Denver vs UNC should be the marquee match up this weekend.
Denver is coming off of a great game against Albany. The Pioneers proved they could score plenty as they beat Albany 19-14. Wesley Berg put up 8 goals himself. Not a typo. He did it in a variety of was. When playing in the crease he was able to get two quick stick layups. When he moved out to the wings, he scored two no-angle risers into the corners. And all three of his EMO goals, I thought I was watching one goal in repeat. He played up top and Denver moved the ball around. Each time it got to opposite GLE, the Pioneers looked to Berg on the skip pass as he cheated and sloughed in. Each time he received the pass in the center and had time to rip a shot. I guess if you find something that works…why change it?
In goal, Denver continues to start with Ryan LaPlante for the first half, and switch to Jamie Faus for the second half. I hate this style, but then again it has worked for Denver all year. That is why Bill Tierney makes the big bucks, and I just watch. LaPlante has a slight edge over Faus, but Faus’s saves are typically the once you don’ even expect him to make. Wether it is to keep each goalie fresh (physically and mentally), or to make it even more difficult for opponents to adjust and find a weakness. It is actually working.
The one thing the Pioneers need to improve on is the defense needs to slide better (know when to and be decisive). A number of Albany goals could have been attributed to a late or missed slide.
UNC put up 16 against Lehigh and has just as many offensive threats as Denver. The bigger take away from the Lehigh game was how UNC’s defense came together and stepped it up a notch both close D and the middies . UNC is facing a tougher offense in Denver compared to Lehigh. On he flip side, UNC will play much ighter on Denver’s shooters than Albany did. There is no way Berg scores 8 (especially those 3 EMO goals).
I like both teams and it will be a shame one’s season has to end. Overall I like Denver’s chances this year on the whole field. I like coach Tierney and think he has the edge as a coach.
I hate to say a team “chokes”, but UNC has had a wealth of talent for numerous years, but has never managed to do anything with it.