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Maryland Lacrozzzzzzzz

No team embodies their mascot more: 
Hofstra Pride-Not so much.
Syracuse Orange-I’m not even sure how that would be possible.
Duke Blue Devils-Depends who you ask.
Maryland Terrapins (that’s a turtle)-YES YES YES!
Maryland has slowed games down so much; I’m going to replace my box of Ambien with their game tapes.

To call Maryland’s style of play, “patient” is the politically correct way of saying “cheap”. It is an exploit of a rule that never really received much attention until recent years. Maryland getting a stall warning three times in the first quarter isn’t like running out the clock at the end of a football game. Using the stall to this extreme is paramount to chesting or thumbing the ball.

Against Syracuse last year, Maryland had 9 stall warnings called against them. In this year’s tournament against Lehigh with a tied score, Maryland held the ball for almost the last 5 minutes of the game and scored the winner with 6 seconds left. Saturday against Hopkins, Maryland was called for stalling 12 or 13 times, controlling possession and limiting the Jays to 16 shots in the game (Total shots…Shots on goal was 12).

I understand it is within the rules, and every team can do it. I get the fact that Maryland still wins the games…But they don’t win the games by playing lacrosse.

The game has been slowing down anyway through specialists, subbing, and coaches’ micromanaging games like chess masters rather than gunslingers. The stalling however exacerbates the slowing down of the game.

Over the years, lacrosse has been unwittingly sailing into a perfect storm making the use of the stall tactic an easy scheme to employ. Sticks are tighter with baggier pockets, and athletes are stronger and quicker. This makes it harder for defenses to strip the ball away. Coaches are under the microscope and on the hot seat to win more championships, making it more important than ever to win at all costs. Many teams do stall to a certain extent, yet no one as flagrant, indifferent, and excessive as Coach Tillman and Maryland.

Coach Tillman’s deliberate exploitation of the stall could be the catalyst that leads the NCAA to the use of a shot clock. All around the interweb, bloggers, sports writers, and fans are calling for shot clocks, and it is in direct correlation to Maryland’s overuse and success with the stall.

As I have stated before, a shot clock is the wrong solution to the stall exploit, but one that everyone understands both spectators, and players. I would rather see the stall mechanic kept as is by officials, however add a penalty to it. Either after the 2nd stall call in a game, or if still no attempt to attack the goal 5 seconds after a stall is initially called, or maybe at anytime it is employed during the first three quarters except in the case of killing a penalty. I don’t have a golden solution, but something has to give before next season.

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