February 18, 2010

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Heat's on Cottle, Terps to Get Return on Experience

by Gary Lambrecht | Special to Lacrosse Magazine Online

Ninth-year Maryland head coach Dave Cottle thinks the Terps' experience will pay dividends. Maryland is just 30-20 since advancing to the NCAA semifinals in 2006.

© Lee Weissman

For the first time in three years, the Maryland Terrapins look like an older, seasoned team.

With 22 players who are juniors or seniors, the majority of the Maryland roster is made up of upperclassmen. Ninth-year coach Dave Cottle, who could be on the hot seat in the last year of his contract in College Park, thinks the experience will pay dividends, as the Terps try to change course.

Maryland — 30-20 since advancing to the NCAA tournament semifinals in 2006 — has lost to sister school UMBC three straight times, has not been to the final four since ‘06 and is coming off the most losses (seven) in school history.

Expect Maryland to be scrappy as usual on defense in a tough, balanced Atlantic Coast Conference.

As for the offense, who knows what to expect at midfield? The Terps lacked explosiveness and consistent scoring with the since-departed Dan Groot, Jeremy Sieverts and Jeff Reynolds.

Cottle envisions three solid midfield lines, with some unproven players such as redshirt freshman Owen Blye, juniors Bob Kercher and Warren Hansen and sophomore Jake Bernhardt (6g, 1a) mixing it up with hard-shooting senior Adam Sear, Towson transfer Eric Boyle (14g in 2008) and junior Grant Catalino, who is comfortable at attack or midfield.

If the Terps can eliminate some scoring droughts that plagued them in 2009 — Maryland averaged 9.8 goals on just 26.5 percent shooting — the new midfielders probably will have done their job and taken some pressure off of the attack.

“I think we’ll be running a lot of guys [at midfield]. I really see us playing nine guys,” Cottle said.

“If we could have nine guys each scoring 10 goals, I’ll be the happiest fat man in America. If we can develop one or two All-Americans, we’ve got enough that we should be fun to watch. The better our middies play, the longer we’re going to play this year.”


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