NCAA Lacrosse Tournament: Cornell at (6) Maryland

Rob Carr

Everything you need to know about the Big Red and Terrapins ahead of their first round game.

It's the 2013 NCAA Tournament! Take out the nice napkins and make sure that your kid doesn't have crap all over his face. College Crosse has this all under control, so feel safe, friends. If you missed anything -- and you really shouldn't because you're only hurting yourself if you do -- click this fancy highlighted text to get all caught up.

From 10,000 Feet

Date and Time: Sunday, 1:00 P.M.
Location: Byrd Stadium, College Park, Maryland
Broadcast: ESPN2
Game "Fun Factor" Rank: 1st (5.6488)
log5 Victory Probabilities: Maryland -- 41.40%; Cornell -- 58.60%

From Right In Front Of Your Face

(6) Maryland Terrapins: ACC, At-Large

MARYLAND TERRAPINS
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 10-3 Clearing Rate 89.84% (9)
Adj. Off. Eff. 34.83 (12) Riding Rate 12.72% (41)
Adj. Def. Eff. 24.42 (7) Faceoff % 57.38% (9)
Adj. Eff. Margin 10.41 (5) Pace 63.54 (47)
Pyth. Win Exp. 75.05% (4) Off. Opps./60 Min. 34.31 (21)
Opps. Margin 5.08 (4) Def. Opps./60 Min. 29.23 (4)
Opps. Ratio 54.00% (4)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 60.40% (3) Sht. % 33.92% (3)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 39.74 (11) Opnt. Save % 44.80% (5)
Shts/Def. Opp. 1.09 (32) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 28.03 (3)
Opnt. Sht. % 23.91% (7) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.02 (48)
Def. Assist Rate 13.95 (8) Off. Assist Rate 19.73 (18)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 9.74 (20) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 9.42 (44)
EMD Conversion % 32.43% (27) EMO Conversion % 40.48% (12)
EMD Reliance 12.12% (37) EMO Reliance 11.04% (42)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 47.11 (21) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 44.39 (28)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 21.05 (45) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 24.89 (47)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 26.05 (14) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 19.51 (15)

Key

One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Maryland's meandering offense has taken a lot of abuse the last few weeks, but the team's defense -- one of the strongest in the country -- has continued to abuse the opposition without mitigation. This is where the Terps likely need to build their success on Sunday: Starting from the back (with cats like Jesse Bernhardt, Goran Murray, Casey Ikeda, Michael Ehrhardt, Landon Carr, and Niko Amato), Maryland needs to come correct against a destructive Cornell offense, allowing the Maryland offense to get going against an underrated Red defense. The Maryland defense has seen offenses as efficient as Cornell's this season (against Duke and North Carolina (the Terps are 1-1 in those games)) and the team's overall schedule is ranked fourth nationally with respect to opposing offenses faced. Amato has shed some of his streakiness this season (which has paid dividends for Maryland) but he will be tested at Byrd. The focus for Maryland's defense, I think, is threefold: (1) Winning individual matchups, especially staying strong on Rob Pannell and not letting him create separation when coming from behind the cage to goal line extended and beyond; and (2) Maintaining off-ball awareness (especially when Pannell is in a distributing posture); and (3) Limiting the role and impact of the Cornell midfield -- The Connors (Buczek and English) and Max Van Bourgondien -- as their value often derives from the attention that Mock, Pannell, and Donovan draw. This isn't an easy task, but Maryland's defense is capable and has the consistency to generate solid results. If that unit can perform at its potential, it allows Maryland's offense to play close to even or ahead on the scoreboard and shrinks the four-goal advantage (in terms of performance over a 100-opportunity basis) that Cornell currently holds in its performance profile.

Cornell Big Red: Ivy, At-Large

CORNELL BIG RED
BIG STATS PACE STATS
Record 12-3 Clearing Rate 87.50% (21)
Adj. Off. Eff. 38.40 (6) Riding Rate 17.77% (8)
Adj. Def. Eff. 24.06 (5) Faceoff % 55.16% (15)
Adj. Eff. Margin 14.34 (1) Pace 74.51 (3)
Pyth. Win Exp. 80.98% (1) Off. Opps./60 Min. 38.15 (2)
Opps. Margin 1.79 (18) Def. Opps./60 Min. 36.36 (57)
Opps. Ratio 51.20% (19)
DEFENSIVE STATS OFFENSIVE STATS
Save % 51.10% (39) Sht. % 31.03% (13)
Saves/100 Def. Opps. 25.41 (63) Opnt. Save % 43.75% (3)
Shts/Def. Opp. 0.91 (3) Saves/100 Off. Opps. 29.27 (6)
Opnt. Sht. % 26.65% (17) Sht/Off. Opp. 1.21 (5)
Def. Assist Rate 13.89 (7) Off. Assist Rate 19.51 (20)
EMD/100 Def. Opps. 9.87 (22) EMO/100 Off. Opps. 8.19 (56)
EMD Conversion % 25.93% (9) EMO Conversion % 36.17% (24)
EMD Reliance 10.53% (22) EMO Reliance 7.87% (61)
Opnt. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 50.64 (10) T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 39.02 (9)
Opnt. Unforc. T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 23.22 (33) Unforc. T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 23.22 (33)
Caused T/O per 100 Def. Opps. 27.42 (11) Opnt. Caused T/O per 100 Off. Opps. 16.03 (5)

Key

One piece of incredibly important information from my brain to your eyes via your Internet computing machine:

  • Something to watch on Sunday: Can Cornell generate turnovers against Maryland? The Red have been one of the best teams in the nation at killing defensive opportunities via a turnover: Only seven teams have a stronger ride rate than Cornell; only 10 teams cause more turnovers on a per-opportunity basis than the Red; only nine teams see their opponents lose opportunities via a turnover (caused or unforced) more than Cornell; and the Red have been a machine when the ball pops loose, corralling loose balls in the run of play at a rate that ranks 17th nationally but the margin they've generated in that aspect of play -- groundballs for against groundballs yielded per opportunity -- ranks third nationally (the margin is about seven groundballs per 100 total opportunities). Against Maryland (a team that ranks 28th in turnovers per 100 offensive opportunities and just 47th in unforced turnovers over the same basis), Cornell has a chance to change the volition of play if the Red are able to print money via turnovers (or if the Terps play loose with the ball): Defensive opportunities killed via a turnover (1) limits the exposure A.J. Fiore -- a streaky-ish keeper -- has to Maryland's cadre of offensive weapons, (2) keeps pressure on Maryland's defense and gives extra opportunities to arguably the best player in college lacrosse (Pannell) to make things happen, (3) disallows the Terrapins from driving the pace of the game into the ground, and (4) potentially erases any opportunity-generation advantage that Maryland may have on the whistle with Charlie Raffa and Curtis Holmes. Thomas Keith, Jason Noble, Tom Freshour, and Jordan Stevens have a greater role on Sunday than simply complementing the Red's offense -- they are partly generators of the Red's offense; every defensive opportunity they are able to kill is potentially a goal in the other direction for Cornell. Controlled aggressiveness from the Red -- not overplaying for a turnover and thus hanging Fiore out to dry -- may create a functional two-goal swing for Cornell if Maryland isn't careful.
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