Friday, April 8, 2011

game preview: North Carolina

Date/Time: Sat, April 9; 12:00


History against the Heels: 44-23

Last matchup: UVA 7, UNC 5; 4/10/10; East Rutherford, NJ

Last game: Maryland 12, UVA 7 (4/2); JHU 10, UNC 9 (4/3)

Opposing blogs: no lax ones that I know of

If a rotten first half against Hopkins and an even worse second half against Maryland hasn't turned this into one of those seasons already, a loss here could do it. Desperation can be a fine motivator, but UNC will draw on it too; neither team wants to fall to 7-4 and the NCAA bubble.


- Maintain long possessions. The off-ball defense being what it is (crummy) I still think the team's #1 problem other than faceoffs is short possessions. Goals are rare enough, but worse, there are too many shots that go straight into the goalies' stick, and possessions become short, one-and-done affairs. Unscientifically I'd say at least two-thirds of our shots the past two games resulted in a lost possession, instead of a goal or being backed up behind the net. Since we can't win faceoffs, we have to make up the time of possession other ways, and give the defense fewer chances to break down.

- Ghitelman stands on his head. He's played well enough, but inevitably these games have gotten to the point where either you rail about his ineffective play (if you've decided to be wrong) or you shrug and say if the goalie is hung out to dry often enough, the goals will eventually follow. Ghitelman's made some really nice saves during this losing streak, and I don't recall many, if any, shots that I thought he should have stopped. But it sure would be nice for him to put together a full 60 minutes of tremenditude and steal a game. Obvious addendum: it sucks that the defense has gotten me to the point where I'm begging the goalie to bail them out.


You know what, I'm not even gonna bother making a list, because if you've watched the past couple games you know the answer already. Faceoff ineptitude, sloppy offense, sacrifice of the team in favor of the individual. The usual.


The last two debacles pretty much stripped me of any confidence I had going into this one. Then again, Carolina has been eminently beatable themselves this year. The transitive property of sports is no help as usual: they beat Maryland, which beat UVA; UVA beat Ohio State which beat UNC. The game's at home, so that's something, and in a more appropriate lacrosse atmosphere than Scott Stadium. So that's something too, I hope. I'd be stupid to try and make a prediction, though. We'll win again when we decide we want to. I have no idea whether that's happened or not.

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