Starsia Defines a Good Offense
Just spoke with Dom Starsia, the coach of top-ranked Virginia. The Cavaliers play Maryland on Saturday at noon at Byrd Stadium.
Starsia defined a good offensive lacrosse team for TFBO2F. "A really good offensive team has five good options, five ways to attack. You have to be able to get beyond the poles [i.e. the four longstick defensemen each team is allowed]," he said. "A great offensive team has six options. I think that's where we were in 2006.
"Last year, we really had two options. We couldn't make you play enough of our other guys."
The topic came up because Starsia noted that his offense appears to have at least five options. Johns Hopkins's defense used an unusual tactic, at least unusual for it, in the fourth quarter and overtime of Virginia's 13-12 win last Saturday. The Blue Jays bumped a second longstick to Virginia's midfield. In this case, sophomore LSM Sam Devore defended freshman MF Shamel Bratton. The Blue Jays already had a longstick on MF Peter Lamade.
That left shortsick defenders on sophomore MF Brian Carroll and junior A Garrett Billings. Are those guys bad players? Nope. They are the top two goalscorers on the team. Carroll has 19 goals; Billings has 21.
"Johns Hopkins and Princeton normally don't use a second pole on the midfield," Starsia said. "But coming out of a timeout late in the fourth quarter, and in overtime, they bumped a pole to Shamel. These two young guys [Shamel Bratton and his twin brother, Rhamel] are forcing you to have to make decisions. They are creating space for the other guys. I told our attack, they have to be very thankful for Shamel and for [midfielder] Brian Carroll's growth and for Peter Lamade being here. That space simply wasn't there a year ago."
[N.B. Lamade, a fifth-year senior, transferred from Duke.]
Starsia added that attackmen Ben Rubeor (16 goals, 6 assists) and Danny Glading (16 goals, 22 assists) have not practiced much this week because of injuries, though each is expected to play Saturday.
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