ESPN analyst Quint Kessenich will be on hand to provide color commentary on No. 3 Maryland’s visit with No. 12 Duke on Saturday at 11 a.m. The former Johns Hopkins All-American goalkeeper, who can be followed on Twitter via @QKessenich, discussed the Terps’ 12-10 upset of top-ranked Loyola, the Blue Devils’ fading resume after losing to unranked Penn, and several teams that have surprised him so far.
Was there any specific result from this past weekend that stood out to you?
I thought [No. 11] Denver bouncing back with the [18-10] win over [No. 7] Lehigh was important. [No. 10 North] Carolina beating [No. 18] Fairfield was very important. Obviously, Maryland’s win over Loyola was a top-five win.
What impressions did you come away with from Maryland’s win?
That game was won by Maryland’s midfielders who capitalized on the fact that [senior short-stick defensive midfielder] Josh Hawkins is not in uniform. They repeatedly dodged against Loyola’s short-stick defensive midfielders, and Loyola was hesitant to slide. That’s the way they play defense. They didn’t adjust, and Maryland scored some unassisted goals. I thought Maryland looked like the hungrier team. They played with more energy. I wasn’t there, I was just watching it on TV, but I thought Maryland was the hungrier team.
How surprised were you that Loyola didn’t reflect that same intensity?
That does not surprise me at all. That is typical of a team that wins the prior championship and brings back a lot of the same people. As a player, I dealt with the that kind of loss in 1988. Those revenge games really favor the teams that had lost in the title game.
How significant was Denver’s 18-10 shellacking of Lehigh on Saturday? And how worried should the Mountain Hawks be after losing to Air Force, 15-10, the following day?
It was a disastrous weekend for Lehigh. Not catastrophic, but disastrous. When you think about all the success they had last year, now they’re coming back to reality and kind of put themselves out of the top 15 in the country. For Denver to come back from that loss [15-12 to then-No. 18 Penn State] in Jacksonville, I thought they played flat-footed, and the defense didn’t play well at all. It was a nice bounce-back game for them. The other game that I mentioned was Carolina and Fairfield, and Carolina was coming off that awful loss [12-11 to No. 8 Massachusetts]. So it was really important for Carolina to pick themselves up and get a W.
There is still no timetable on when junior Chase Carraro will return from his right knee injury, but can Denver continue to win without its top faceoff specialist and first-line midfielder?
Yes, certainly they can. Their backup faceoff guy, [senior] Chace Calkin, is capable and they have a lot of weapons – as many as anyone in the country. His injury hurts, but it’s not going to cost them their season. If you look around the country right now, injuries are always going to be a factor in how teams deal with them. Loyola’s got a suspension that they’re dealing with right now in Josh Hawkins, UMass is playing without [senior attackman and 2012 Tewaaraton Award finalist] Will Manny, and Princeton is playing defense without [junior] Rob Castelo. Every team is going to face adversity. The question is, how does the player, how does the backup, how does the coaching staff react?
With Lehigh’s loss to Air Force and Duke’s 14-9 setback to Penn Friday night, how damaging are these losses?