Maryland's Cottle addresses ending to win vs. Johns Hopkins
There’s a lot to be happy about if you’re a Terp or a supporter. Maryland is ranked fifth in The Sun’s latest poll, owns an 8-2 record, and is routinely cited by experts as one of the favorites to advance to the Final Four at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend.
But coach Dave Cottle took a minute to address the team’s tactic of holding the ball and playing keep-away in the final minutes of Saturday’s 10-9 victory over No. 15 Johns Hopkins in the second game of the Smartlink Day of Rivals doubleheader at M&T Bank Stadium.
While refraining from second-guessing that strategy, Cottle said the coaching staff may have been too conservative in directing the players not to shoot the ball even when opportunities to score presented themselves.
"What we’ve got to do is, if there’s an open goal that presents itself, we’ve got to throw it in," Cottle said. "The kids were doing a good job of just trying to protect the ball, but we have to do a better job of managing that. I thought [junior attackman] Grant [Catalino] had a chance to throw it into the open goal, but he didn’t. And it’s really determined by your face-offs. If you’re winning face-offs, you can take a shot. If you’re losing every face-off, you’re probably better off holding the ball. But if they force you in a situation where you can score and it’s low risk, then we have to start taking that."
Cottle also broached the topic of stepping outside the box when called for stalling, which occurred twice. He said that crowd noise drowned out the officials’ voices.
"None of the kids heard the stalling warnings because the crowd was so loud," Cottle said. "And of course, it was two of our freshmen. … I asked them, and they said they didn’t see them [the officials] and they didn’t think they were demonstrative enough. And we weren’t stalling at the time. If you look, we got the ball in the box, threw it around one time, and then we got the stalling warning. I thought there were some quick stalling warnings."