Gettysburg at Stevenson: Three things to watch

Factors include faceoffs, tempo and net play

May 12, 2012|By Edward Lee

Gettysburg has a slight 2-1 lead in the series and defeated Stevenson, 12-7, in a NCAA tournament semifinal in 2009. The Bullets (11-6) had dropped their three previous contests until beating Ohio Wesleyan, 7-4, in the first round on Wednesday. The Mustangs (16-4) have won 11 of 12 games at home this season, most recently against Birmingham-Southern in the first round. Here are a few factors that could influence this NCAA tournament second-round contest at Mustang Stadium in Owings Mills Saturday night.

1) Faceoffs. The Mustangs boast three players in senior Doug Reidt, junior Sam Ramatowski and freshman Sam Wyatt who have each won more than 50 percent of faceoffs they’ve taken this season. Their presence gives coach Paul Cantabene options against an opponent. That may come in handy against the Gettysburg duo of junior Nick Avedisian and sophomore Wes Lincoln, who have combined to win 57.1 percent (181-of-317) of draws. “I think it’s a good matchup,” Cantabene said. “They’ve used two guys over the year. So we’re just going to have to see how it plays out. I think faceoffs are very important because Gettysburg’s going to want to play slower and control the pace of the game and shorten the game. If we have the ball more, they can’t do that.”

2) Tempo. The Bullets have reached double digits in scoring just six times this spring. They’re a deliberate, methodical bunch that have the ability to force opponents to play at their pace and grind out victories. Cantabene is fully expecting Gettysburg to slow the tempo, and the onus will be on Stevenson to entice the Bullets into playing faster and making more mistakes. “I think our defense has done a good job of pressuring teams all year and getting out on them and making them make tough decisions,” he said. “You’ve got to play good defense and you’ve got to rely on your offense. You don’t have the ball as much. So you have to have good possessions and quality possessions to rest your defense. We have to clear the ball. The first time the ball hits the ground, we’ve got to get the ball up and out and give them one chance. If you give them multiple chances, it’s obviously easier to score. Clearing that ball the first time and getting the ball to our offense is going to be very important.”

3) Net play. Gettysburg has split time in the cage between junior J.T. McCook (8.70 goals-against average and .519 save percentage in eight starts) and sophomore Jon Maddalone (7.41, .564 in nine starts). Maddalone is the leading candidate to start Saturday as he has been in the net for the Bullets’ last three games. Either way, the Mustangs are going to have to figure out the goalkeeper’s tendencies and exploit them. “I think they’re kind of different, and they’re going with the one that they think is hot,” Cantabene said. “Whoever they throw out there, we have to be ready for. We’ve been shooting the ball fairly well towards the end of the season here. We’ve faced a lot of great goaltenders this year. So I think that helps our team because we’ve faced so many good goaltenders that whoever we face, we think we have some confidence that we’re going to able to hit some shots. But we also can’t let the goalie get hot by giving him some saves. We’re going to have to shoot the ball smartly to keep him off-balance a little bit.”

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