Maryland's Grant Catalino tries his hand in the midfield
Terps coach Dave Cottle is not above tinkering with a good thing.
This season, Cottle has sought to get more balance out of his midfield lines, at first running seniors Dan Groot, Jeremy Sieverts and Jeff Reynolds together, then moving Reynolds down to the second line, and alternating between using attackmen Travis Reed, Nick Ward and Joe Cummings in the midfield
His boldest move -- as first reported by The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper -- may have occurred in the regular-season finale against Yale on May 2 when he paired Groot and Sieverts with Grant Catalino.
Catalino leads Maryland in goals (22), assists (21) and points (43), but had taken just five shots in games against Penn and North Carolina as opposing defenses sought to shut off the 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior attackman. So Cottle elected to move Catalino and give him -- and the Bulldogs defense -- a different look.
Catalino finished with just one assist, but he got enough space to take four shots in the 10-6 win against Yale.
"When you don’t think you’re playing well, you keep moving pieces around," Cottle said without revealing whether Catalino might start at midfield against No. 7-seed Notre Dame in a NCAA tournament first-round game on Sunday. "I think we’re going to see a couple attackmen play midfield, but Grant had a bunch of shots early. He just missed them. He presents a different look because he can catch and shoot. I think it’s given us a little more flexibility."
Catalino is one of the Terps’ most accurate snipers, and moving him to the top of the offensive zone gives him the room to unleash his right-handed shot without being hampered by a defenseman.
"He’s such a good shooter. And it does get him more shots," Cottle said. "He wasn’t getting enough shots at times when he was on the attack. That was sort of the logic behind that."