Terps Ready for Rastivo and New-Look UNC; Injury Updates on Burns, Reed
The University of Maryland's men's lacrosse coaches and most of its players took in Tuesday night's North Carolina-Darmouth contest, which was televised on ESPNU, and the Terps -- who play host to the Tar Heels at Byrd Stadium on Saturday -- witnessed the defensive lineup changes the Tar Heels employed in their 12-7 victory.
Senior Emmit Kellar and freshman Jordan Smith each got his first career start on close defense.
But the big change came in the net, where sophomore Steven Rastivo replaced junior Chris Madalon and recorded 12 saves in his first career start.
Rastivo is smaller and more athletic than Madalon, who has struggled in the cage during Carolina's 6-2 start with a .496 save percentage.
Maryland, which is shooting a scorching 34.7 percent and leads the NCAA in assists (62), intends to keep doing what they've been doing, rather than change any facet of their approach in reaction to any tendencies they noticed in Rastivo.
"We try not to over-think our shooting, and we don't want to change that, or else we could get ourselves into trouble," Terps coach John Tillman said. "Our thinking is shoot with a purpose, shoot to a different spot because we want to.
"It's like a pitcher that can throw a good fastball, curve or slider. Sometimes, you've just got to throw a fastball to the right spot. Rastivo looks different. He's not as big [as Madalon] but certainly looks quicker. We need to keep looking for our spots."
On the injury front, Maryland expects to get an emotional lift on Saturday with the return of senior midfielder Dan Burns, who has yet to play in 2011 while nursing a back ailment. Senior attackman Travis Reed (shoulder) remains questionable. Reed has been limited in practice all week.