Q&A with Dave Cottle

Dave Cottle is in his fourth season at Maryland as head coach. The Terps finished 13-3 last season and reached the NCAA quarterfinals. What is your impression of your team so far?

Dave Cottle: We're athletic. We have a good attitude and we're trying hard. We're inexperienced in some positions, which is scary as a coach, but we're playing through it right now.

Jon, Bethesda: How does this year's defense compare to the last two years? Is there a potential Zink, Passavia, Gillette, etc. ready to step-up?

Dave Cottle: Of the seven players we played last year, six of them are gone. Our poles, Ryan Clarke and Tyler Hereth, return and our fourth defenseman, Gavin Webb, returns. Steve Whittenberg, a transfer from Air Force, has been a very good addition.

Harry Alford is going to be the starter in goal. He has yet to start a college game, but he's as talented a goalie as I've been around. He's been pretty solid in the scrimmages.

Dominic, Cockeysville: What is the most important skill/training for a young kid to work on to get better at lacrosse? I am almost 8 and love lax.

Dave Cottle: On the offensive end, there is the throwing and shooting part of it. The fundamentals of throwing properly and going from a protective position to a throwing position while on the move are ones that all players at all levels struggle with. On the defensive end, becoming the best athlete they can become - the conditioning, fitness and strength - is an important part of the game. The sooner you can do that, the better it is. Ron, Windsor, Ontario: What does a high school student-athlete need to do to get a college coach to notice him?

Dave Cottle: The first thing they can do is send a letter to the school they are interested in and then follow it up with a tape of their game. And if they know a school that they really want to attend, they should attend that school's camp and then they'll be able to be seen by that coaching staff.

David, Katy, Texas: What do you think of the lacrosse talent coming from the greater Houston area?

Dave Cottle: What you see there are football/lacrosse athletes. I see an increase in athletic kids from that area going to Division I programs. So there is no question that Texas is starting to put out some kids that can play Division I lacrosse.