Mount St. Mary’s search for its first win of the season has been complicated by slow starts.
The Mountaineers (0-8) have begun seven contests with deficits in the first quarter. The only time they didn’t trail was against Manhattan on March 9 when the score was tied 2-2.
But Mount St. Mary’s has been outscored, 27-6, in the opening periods, and the trend of falling behind early has caught the attention of coach Tom Gravante.
“We understand that as a staff, and we’re trying to make adjustments to have better starts,” he said prior to Saturday’s 17-7 loss to UMBC. “You can’t spot teams goals and expect to catch up and win. … I know it happens even with the bigger teams, and they’re capable of scoring faster than my squad. We’re hopeful that my staff and I have figured it out. We’re going to make adjustments in our pre-game routine to hopefully give us a better start in the first quarter.”
One change involves having the Mountaineers jump into live drills during pre-game warmups rather than tossing the ball and playing catch or other exercises that teams usually hold to ease their players into games.
Gravante said he hopes the small adjustment will help the four freshmen and sophomores dotting the starting lineup get more acclimated to the pace and tempo needed for contests.
“I think it’s a little bit of the youth in this team,” he said. “Defensively, we’ve been playing well and that’s where we’re more mature. Offensively, we’re green. So we need to heat it up a little bit in pregame so that the offense sees live action before they actually get in the game and are ready to go. That’s what we’ve come to. I don’t think they’re lackadaisical as much as they’re a little bit young in terms of that mental stuff. So I figured we could probably let our defensemen get after it with them and snap them out of that a little it, wake them up.”