Maryland's Yeatman still finding footing in midfield
One of the biggest conundrums No. 5 Maryland faced was finding ways to get five talented attackmen – juniors Grant Catalino, Ryan Young and Travis Reed, senior Will Yeatman and sophomore Joe Cummings – on the field at the same time.
One solution has been to start Yeatman from the midfield, and seven games into the strategy, the converted attackman is still growing comfortable in an unfamiliar role.
"I wouldn’t say it’s been really tough," he said. "It’s certainly new for me because I’ve never played midfield before. I’ve got so many great players surrounding me. I’ve been in situations where I’ve dodged from up top before and played at the top of the offense. It’s a different situation, but it’s a role I’ve accepted, and I feel like I’m helping the team out."
Yeatman got off to a nice start in February, scoring six goals on 10 shots in the Terps’ first three wins against Bellarmine, No. 13 Georgetown and No. 6 Duke. However, since then, he has scored just once on 10 shots and contributed two assists.
Maryland coach Dave Cottle said the coaching staff is still tinkering with Yeatman’s best placement on the field and dismissed any notion that Yeatman is enduring a slump.
"I don’t think we’ve given him the ball enough," Cottle said. "… That’s one of the things we’re working through a little bit – where to play him, where to give him an opportunity to dodge more. … We’re probably going to have to give him the ball a little more."
Yeatman has played well against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents, recording six goals and three assists in four games last year. His best outing produced two goals and three assists against Virginia, which happens to be the Terps opponent this Saturday at 8 p.m. at Byrd Stadium in College Park.
Yeatman has been criticized in the past for not using his 6-foot-6, 250-pound frame to outmuscle opposing defenders, but he has drawn an opposing close defenseman, which has opened up options for his teammates.
"That’s a role I’ve accepted, and I think it’s a role our team has appreciated," he said. "I think it’s certainly helped out our offense, having me out there and taking a different long pole and opening up other options for our team. That’s the way it is, I’ve accepted that, and I’ve been dealing with it."