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Maryland's Catalino and Cummings back at practice, but status still unclear

Senior attackman Grant Catalino and junior midfielder Joe Cummings returned to practice earlier this week, but their availability for Maryland’s showdown with No. 8 seed North Carolina in the NCAA tournament first round on Sunday is still unclear.

“We got back on the practice field on Monday. But they’re out there on the field with us,” Terps coach John Tillman said Wednesday. “What they’re doing, I’ll kind of keep under my hat here, but they’re out there with us.”

Catalino (broken bone in hand) and Cummings (right arm) sat out the team’s 10-8 loss to No. 13 Colgate in their regular-season finale on Saturday. But Tillman sounded optimistic that Catalino and Cummings, who are tied for the team lead in goals with 24 each, are making progress.

“Will they be ready by Sunday? Good question. I’m trying to figure that out,” Tillman said. “And I’ve got to think about their long-term health and not just the short term. Most young guys live in the now, but as a guy who cares about them and this program, I’ve got to think about what’s best for them, and I’ve got to make sure that their families will be well-versed on the information and everything involved. This will be a decision made by those two and their families with all of the pros and cons involved. We’ll make the best possible decision for them and we’ll decide how that will impact our team.”

Maryland could use healthy and effective Catalino and Cummings against a Tar Heels defense that has limited the offense to six and seven goals in their first two meetings – both of which are the two lowest outputs of the season for the Terps.

North Carolina has befuddled Maryland with a zone defense, and Tillman said the Terps have spent the week preparing for that possibility on Sunday.

“We’ve seen zone in almost every game, and the way some people play, it’s very similar to man-to-man anyway,” Tillman said. “So you have a lot of the same principles. We’re just going to take it as it comes. … If they want to do that, we’ll just hold onto the ball longer, and that’s great.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Maryland

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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.

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