After coming off of a 7-5 win against No. 4 Notre Dame Sunday in the Quarterfinals of the 2011 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament, No. 5 Duke is preparing for another matchup against Maryland tonight at 6:30 p.m. that will hopefully propel the Blue Devils to yet another championship run.
This is the third time the two teams will play against each other this season, with both teams taking one game apiece. Both schools have played each other in the NCAA Tournament before, and tonight's contest marks the fourth overall meeting between the two in the post-season.
To combat certain aspects of the Terrapins' game, head coach John Danowski said he is working with his team to better their draw control right off the bat, as well as other elements of the Blue Devil style of play.
"Well you know again, we'll keep practicing every day with everyone to get better," Danowski said. "Sometimes the faceoff game is a matter of matchups at the draw, sometimes it's a matter of your wing play, or trying to create a scrum and to be able to fight for the ball and sometimes it's what you do in both the offense and the defensive boxes, so we're going to prepare to try to win faces with the draw, try to see if we can make some plays at the wing. "
Though the Blue Devils are higher seeded than the Terrapins and are facing Maryland in Baltimore, the team isn't focused specifically on their opponent as much as they are on themselves and preforming well.
"Well I'll tell you what, I'm a big fan of everything that John Wooden has ever done in that while you certainly prepare for your opponent, a lot of this now is about what you do and how you do things and so how we approach the ball in defense and our team defensive position, playing a pick is playing a pick," Danowski said. "It's about how consistent can you be, how alert you are defensively and offensively, you know it's only going to be about, can you finish well?
"Is your team shooting well? Are we moving the ball, making the right pass; they're either going to slide from the crease or they're going to slide adjacent or fake slide or not slide at all and you're going to have to beech them in, and all those lessons that your kids have learned all year; are they going to be able to translate that on Saturday night."
For more about tonight's contest, be sure to check out The Blue Zone's "Three Keys to Duke-Maryland."
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