Thursday, May 13, 2010
NCAA 1st Round Preview
The Maryland Men's Lacrosse team (11-3, ACC at-large) will get a visit from Hofstra University (9-4, CAA at-large) this Saturday at noon in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Interestingly, the Pride did not even make their own conference tournament, but got an at-large bid. Between Notre Dame (7-6) and Hofstra, local rival Georgetown was left out of the tourney, but the Terps should not take this team lightly.
Seth Tierney, head coach of the Pride, said that "There are 16 teams playing and we couldn’t be happier," according to an article in The Chronicle. The Pride finished the year with wins over three top 20 teams (Army, Brown and Towson) as well as a top 10 win over Johns Hopkins. They were on the bubble with a 2-3 conference record.
Hofstra's offense is extremely potent. They put up 13.3 goals per game. Hofstra has 3 players who have scored at least 40 points this season, more than the Terps can say. The top scorer, #8 Jamie Lincoln, hails from Canada and has 33 goals with 20 assists. 53 points on the season just like Grant Catalino. Right behind Lincoln is another Canadian, #20 Jay Card (27G, 22A = 49 points). #14 Stephen Bentz (28G, 12A) rounds out the starters who have at least 40 total points.
Maryland's defense will surely be tested. Brian Phipps needs to step up and play like he has the last month. Laxpower.com just released it's All-American team and defender Brett Schmidt made the 1st team. Ken Clausen of UVA and Ryan Flanagan from UNC also made the team with a long pole from Syracuse, John Lade. Brett and Max will have to play like the All-Americans they have been in their careers to stifle Hofstra's offense.
#42 John Antoniades has taken a majority of the face-offs for the Pride. He is 73-135 for a .562 win percentage on face-offs. #7 Steve DeNapoli has scooped up 47 ground balls to lead the team. Overall, they have a 429-345 advantage.
Defensively they have given up 8.84 goals per game to opponents. There hasn't been 1 goalie to start more than 7 games for the season, but it seems as though Andrew Gvozden has secured the starting position with a 4-1 record with a 9.06 GAA. The last four games, 42 balls have found the back of the net while he has stopped just 30 shots.
Their man0up offense is 23-70 on the year, so as usual, Maryland will have the advantage if they can draw some yellow flags. The midfield will be important as they need to control the tempo of the game. Dan Burns, Jake Bernhardt, and Ryan Young need to keep the pace in favor of the Terps. Coach Cottle regularly uses around 30 players off his bench and that depth will come in handy against such a high octane offense. Look for the Terps to try and get on the board early. When Maryland gets off to a quick start, they gain a mental advantage as their opposition feels like they need to play catch-up.
Coach Cottle thinks very highly of the Pride, "they have Final Four talent." Catch all the action on wmucsports.com starting with pre-game analysis at 11:45 AM! Go Terps!