Mount St. Mary's getting on the offensive
Blessed with one of the more underrated defenses in recent years, Mount St. Mary’s is beginning to feature an offense that is similarly flying under the radar.
The Mountaineers are tied for 18th in Division I this season in scoring, averaging 11 goals per game. That’s the same amount produced by No. 3 North Carolina and that’s more than No. 20 Yale (22nd at 10.9) and No. 15 Johns Hopkins (23rd at 10.8).
Mount St. Mary’s (6-3) has scored 10 or more goals in five contests this season and has only scored fewer than seven goals in one game. That’s a far cry from last year when the offense broke the 10-goal ceiling just twice and scored six or fewer goals nine times, losing all nine games.
Coach Tom Gravante, an All-American attackman during his playing days at Hobart, said the players understood the task at hand after getting bounced by Manhattan by a score of 5-3 in the semifinals of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.
"Their game wasn’t complete," he said. "There were holes in their game that they needed to work on to become better athletes and better players, and they did. Improving their off hand, improving their strength, coming back with a different move to the cage or a different shot, that’s been the biggest difference. They’re more mature. They responded."
The Mountaineers start as many as six sophomores in attackmen Cody Lehrer (35 goals and 3 assists), Brett Schmidt (11, 13) and Eric Ososki (10, 3) and midfielders Bryant Schmidt (9, 13), Jake Willertz (14, 3) and Mike Adkins (4, 4) and one freshman in attackman Andrew Scalley (10, 11). Aside from the Schmidt twins and Scalley, however, the remaining four players played last season, attaining invaluable experience.
Brett Schmidt said the players have developed a certain cohesion after dozens of practices and offseason workouts with each other.
"I think that now that we’re sophomores, we’re starting to gel a little bit more," he said. "It’s easy to play with these guys because they’re great athletes and great lacrosse players. They put up some good points."