Latest goal for Park's Weiner is to improve his assist total

April 25, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

For Park's Matt Weiner, the majority of his 23 goals -- nearly half of the Bruins' 50 -- have come rather easily this season against Maryland Scholastic Association B Conference opponents.

For example, take Tuesday's six-goal effort in a 13-1 victory over Curley, which returned eight starters from last year's conference runner-up squad, including four-year veteran and All-League keeper Josh Sutherland.

Coming off a disappointing one-goal outing in a 3-1 win over Spalding, Weiner broke out.

"They ended up pulling him [Sutherland] in the third quarter, and I don't remember him making any marquee saves," said Weiner, who played with a bruised right shoulder Friday but scored two goals with two assists in a non-league loss against Perry Hall (5-0).

"I'm the one who has to set up the offense, but Spalding had shut me off with a long stick [defender,] and we didn't move the ball real well. So we practiced against the shut-off, getting the other attackmen to handle the ball."

In just five games for the Bruins (4-1), Weiner is eight goals shy of last year's total, which helped earn him All-Conference honors.

But the 6-foot-2, 190-pound senior isn't satisfied -- he's still far shy of last year's assist effort (17) with five. The Bruins have important league games against Spalding on Tuesday and defending champ Friends on Friday, so Weiner wants to change that quickly.

"It's really lopsided," said Weiner of his goals-to-assists ratio. "I usually come out scoring goals pretty early. I've been trying to feed teammates more, but we've had some tough breaks with passes being dropped."

Coach Lucky Mallonee agreed. "Sometimes, Matt's not positive that the other guy will catch the pass in crucial situations," he said, "so he just takes it to goal.

"This is Matt's fourth year as a starter and his second as a co-captain, but it's really the first time he's playing up to his potential.

"Fundamentally, Matt's excellent, but he's going to have to feed the ball more. He had over 70 ground balls last year and he's leading the team with [41] right now. He needs to see the field better and improve his right-handed stickwork. His confidence there is still developing."

As a fifth-grader playing in a recreation league in Pikesville, Weiner played in the midfield, where he said he "wasn't that good." The next season, however, he excelled and made the A team.

Since then, he has matured athletically and physically, weighing as much as 205 pounds as a center fullback on the soccer team last fall.

"I ran a lot and lifted weights during the winter," said Weiner, who bench-presses 230 pounds. "I know that in college, there'll be a lot of guys pushing you, but I feel I'm ready for the test of jumping up another level."

Weiner chose Syracuse over Rutgers "because of their lacrosse program and academics," despite NCAA sanctions against Syracuse that begin next fall.

The sanctions resulted in three scholarships per year over the next three years being taken away from the Orangemen lacrosse program, and Weiner said the remaining scholarships have been guaranteed to other recruits for next season.

Weiner hopes to earn a scholarship later, but knows that he'll have to improve his overall game to excel at the Division I level.

"One-on-one, an attackman can beat a defenseman, but when (( you get double-teamed, it's a whole different thing," said Weiner. "I know I'm going to get keyed on more and our guys can't force the ball to me.

"We've been working on getting more goals out of the midfield, because when you dish the ball, that's when your team scores goals."

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