Mount St. Mary's seeking answers on offense
I'll broach the subject of Mount St. Mary's defense, which has not wilted against some heavy hitters in tomorrow's edition of The Baltimore Sun, but one topic that cropped up in my conversation with coach Tom Gravante was the sluggish start by the offense.
The Mountaineers have scored only 10 goals in their first three games, and a factor has to be the team's reliance on youth on offense. The first four attackmen are freshmen, and two of the three starting midfielders are also first-year players. Gravante is trying to toe the line between leaning on the freshmen and relieving some of that pressure.
"They’re making immature mistakes," he said. "... So we have to break things down to another level and take time to build them up to that level. We’re going to have to continue to be very patient and diligent. As a staff, we need to pick up the pace a little bit, lean on them a little bit more. They’re kids, and kids are resilient. They can take more than you expect."
Some might say that the offensive downturn is linked to Gravante's decision to give up the reins to newly hired offensive coordinator Cory Coffman, a 2007 graduate of Loyola College. But Gravante, who is focusing on coaching the goalkeepers and defensemen, said he has no intention of second-guessing Coffman.
"I knew I couldn’t be as effective as I wanted to be with this team if I didn’t get somebody here," Gravante said. "Thank God the light bulb went off, and I said [to Coffman], 'Take the offense. You’re going to be better down there.' And I really should sharpen my skills on [the defensive] side of the field. If you’ve learned how to beat the defense all of your life [Gravante was an attackman at Hobart], then you should understand how slides work. It was simple to make that transition."