Freshman gets lots of goals, Z's

Attackman quite energetic on field, but very sleepy off it

Maryland's Travis Reed

April 04, 2008|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,Sun reporter

On the lacrosse field, Travis Reed is a 5-foot-9, 195-pound whirlwind around the cage, constantly searching for a shooting lane while trying to elude defenders with an array of moves and feints.

Off the field, the Maryland freshman attackman's energy level isn't quite so high.

"I think he sleeps more than any human being I've ever met," said fellow freshman attackman Ryan Young. "He sleeps all day. He's a caveman."

Reed didn't dispute his friend's assertion.

"I like to sleep," Reed said. "It's one of my passions. Nothing better than a nice midday nap."

It's doubtful that opponents are sleeping on Reed, who will lead the No. 6 Terps (7-2) against rival No. 8 Navy (8-2) tonight at 8 at Byrd Stadium in College Park.

Reed leads his team in goals (18) and points (23), posting at least a point in eight of nine games this season. His 18 goals have him tied with Dave Dempsey for eighth place on the program's all-time freshman goals list, and Reed ranks 14th on the freshman points list.

Reed, a two-time All-Metro selection at Boys' Latin, might have stamped his emergence Saturday when he got a hat trick and two assists in Maryland's 13-7 upset of then-No. 1 Virginia - a game broadcast on ESPN2.

ESPN analyst Matt Ward said the left-handed Reed reminds him of former Terp and two-time first-team All-American Joe Walters, who graduated in 2006 as the school's all-time career leader in goals and points.

"He's right out of the Joe Walters mold where's he's mainly one-handed, but he can do everything with his shot," said Ward, the 2006 Tewaaraton Trophy winner from Virginia. "He can bring it low to high, he can shoot overhand, and he's a very, very good shooter. ... He doesn't need a whole lot of room to get shots off in close, and that bodes well for him."

Overshadowed at times by the size of 6-5, 240-pound freshman attackman Grant Catalino and the passing prowess of Young (who has a team-leading 15 assists), Reed has toiled to polish his skills as a finisher.

Because of his size, Reed has been overlooked by several opponents who slide a short-stick defensive midfielder rather than assign a long-pole defenseman to mark him. Georgetown, North Carolina and Virginia are just some of the opponents that followed that strategy, and Reed posted a combined six goals and two assists against them.

"The book on Travis when he was in high school was that you didn't have to waste a pole to guard him," Terps coach Dave Cottle said. "But his knowledge of the game and his intelligence help make him a player with a long or a short out there. So he can score in transition, he can score in extra man, but what he has done in half field has been amazing."

Reed said he understands why opponents ask a short-stick defender to guard him.

"They tend to do that a lot to players like me who are shooters and not so much like dodgers," he said. "I don't even know if teams will put a long pole on me [now] just because our middies are pretty dangerous and that's why they've been moving their long sticks up."

Still, even Reed is stunned at what he's been able to accomplish this season.

"I didn't think I would have this much success thus far, but I think a lot of my success has been because of my team and how they've been able to get me the ball and get me in the right spots," he said. "But I really don't look at that at all. I just pretty much care how our team does. Points don't mean anything to me as long as our team is winning."

Notes -- Cottle explained his plan to start sophomore Brian Phipps (Severn) in net rather than junior Jason Carter (St. Mary's), who made a career-high 15 saves in the upset of the Cavaliers. "We just felt it was his turn, and Brian played great against Navy last year," he said. ... Navy junior goalkeeper Matt Coughlin (right hamstring) has been cleared to play, but coach Richie Meade said he is still debating whether to start Coughlin or junior Tommy Phelan (Loyola). "The worst thing that can happen is we play him and he hurts it again," Meade said. "I don't have a tremendous sense of urgency to put Matt back in there until he's 100 percent."

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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