Despite fewer goals, Quinzani stays focused

Notebook

March 04, 2009|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,edward.lee@baltsun.com

What's happened to Max Quinzani? Nothing, according to Quinzani.

On paper, the junior attackman for the No. 15 Duke men's lacrosse team seems to have started slowly, scoring seven goals in four games. Last year, Quinzani scored 61 goals, the 13th-highest single-season total in NCAA history.

Quinzani isn't concerned.

"Coach [John Danowski] has prepared me for this," he said. "He knew what was coming, and he told me to get ready because he knew it wasn't going to be easy for me. I'm not going to be forgotten, and I'm sure everything will work out. Hopefully, I can get my feet back under me and pick up where I left off last year."

Without NCAA all-time leading scorer Matt Danowski (who graduated) and NCAA career goals leader Zack Greer (who transferred to Bryant), Quinzani has attracted the attention of opponents' best defensemen.

Case in point: No. 7 Maryland assigned sophomore defenseman Max Schmidt to shadow Quinzani, who still scored three goals in the Saturday's 11-8 loss to the Terps.

His coach said he thinks Quinzani has tried to do too much on offense.

"There's a tendency for kids to say, 'Well, I've got to pick up where Matt left off or where Zack left off.' And the answer to that is, 'No, you don't,' " the coach said. "You've got to be the best Max Quinzani you can be, and that's great."

Quinzani said he is still getting familiar with new attack teammates in converted midfielder Ned Crotty and St. Lawrence transfer Will McKee.

"It's going to take some time for us to jell," Quinzani said. "It's coming along slowly but surely."

Yesterday, Quinzani had a season-high six goals in Duke's 16-7 win over visiting Holy Cross.

Hood showing muscle

After 47 consecutive losses, Hood got its first victory since the Division III program's inception in 2005 with a 12-7 win against Gwynedd-Mercy on Feb. 24.

Although the Blazers (1-2) lost Friday to Shenandoah, 13-10, coach Curt Foxx said the team's confidence has not dissipated.

"These kids feel like they have been in every game this season," said Foxx, a first-year coach who succeeded Eric Dummann. "They feel like they've been competitive, whereas last year when we only had about 17 players on the team, we were completely blown out in probably 12 of the games. The kids feel like, 'Hey, we're in it.' ... There's a big improvement, even if it's not showing in the record."

Koppens back at it

Senior attackman Shane Koppens showed why he has been missed by No. 19 Loyola.

Koppens, whose fifth year of eligibility was delayed by a two-game suspension he received for playing fall scrimmages, recorded his fifth career hat trick in his first game Saturday. He helped the Greyhounds to an 8-7 win against Eastern College Athletic Conference foe Penn State.

"He's our offensive leader. He's our decision maker," coach Charley Toomey said. "I think he really cherishes that role and embraces it. He just makes people around him better."

Et cetera

Virginia's 13-12 defeat of No. 2 and reigning national champion Syracuse on Friday might have cemented the Cavaliers' No. 1 ranking and postseason hopes. "As silly as it sounds, it sort of makes you feel like, 'OK, I think we've got a shot to make the playoffs now,' " Virginia coach Dom Starsia said. "So I think on a couple of different fronts, it's a meaningful game." ... Johns Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala insisted that the decision to pull junior Michael Gvozden with 11:30 left in the fourth quarter of Saturday's 14-8 loss to then-No. 19 Princeton should not be interpreted as criticism of the goalie's effort. "No. I don't think that we were playing great defense in front of him," Pietramala said of Gvozden, who was replaced by freshman Steven Burke. "I don't think our defensive effort in general was up to snuff, and for me to sit here and blame Mike, that would be out of line. Again, I blame me. It's my job to get this team ready to play, and when I watch that film, it doesn't look like we were ready to play."

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