In his first start on attack, freshman Connor Cannizzaro had two goals and one assist in No. 6 Maryland’s 9-6 victory over No. 7 Virginia on Sunday.
Cannizzaro, who had started the previous eight games in the midfield, outperformed usual starting attackmen Matt Rambo (one goal) and Tim Rotanz (zero points).
But coach John Tillman wouldn't say Tuesday whether that trio would start again Wednesday against Robert Morris (4-5) or any other opponent this season.
“I think it will be game-by-game,” Tillman said. “You can certainly see it again. I think what it gives us is, it gives us some options. Depending on who we’re playing against, you could see that. You could see [junior] Jay [Carlson]. You could see a few other guys depending on -- when we watch film -- what we feel like maybe gives us the best opportunity to win. We obviously have played [senior] Michael [Chanenchuk] a lot down there, and sometimes, he’ll play midfield. Sometimes it’s just because of what we see on the other team. Connor’s a flexible enough player that you can play him at both spots.”
Cannizzaro had replaced Carlson, a St. Paul’s graduate who had started the previous eight games, is tied for third on the team in goals (15) and ranks fourth in points (17). Carlson, who has scored on several behind-the-back shots in his collegiate career, ranks third in ground balls (26).
But if a defense intends to double-pole the midfield and leave a short-stick defensive midfielder on Carlson, the Terps (8-1) can turn to Cannizzaro, who is more of a dodging threat than Carlson is. That versatility is something the team can use liberally as the calendar turns to the final two months of lacrosse.