If You're Watching...
Virginia at Maryland
Byrd Stadium, noon.
TV: ESPN2 (really)
Records: Cavaliers 9-0, Terrapins 6-2
Tickets: $8 adult, $5 students 17-under.
Parking: Several free lots around the stadium; if those are full, there are pay lots, but they're relatively inexpensive. Daniel Snyder clearly does not run parking at Maryland.
What to Watch: Casual Fan
The positive emotion with which Maryland plays this year is very
noticable noticeable. As we noted in "Analyze This," Maryland players are really cheering for and encouraging each other. "It looks like Dave Cottle is having a blast coaching these guys," Virginia Coach Dom Starsia said.
Cottle is using a lot of players this year, and that helps morale: There are three regular midfields (most teams use two), four short-stick defensive midfielders, a two-person rotation in goal and a freshman reserve attackman who plays on extra-man offense.
The problem with having such a
noticably noticeably positive attitude is that, when the attitude disappears, that, too, is easily recognized. Notre Dame football fans used to have a saying about QB Tony Rice: We're fine as long as he's smiling. CBS cameras caught Rice during warmups before facing Miami (Fla.) in the regular-season finale in 1989. He wasn't smiling. Miami won, 27-10.
So watch Maryland's body language. How do they react if they go a couple goals down? Or to a bad call? Do they hang their heads? CBS basketball analyst Billy Packer's rule of thumb is, a team is nervous or anxious if it looks at the scoreboard a lot. The Maryland coaches will be encouraging regardless. Watch the players.
What to Watch: Young Player
Maryland junior Jeff Reynolds (#28) is so versatile. He plays offensive midfield, defensive midfield, as a wing on faceoffs and takes faceoffs. As Maryland SID Patrick Fisher notes, all three of Reynolds's goals against North Carolina were unassisted, so he is good at creating his own shot. In particular, his jump shot is effective because he keeps his hands away from the defenseman until he has released the ball. Like the unblockable hook shot in basketball, it's a nice move to have.
What to Watch: Ardent Fan
Cottle has used a zone defense in the past, most notably in a 14-13 overtime victory over a high-powered Syracuse offensive team when he was coaching Loyola in 1993. That day, a sagging zone defense tested Syracuse's patience on offense. The Orange were impatient early and Loyola led 5-0 at the end of the first quarter. Eventually, Syracuse got going and forced Loyola out of the zone. But the five-goal cushion at the beginning proved crucial.
Virginia struggled against a zone defense against Drexel in the opener--John Weaver's re:lax blog noticed it, too. The zone is the only thing I can come up with for the Terps. If Maryland does not use a zone, watch SSDMs Reynolds and Danny Burns (4) to see who they are defending; also keep an eye on the space the U-Va. attack creates around the goal as they look for cutters or for shots from Garrett Billings (19), who has 21 goals.
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Posted by: Timbosky | March 28, 2008 11:35 AM
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