Insider Info on Maryland-Virginia
Virginia Insider Dave Curry was an all-American midfielder at UVa and member of the U.S. world team in 1998. He also was an assistant coach at UVa when it won the national title in 2003. He gives us a look at the Maryland-Virginia quarterfinal on Saturday in Annapolis. Since it is the playoffs, he has a special treat: He gives us a few of Virginia Coach Dom Starsia's favorite sayings.
I feel like Virginia has yet to be defined this year. Maryland is defined. It has found itself. Maryland plays very, very hard. It tends to be a little conversative on offense, but the skill players make plays.
I think a high-scoring game against Virginia, Maryland won't be very excited about that. I don't think Virginia cares what kind of game it plays. It can play games that finish 7-6 and it can play games that are 15-14. And part of that is because Virginia hasn't defined itself yet. It still doesn't know how it wants to play.
There are a couple people at Virginia who are capable of doing a lot more than they are doing. No question, they can be doing a lot more all over the field.
In particular, the shortstick defenders and longstick [midfielders] have got to be better. These are a traditional strength at UVa, but it wasn't against UMBC.
Goalie Bud Petit makes the saves he is supposed to make and some of the ones he isn't. It's not a volatile situation. It is very tricky for goalies to play in a monsoon, their feet get wet because they're standing in puddles the whole time. Bud has done it twice [against UMBC and UNC] and Virginia won both times.
For me, the biggest change at Virginia has been sophomore D Ryan Nizolek. I know people at Virginia are very excited about him. He was moonlighting with Tim Shaw until Shaw got hurt [he had a hernia--ed]...Nizolek's done a lot for that defense.
I like the defense a lot if the shortsticks stop making silly mistakes. I think they're starting to hit their peak at the right time. Virginia's defense is like Duke basketball's defense. They'd rather not slide if they don't have to. They don't want to rotate.
So it's time for some people on defense to "bend their backs and get to work."
Something Dom used to say on Friday afternoons is, "The hay is in the barn." Meaning, the work has been done. We've done our work this week, we've done what we can to get ready for the game.
By Christian Swezey |
May 14, 2008; 9:37 AM ET
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