• Grant Catalino has turned the Face-Off Classic into his own personal playground. Catalino was named the game's MVP for the second straight year after a career-best five goals, including the game-winner - the first OT goal of his entire playing career. In two games played at the Face-Off Classic vs. the Blue Devils Catalino has 12 points on seven goals and five assists. I guess he didn't like it too much that his first game without a point came at Duke during his freshman season.
• Maybe it's not the Face-Off Classic, but it's M&T Bank Stadium that brings out the best in Catalino. If you throw in the two goals and one assist he tallied in the Day of Rivals clash with Johns Hopkins, he has 15 points on nine goals and six assists. Numbers like that could bode well for the Terps if they can get back to the home of the Ravens on Memorial Day weekend.
• Just looking at the stat sheet makes you wonder how Maryland won the game. Duke had more shots, groundballs and face-off wins. They had a higher clearing percentage, fewer turnovers and more caused turnovers. Of course, the one stat the Blue Devils didn't win was the one kept on the scoreboard and that is directly correlated to shooting percentage. Duke took 37 shots to Maryland's 29, but the Terps scored 11 goals on those shots for a shooting percentage of 37.9. Duke finished with a shooting percentage of 27.0. If you haven't read the stat in the weekly game notes, Maryland is now 34-1 since 2005 when shooting better than 30% for a game.
• The Terps' starting close defense has had much better days, but don't let the stats fool you (the trio combined for three groundballs and two caused turnovers). Sure it's the defense's job to keep the other team from scoring goals, but the fairest way to judge how a unit is performing is to look at how it does in six-on-six situations and going by that the Terps had a pretty good day vs. the Blue Devils. Six of Duke's 10 goals came in 6-v-6 sets, but two of those were during unsettled (or unusual) situations. Both instances ended with goals by Max Quinzani, who finished with three total on the day. The first of those was on a rebound off of a shot that hit the pipe that Quinzani one-handed into the goal and the other came when a Zach Howell shot went wide of the net and Ned Crotty happened to be in the perfect spot to get the groundball and flip a pass to Quinzani, who scored before the defense even knew what had happened. The bottom line of all of this is that there's no reason to go Chicken Little (you know ... "The sky is falling. The sky is falling.") on the Terrapin defense just yet. When it all shakes out this unit will be just fine and the numbers will fall in line with where it has been over the past few seasons.
• Another bit from the redundancy file ... how good is Brian Farrell? Last year no one believed that one player could make such a difference, but now that we have three games to look back on it's pretty easy to see what he brings to the Terps every time he's on the field. The scary part is that Farrell himself said last week that he's not even at 100% yet. Can't wait to see what he can do when he is.
One thing that came out last week was the Watch List for the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy. Maryland has two very deserving players on the list in Brian Farrell and Ryan Young, but one has to wonder how Grant Catalino was left off the list, especially when you consider that the list has 65 names on it. Does that mean that the selection committee doesn't consider Catalino to be one of the top 65 players in the country? Names will be added at some point during the year (Terp fans will remember Xander Ritz being added in 2006), but it does make you wonder what they were thinking.
Saturday's game vs. Towson will be pretty special for a couple of reasons.
• It will be Maryland's first game back at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium since topping Denver in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in May of 2008. If you want to get technical it will be the Terps' first ever game on Capital One Field, since it was Chevy Chase Bank Field back then.
• For the seniors and juniors on the team it will be a return to Byrd, but for 21 sophomores and freshmen it will be their first time ever playing in there.
• The Towson game will mean a little bit more to three players on the field. Terp redshirt junior Eric Boyle will get his first shot at his old team. Boyle transferred to Maryland in the fall of 2008, but was not given his release by the Tigers and had to sit out the 2009 season. The Tigers have two former Terps on their roster in goalie Rob Wheeler and midfielder Will Harrington. Both were a part of the 2006 team. Wheeler redshirted the year and was a practice goalie, while Harrington played in three games as a reserve defensive midfielder.
One thing that the return to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium brings is the opportunity to watch the game in comfort or luxury. The weather on Saturday is forecast for temps in the low 60s with a 60% chance of showers. If you don't want to get wet and stay warm there are two options for you. First, you can buy season Mezzanine seats for $40 each. Mezzanine seating area and include such features as chair backs, armrests, and over-head heaters. It is also the only seating in the general stadium under cover to protect you from inclement weather. The second option is to watch the game in luxury from one of The Suites at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, which can be leased either on a season or single-game basis. Suites are available along the South sideline on levels 2,3 and 4 of the new facility. Suite leases are available for a single game for $1,200 or a season package for $4,000. Interested fans can e-mail Beth Deskins or call her at 301-314-7019.
Before I wrap this up for the week I hope fans are appreciating the quality of lacrosse being played this year. This past weekend eight of the top 10 teams in the country squared off against each other. Three of those (#7 Md.- #9 Duke, #5 Hopkins- #6 Princeton and #2 UVa- #1 Cuse) were decided by one goal and #4 ND topped #10 Loyola by two goals. The other two top 10 teams were also challenged this weekend with #3 UNC topping a scrappy UMBC team, 12-7, and #8 Cornell being taken to overtime by Army before pulling out a 12-11 win. This may be the most wide-open field of teams in a long time with a dozen or so capable of making a run to get to M&T Bank Stadium in May. I don't know how it's all going to shake out, but I will enjoy the ride and I hope fans do too.
Coach Cottle's Comments were posted on Monday and the Weekly Award Winners were announced earlier today so be sure to check those out. The highlight tape from the Duke game arrived from ESPN this morning at 10:16, so look for the highlights on YouTube and umterps on Thursday. I know a lot of fans want to get another look at the Ryan Young-Travis Reed fake-flip behind the goal one more time.