Every shot from Colin Heacock’s 2023 season

By Adam Lamberti | Mar 8, 2024

It’s no secret that new Maryland Whipsnake signing Colin Heacock didn’t have his best year in 2023.

The 29-year-old midfielder only scored 2 goals on the season, shooting 10%. The 2022 season wasn’t much better for Heacock, scoring 5 goals on a 16% shooting percentage. But if you look back to 2021 (when Heacock was playing as an attackman), Heacock was an All-Star registering 16 goals on a whopping 39% shooting percentage.

Heacock won’t have those numbers in 2024 due to his likely role as a secondary option at the midfield, which he’ll embrace. Like all former Terrapins, Heacock will keep the offense flowing, hit singles, move well off-ball, and take his opportunities when presented. All this to say, Heacock may not have the gaudy numbers of a few years ago, but he’s likely to increase his production and offensive efficiency.

Here’s why:

1. The Chrome offense was really bad 

The 2023 Chrome offense was last in every major offensive statistic last season:

  • 7.9 goals per game (second-to-last was 10.7)
  • 35.4 shots per game (second-to-last was 40)
  • 22.3% shooting percentage (second-to-last was 25.3%)

It’s hard to put in words how bad this offense was last season. Watching them last season felt like watching a team with no direction. They made minimal adjustments to the 32-second shot clock, and didn’t really seem to have a solid offensive game plan most of the time. 

Just the change in scenery should give a little boost to Heacock, regardless of the team.

2. Better players = better chances = more goals

I went through every Colin Heacock shot of 2023.

The biggest thing that stood out to me was the lack of chances Heacock’s teammates generated for him. While he’s a decent dodger, Heacock’s biggest attribute at this point in his career is his off-ball play.

While 2023 Chrome leading scorers Logan Wisnauskas, Sam Handley, and Jackson Morrill (who played with the Chrome most of the season before being traded to the Whipsnakes) are all talented players in their own right, none of the guys are a true #1 initiator. Wisnauskas and Morrill have always been their best at dodging off of ball movement, which was minimal last season. Handley has the potential to turn into a game-changing midfielder, but receiving a pole as a rookie most games and not having anyone to take the pressure off him as an initial dodger hurt him last season.

How does this affect Heacock? Well, like I said earlier, Heacock isn’t a true go-to dodger either, so he needs players around him that can be a party-starter and draw slides. The good news for Heacock is the Whipsnakes have a few go-to dodgers: Matt Rambo, Zed Williams, and Tucker Dordevic. These guys consistently draw slides off the dribble, which will free up more space and opportunity for Heacock, something he didn’t have last season.

3. Instant chemistry with former Terrapins

I know Matt Rambo is the only player on the Whipsnakes that Heacock has actually played a lot with in college. But there is something about the way players from not only the University of Maryland, but the Whipsnakes as a whole, are able to play together.

While 2023 was a weird year offensively where it felt like a revolving door of guys offensively due to injury, Head Coach Jim Stagnitta gets the most out of offensive talent by emphasizing quick ball movement and defining players’ roles offensively. Some roles are primary ball-carriers, like Rambo or Zed. Some are shooters, like Will Manny.

With Heacock, like I’ve said before, I expect his role to be a secondary option out of the midfield, where he can use his IQ to play in pick games or move off-ball. He should fit well into the Whipsnakes offense that has high standards.