joe Marra. He sports the nation's best statistics while standing between the pipes, giving up a stellar 7.09 GAA. His save percentage is an astounding 61.6% as he has given up just 81 goals on the season. Marra has 130 saves which is just 12 shy of the Stags single-season top-10 list. With a game against the high-powered Terrapin offense which normally out-shoots their opponent, Marra should be well on his way into the top spots in his school's record books.
Fairfield University's offense has scored 106 goals while the entire team has yielded just 89 scores to opponents. Leading the way up top on attack is a freshman. #24 Sam Snow (15G, 12A), is the only Stag who has more than 20 points this season. The 6-3 200 pound force has been named ECAC rookie of the week 4 times this season. Against Denver, he notched his second career hat trick. An assist gave him 4 points on the game which was also the second time he has accomplished that feat since getting to college.
There are 8 other Stags with at least 11 points on the 2010 season. #13 Max Trunz (7G, 11A) and #6 Matt Plominski (10G, 6A) follow Snow on Fiarfield's current team. Snow does lead the team in each scoring category. #37 Steve Golmont takes most of the Face-Offs for coach Andrew Copelan. He has won 93 of the 182 face-offs he has taken this year (good for a .511 win percentage) while the team as a whole wins .494 of the pure 50/50 balls. Fairfield holds a 347-322 advantage according to the ground ball statistic. Maryland's newfound focus on playing a more physical brand of lacrosse should benefit them in this game. Bryn Holmes has the advantage on paper and the toughest player Cottle has ever coached has the chance to get Maryland's offense off to a great start.
The EMO story is one of two distinct tales. Maryland leads the country when they play with a man-up while Fairfield has converted on 16 of 36 chances when they have an extra man on the field. Fairfield has out-shot their opponents on the season, 240-224.
As we just saw last night in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, a hot goalie can change a game and easily win one for a team. If Marra plays lights out, the Terps will have trouble getting on the scoreboard. However, the level of competition clearly favors the Terps. Fairfield has played just 3 teams that are currently ranked in the top 20. The Terps seem to have a top 5 or 10 show-down every week these days. If the Terrapins can play up to their ability and come out strong, they might be able to win the battle on the field as well as the mental one.
Listen to wmucsports.com for all the action. Go Terps!