It's another two-game weekend for the Terps this week and in this edition of the Maryland Men's Lacrosse Blog we'll get into the games vs. UMBC and St. Joseph's, take a look back at the Towson game, get a complete (or as complete as we can get) history of 100-point scorers and breakdown the Terps' shooting so far this season.
The Towson Game
No one should be pulling a Chicken Little and screaming, "The sky is falling!" after winning a road game at Towson.
Did the Terps look great in their 8-4 win? Not entirely, but this wasn't a horrific effort. On the contrary, it could be said that this was a quality effort vs. a very good defensive team.
The Tigers might have been 1-2 going into the game vs. the Terps, but they were fifth in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 5.3 goals per game.
Now lets look into the game a bit more:
• Maryland won the game, won the groundball battle (31-21), won more face-offs (9-7) and won the goalie battle (9 saves to 4). That's pretty one sided.
• Maryland took a two-goal lead at the 8:59 mark of the second quarter and the game never got closer than that.
• The Terps had the ball for the majority of the first half (approx. 16 minutes of possession). In the second half Maryland controlled the ball for only about six minutes, and that's including most of the final two minutes when the Terps were trying to kill the clock.
There is a certain segment of lacrosse fans that expect a team like Maryland to blow out opponents and if the Terps don't score 16 or more goals then it's a bad game. That's pretty unrealistic. When all is said and done, games like this one vs. Towson (an "ugly" win that the team had to scrap its way through) and the loss at Duke (plenty of things to learn from in that one) that will help this team get better and prepare it for potential tough games in the postseason.
The highlights for the game are finished (thanks to Brian Farrell, who is doing an internship in the athletics video department). Take a look:
Breaking The Century Mark
It's hard to believe, but there have only been 37 players in the 86-year history of the Maryland men's lacrosse program to total 100 or more career points. Here's the list:
|26.||C. Rennie Smith||1952-55||128|
|37.||Steve La Vaute||1966-68||103|
I didn't go back and count, but a quick look at the all-time letterwinners list shows (according to Microsoft Word's statistics function) 2,186 men have played at Maryland. Adding the 14 freshmen on this year's team and that boosts the number to 2,200.
Some quick math shows that 37 of 2,200 is 1.68 percent. That means that less than 2% of the players to come through the Maryland men's lacrosse program have reached the 100-point mark. That's a pretty exclusive club.
Three of the 37 are on this year's team - Grant Catalino, Ryan Young and Travis Reed - or 8.1% of the list.
If you look at the list you'll notice that there are only three instances where three seniors are on the list. I've been tracking how this year's senior trio stacks up against the 2006 trio of Joe Walters, Xander Ritz and Bill McGlone. But I wanted to draw a little bit of attention on the other group of seniors - the 1976 trio of Frank Urso, Ed Mullen and Roger Tuck.
The game was different in the 1970's (not better or worse, just different), so it's kind of like comparing apples to oranges, but that trio of seniors from 1976 finishes their careers totaling 509 points (Urso 208, Mullen 191, Tuck 110).
This year's group currently stands at 393 points. If the Terps were to play the maximum number of games allowed for the remainder of the season (that would be another 13 games), Catalino, Young and Reed would have to average 8.9 points per game to catch the 1976 group.
In case you're wondering, this year's trio is currently averaging 8.4 points per game.
Way back in 1897 Mark Twain wrote: "This report of my death was an exaggeration." The same can certainly be said for the Maryland offense.
The Terps are currently fourth in the NCAA rankings in scoring offense at 12.8 goals per game.
Another way to look at it is to compare this year's team to Maryland teams from the recent past through the first five games of a season. The schedule hasn't changed that much, so this is a pretty fair comparison. Take a look:
Not only is this the highest scoring team the Terps have fielded in the last seven seasons, but it's the best shooting team as well. This year's Terps have the best shooting percentage and the best shots on goal percentage of the last seven seasons.
Taking things one step further led me to this little chart (which only goes back four seasons to help preserve my sanity):
|at North Carolina||14||35||.400||3/22/08|
|at Mount St. Mary's||17||46||.370||2/26/08|
|vs. Johns Hopkins||10||30||.333||4/17/10|
During the last four seasons, Maryland has shot better than 32 percent 18 times. Three of those have come in the first five games of this season (and Maryland has actually shot better than 38% in those three games).
When you consider the fact that Maryland is 41-2 since 2005 in games that it shoots 30% or better, this is a very good trend for the 2011 Terps.
The UMBC Game
There's something about playing in primetime that makes a game special. The players seem to get up for the game a little bit more. The fans seem to have a little extra bit of energy in the stands. There's just something about it and that's what this Friday's game vs. UMBC will have when the two teams face-off at 8 p.m. at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
Of course, playing the Retrievers in primetime hasn't turned out the way the Terps have wanted lately. Twice in the last five years, Maryland has played UMBC under the lights and both times the Terps have been on the wrong end of the ledger.
Overall, UMBC has won three of the last four meetings between the two schools.
But, as S.E. Hinton so eloquently put it in his 1971 novel - That Was Then, This Is Now.
Only six current Terps saw playing time in the 2008 triple-overtime loss at UMBC and only Brian Farrell was on the field in the 2007 loss in the NCAA tournament (although assistant coach Kevin Warne was there as well, but we won't mention which part of the sideline he was screaming on).
On paper, the Terps would appear to be the favorite in this one, but these games are not played on paper. UMBC will bring everything it has in this one, trying to get its season back on track. Maryland is not going to take anything for granted and Coach Tillman will have the Terps ready when Friday night rolls around.
Two Terps to keep an eye on Friday night are Catalino and Farrell. Catalino has 13 career points vs. the Retrievers, while Farrell has a goal and an assist to go along with 11 groundballs in three meetings with UMBC.
The St. Joseph's Game
This will be the second quick turnaround of the year for the Terps, which actually serve a purpose.
Playing UMBC on Friday and St. Joseph's on Sunday simulates what the Terps could have to go through at the ACC Tournament in April and at the Final Four in Baltimore in May.
The players get the opportunity to feel what it's like to recover with only a day in between games and more importantly see what kind of treatment works for them to help them recover.
Maryland has done this once already, playing Duke on a Saturday and Bellarmine on a Monday. We'll see if they've changed anything up from the first go-around.
The blog was a bit chart heavy this week, but I hope you enjoyed the info and find it to be interesting. Game notes for the UMBC game will be posted on Thursday.
Hopefully you'll be able to make it out to Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Friday, but if you can't there are a lot of ways to follow the game. WMAR in Baltimore will be showing the game live. If you're out of the area you can still watch the game on the internet at ESPN3.com. If that still doesn't work we will be posting updated to the Maryland Athletics Twitter page (@umterps) and to the Maryland Men's Lacrosse Facebook page.