Postscript from North Carolina at Maryland
Anthony Costanzo has not been one of the Terps’ primary defensemen, but none of his teammates were surprised when the senior was inserted after starter Ryder Bohlander suffered a concussion early in the first quarter of yesterday’s 8-7 win against the No. 14 Tar Heels.
"I wasn’t worried about him at all," fellow senior and goalkeeper Jason Carter said. "He knows the defense better than anybody out there. He’s the smartest kid on the field. That’s why he’s our man-down star, our man-down coach basically. So when he gets out on the field, you’re not really worried at all."
Costanzo deflected the compliment, insisting that his coaches and teammates had suggested extra study in the film room and on the field.
"I like to be well prepared and know the plays so that we can help each other out," he said. "Sometimes I’m a little bit quiet, so people have to try and get that out of me, but other people are talking to me and helping me talk more. Today was a tough day, and things were kind of going crazy, but we were well prepared and we knew everything that was going on. The other guys are smart, too."
At 6 feet 7 inches and 210 pounds, Costanzo can cover a lot of ground with a 6-foot-long stick, which is why he is a vital member of the team’s man-down unit. He may not be the fastest defenseman, but he was enough of a handful to shut out junior attackman Gavin Petracca, who – at 26 points – was (and still is) North Carolina’s third-leading scorer.
In fact, Costanzo – who recorded a team-high three forced turnovers – played well enough that Maryland coach Dave Cottle had Costanzo shadow midfielders Ben Hunt (four points on a goal and three assists) and Sean Delaney (three goals) toward the end of the game.
"He’s been sitting around, biding his time," senior midfielder Dan Groot said of Costanzo. "He always works hard, and it’s really great for him to go in there and play great like he did today. I’m really proud of him."
*Terps goalie Brian Phipps (head) was cleared to play, but Cottle elected to start Carter. Although Phipps is expected to be ready for Saturday’s game against No. 1 Virginia, the situation is slightly murkier with regard to junior faceoff specialist Bryn Holmes (groin) and defensemen Brett Schmidt (hamstring) and Bohlander. Maryland sorely missed Holmes at the faceoff X, where Tar Heels senior Shane Walterhoefer won 17 of 19 face-offs. The loss of Schmidt and Bohlander – and extended absence of Brian Farrell – sapped the team’s defensive unit. Redshirt sophomore Chris Ready picked up a long pole and junior Dean Hart alternated between a short and long stick for much of the game. The Terps could use a healthy squad against the Cavaliers.
*After going scoreless in two games against Towson and UMBC, Maryland’s midfield put up quite a showing. Groot led the way with four points on three goals and an assist, but senior Jeff Reynolds scored a goal to tie the game at seven and senior Jeremy Sieverts added an assist. Freshman Jake Bernhardt also scored a goal as the team’s attack unit outside of sophomore Grant Catalino accounted for just a single goal. "Coach said we had some advantages up top in the midfield," Groot said. "So we kind of wanted to get back to starting the dodge with the midfield and kind of drawing a slide and then banging it to the attack. That’s kind of how we got our first goal. … Starting up top kind of gets our offense flowing a little bit better."
*After Hunt found Delaney for his third goal of the game with 14 minutes left in the fourth quarter, North Carolina owned a 7-5 lead and seemingly, the momentum. But Reynolds rubbed off his defender on a pick to cut the lead to one. Then junior Will Yeatman backed down Flanagan and fired in a goal before the slide could get to him to tie the score. "We made a couple mental lapses and that’s all that it takes for a team like Maryland to capitalize on, and that’s what they did," Tar Heels coach Joe Breschi said. "… We’re going to keep working hard because we’ve got Hopkins next week, so there’s no let-up."