We interrupt the public flogging of Gary Williams for a brief announcement.
Maryland’s lacrosse season starts in 9hrs 38mins and 15sec. I know this because I have kept a clock on my desk that is counting down to the second the lacrosse season starts. I have had no assistance from outside sources.
The men’s lacrosse team is coming off a 10-6 season in 2008 that ended in a tight overtime loss against UVA in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals. The season was generally viewed as a success, with the Terps pulling-off upsets against highly ranked teams including Georgetown in the beginning of the year (#4 at the time) and a #1 ranked UVA team in the second regular season lacrosse game ever to be nationally televised. After that game the Terps were ranked #3, hit a bit of a mid-season slide, but ended the year with a strong showing in the tournament.
The 2009 edition of the Terps men’s lacrosse team is big on offense and in the goal. The Terps heisted 2007 All-American attacker Will Yeatman from Notre Dame. Will looks like a prep school kid that should be on Notre Dame’s recruiting poster, so I don’t know what we did to woo this guy to Maryland, but he’s 6’6″ 220lbs so we’ll take him. Adding him to last year’s leading scorer Grant Catalino will boost the attack and make Maryland one of the most dangerous scoring teams in the country. Grant’s older brother plays for the Duke lacrosse team. I’m just throwing that fact out there for comment.
Maryland has two All-Americans, Dan Groot and Jeff Reynolds, at midfield. Goalie Jason Carter is Team Captain, and he shares time with 2009 Pre-season All-American Brian Phipps. The Terps also have talent in close defense, although they do have to replace three starters from last season so that could be a weak spot for the team. Coach Dave Cottle led the Terps to six straight tournament appearances including three Final Fours, and has the most ironic last name in lacrosse to boot. Needless to say, this team is very talented.
The team travels down to Jacksonville, FL to pummel the boys from Presbyterian at Ponte Vedra High School. I guess the high school is D-I? That confuses me. But lacrosse confuses me, so nothing new there. Maryland enters the season ranked #3 by the Inside Lacrosse Magazine poll. Inside Lacrosse Magazine is much more powerful than I would have ever imagined. After a couple tune-up games, Maryland gets #8 Georgetown on 2/21 and #7 Duke on 2/28. Something tells me Coach Cottle will have the team ready for those matches.
Expectations are high for this team. Will they be able to finally break through and get their first National Championship since 1975? From what I can tell all the pieces are there. Maryland sports are experiencing a banner year with championships in Field Hockey and Soccer, and the stars seem to be aligned for this team. I’m going to make a bold prediction and say that Maryland is going to win the National Championship in lacrosse this year. I will stake my credibility in the world of lacrosse punditry on that statement, and I dare anyone to refute it. Go Terps!