Maryland showed the nation that they live true to their mascot. Slow…deliberate…slow. What they played was an abomination of lacrosse. Ten stall warnings. Ten. Then to come out and say it wasn’t the game plan is like saying I didn’t inhale…ten stall warnings don’t just “happen”.
Now with the bitterness off my chest, I will say that Coach Tillman game planned extremely well against Syracuse AND his team executed it perfectly. Maryland (when they played) looked good. Curtis Holmes (11 of 14) at the face off X just dominated as expected. Young goalie Nick Amato looked composed in net (9saves 5Goals Against=60%). One of the biggest surprises of the game was Scott LaRue who was the only Maryland player with more than 1 goal (2). He only had 1 goal coming into the game. Granted, his second goal was because he caught Joel White giving up on the play at the end of the third quarter. But LaRue had the presence of mind to keep playing until the whistle blew and scored with 1 second left in the quarter. Maryland has the skills, looks to have the confidence, and is executing. THEY are determining how a game will be played.
Duke…riding their goalie.
I have no other way to explain it. Against Notre Dame, Duke was outshot (28-34…by ND!), uncharacteristically outhustled on GBs (18-27), crushed on FO (5Duke to 11ND), turned the ball over more (14-11), performed less than 90% on clears, and 0 for 2 on EMO. The only shining light was Dan Wigrizer in goal saving 14 shots with only 5 goals against (74%). This is coming off a week rest for a concussion, and playing inconsistently throughout the season (before this game 54%). Wigi will need to continue to come up big for the Blue Devils, since the rest of the team is struggling.
In this tournament Duke has consistently been out-everything. In the first round against Delaware, Duke was outshot, struggled at face offs, turned the ball over a lot (21 times), 80% clears, and went 1 for 5 on EMO. Duke needs to play better across the board if they want to repeat as Champions.
Being ACC members, these two teams have seen each other already…twice.
In their first match up, Duke won 9-8 in overtime.
In this game, it was all about the goalies as Maryland’s Nick Amato had 19saves and 9 goals against (68%), and Duke’s Dan Wigrizer posted 17 saves and 8 goals against (68%). Both stood on their heads, and it was a shame one of them had to lose.
Shots were about the same. Faceoffs were almost equal (10 for Duke / 9 for MD). Duke had many more GBs (33Duke to 21MD)
In their second match up of the year, Maryland beat Duke 11-9.
In this game, both goalies came back to earth, and coincidentally both had the exact same save percentage again (50%). The difference in this game from the first was Face-offs, and GBs. Curtis Holmes took ALL of MD’s face offs and won 18 only yielding 6 to Duke. Maryland also won slightly more GBs (29 MD to 27 Duke).
With the struggles at face offs and GBs in the tournament, I can see Maryland dominating play, time of possession, and shots. They will need to take more chances, and shoot more/stall less, as Wigi seems to be hot right now. However Maryland decides to play, coach Tillman will have a great gameplan and his team will execute it.
Duke will have to have someone besides their goalie step up. Whether it be on face off play, or on offense, coach Danowski needs to wake his team up. Scoring won’t come easy for Duke as Maryland’s Amato is a much better keeper than Delaware’s Noah Fossner.
Either due to goalies, or stalling, this will probably be a game where each team scores in the single digits. Maryland wins and gets a home field advantage in the Championship.