Postscript from Navy at Maryland
Grant Catalino is the first guy to point out that No. 5 Maryland’s success is not based on one player. The numbers would seem to bear otherwise.
The Terps (7-2) are 6-0 in games in which Catalino registers three points or more as the junior attackman did when he scored three times in the team’s 11-9 victory over No. 20 Navy on Saturday.
On the flip side, Maryland is 1-2 when Catalino posts less than three points.
The same holds true over Catalino’s career. The Terps are now 18-4 when Catalino records at least three points, but just 9-10 when he can’t break that threshhold.
Catalino shrugged off talk of any offensive burden on his 6-foot-5, 225- pound frame, saying, “It’s different guys every week. This week is no different from that. Me and [junior attackman] Travis [Reed] ended up with three and four goals [respectively], but next week, it could be two more other guys. That’s the beauty of this team. We’ve got a lot of guys scoring.”
Still, there’s no denying that Catalino can spark the offense. He notched one goal and one assist in Maryland’s 9-7 loss to No. 3 North Carolina on March 27 and was shut out in the 11-10 setback to No. 1 Virginia on April 3.
“We need Grant to be a player,” coach Dave Cottle said. “He didn’t score a goal last week, and he hadn’t scored a goal against Navy in his career. So I challenged him. I called him some names this week. But he stepped up for us.”
Cottle’s memory might be blurry with so many games running together. Catalino did score once in 2008, but he was blanked last season. “I took it personally and prepared extra hard for this week because going into a game against a team you haven’t scored on in two years, I kind of wanted to make a statement,” Catalino said. “The ball kind of fell my way today. Luckily, we had a bunch of guys scoring, but it was good to finally get a goal against this Navy team.”
*Reed and Catalino scored several of their goals off situations where a teammate drew a slide and found either Reed or Catalino on the back side for shots. Cottle said back side opportunities are available against defenses that slide. “The sliding teams have been in trouble lately because of the cutting-the-fill guys and popping-the-crease guys,” he said. “If you slide, it causes all kinds of problems. The teams that don’t slide aren’t having that problem. Maryland’s having trouble, Navys having trouble, Hopkins is having trouble, and that’s what you get on it, the backside being open. So we’ve all got to change our rules or come up with new ones. That’s what we’ve been working on.”
*The absence of senior attackman Will Yeatman (broken left thumb) didn’t seem to impede the Terps offense too much. Reed started on the attack in place of Yeatman, and sophomores Joe Cummings and Jake Bernhardt and junior Dan Burns composed the first midfield. If Yeatman can’t return for next Saturday’s game against No. 15 Johns Hopkins, Reed said the unit will forge ahead. “I think we just keep playing the same offense,” he said. “If Will’s not going to be back, we’ll be a little bit more familiar without him with practice. Will’s obviously an incredible player. He scored four goals against the No. 1 team in the country. But all teams have injuries, and we’ve just got to try to do our best to play without him.”
*While Navy’s starting attack of senior Brendan Connors, junior Andy Warner and sophomore Ryan O’Leary combined for just zero goals and two assists, senior attackman Kyle Kapron registered a team-best four points on three goals and one assist. Entering Saturday’s contest, Kapron had posted just two goals and one assist in the team’s first 10 games. “I was having fun out there, beating my guy,” said Kapron, who had recorded four goals and three assists in his career prior to Saturday’s game. “They weren’t sliding too quickly, and that just led to plenty of opportunities.”
*The Midshipmen’s 5 wins in the first 11 games is the program’s worst since 2003, and they have lost six games for the second time in three years. Their hopes of attaining a seventh consecutive bid to the NCAA Tournament likely rest on capturing their sixth Patriot League Tournament championship – and the automatic qualifier that accompanies it – in the last seven years. “All of our goals are still in front of us for the year,” coach Richie Meade said defiantly. “That’s a trite saying now. I’m not happy we didn’t win, but we’ve just got to look to next week [against Army], which is a huge game for us, and then take the season after that. So that’s our approach.”