Men's Lacrosse Blog: Impressive Debut

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - What an opening week for the Terps! There are a few notes to get into following Maryland’s big 16-3 win over the Mount, including the 2014 freshman class' impressive debut, Niko Amato moving up the career saves chart and the defense’s dominating performance. We will also look at the Terps’ history on Team USA with the recent announcement of the 30-man roster for the 2014 FIL World Championships. Plus, we will take a look at this week’s opponent, UMBC.

Let’s get to it.

Impressive Debut
It was an impressive debut for Maryland’s much-heralded freshman class in the Terps’ season-opening win vs. the Mount. As a group the Maryland freshmen combined for seven goals, three assists, eight groundballs and one caused turnover.

The six points put up by Matt Rambo on four goals and two assists highlighted that effort. Midfielder Connor Cannizzaro also scored twice and added an assist.

Maryland also saw freshmen John Belz, Lucas Gradinger, Isaiah Davis-Allen, Josh Reinson, Tim Muller, Ben Chisolm, Mac Pons and Wyatt Wood make their collegiate debuts. In addition, transfers Mike Bender, Henry West and Ian Robertson also saw their first action as Terps.

The impressive debut of this group of freshmen brought immediate questions, most of them beginning with “When was the last time …?”.

So, lets look at some of those last times regarding freshmen or Terp debuts.

  • The last time a group of freshmen scored more goals than the seven put up by the 2014 freshmen last Saturday was Feb. 23, 2008 when four freshmen combined to score nine goals in the 11-6 win at Georgetown.
  • The last time a freshman scored four goals in his collegiate debut was in that same game at the Hoyas when Grant Catalino netted four in his first game as a Terp.
  • The last time a freshman midfielder scored twice in his college debut was 2007, but it wasn’t by your traditional offensive midfielder. On Feb. 17, 2007, freshman long pole Brian Farrell scored twice in his debut – an 11-6 win over Bellarmine at the Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex.
  • The last time a freshman midfielder was on the first line in the season opener was Feb. 25, 2006 when Dan Groot was a first-line middie in the 10-4 win over Georgetown.
  • Broadening the scope a bit, the last time a Maryland player totaled more than six points in his first game as a Terp was Feb. 28, 2004 when Xander Ritz, a sophomore transfer from Delaware, had seven points on three goals and four assists in a 14-5 win at Georgetown.

Here’s a quick look at some of the debut games from some recent Terrapin greats (reverse chronological order):

  • Mike Chanenchuk (1-1=2, 1 ct) – transfer vs. Hartford (Feb. 18, 2012)
  • Joe Cummings (1-0=1, 1 gb) – freshman vs. Presbyterian (Feb. 13, 2009)
  • Will Yeatman (1-3=4, 1 gb) – transfer vs. Presbyterian (Feb. 13, 2009)
  • Grant Catalino (4-0=4, 2 gb) – freshman at Georgetown (Feb. 23, 2008)
  • Travis Reed (2-0=2, 3 gb) – freshman at Georgetown (Feb. 23, 2008)
  • Ryan Young (2-1=3, 2 gb) – freshman at Georgetown (Feb. 23, 2008)
  • Brian Farrell (2-0=2, 4 gb) – freshman vs. Bellarmine (Feb. 17, 2007)
  • Jeremy Sieverts (1-0=1, 1 gb) – transfer vs. Bellarmine (Feb. 17, 2007)/
  • Xander Ritz (3-4=7, 1 gb) – transfer vs. Georgetown (Feb. 28, 2004)
  • Joe Walters (0-2=2, 2 gb) – freshman vs. Duke (Mar. 2, 2003)
  • Mike Mollott (2-2=4) – redshirt freshman vs. Mount St. Mary’s (Feb. 27, 2000)
  • Mike LaMonica (2-0=2) – freshman vs. Denver (Feb. 25, 1999)
  • Matt Hahn (2-0=2) – freshman vs. Villanova (Feb. 25, 1996)

Moving on up
It wasn’t a day that will stand out for senior goalie Niko Amato. He only had to make seven saves in his 45 minutes of work vs. the Mount, but that seventh save was a big one in the grand scheme of things.

That seventh save gave Amato 480 for his career, which moved him into sole possession of third place on the school’s all-time saves list. He moved past Terp alums Brian Phipps (2007-10), with whom Amato shared fourth place entering the season with 473 saves, and Jake Reed (1974-77), who had 479 saves.

Next up on all-time saves list is Amato’s mentor: Brian Dougherty. “Doc” had a sensational career as a Terp, stopping 658 shots from 1993-96. Amato will need to make 179 saves from now through whenever the 2014 season ends to eclipse Doc’s save total.

That’s probably as high as Amato could climb realistically. The all-time saves leader for the Terps is Kevin O’Leary, who made 705 stops from 1981-84. Amato is 226 saves away from that mark, which would mean that he would need to finish this season with a school single-season saves record of 233. That’s six more saves than Doc had in his record-setting 1995 season, when he led the Terps to a berth in the NCAA title game.

For a little historical perspective, only six Terps have made 200 or more saves in a single season and no one has done it since 2000 when Pat McGinnis had 210. The most recent run at the 200-save mark came in 2005 when Harry Alford finished with 191.

dominating defense
Maryland’s defense allowed Mount St. Mary’s just three goals in the opener, which is an impressive feat for an opener or any game, for that matter.

The three goals is the fewest goals allowed by a Terrapin defense in a season opener since 2009 when Maryland defeated Presbyterian, 18-3, in Jacksonville.

The 2009 season is also the last time a Maryland team allowed three or fewer goals in a game. On April 18, the Terps defeated Penn, 9-2, at Franklin Field in Philadelphia.

To put some perspective on how rare it is for a defense to hold an opponent to three goals or less in a game, lets take a look at the all-time results since the NCAA officially recognized men’s lacrosse as a sport in 1971.

Since 1971 Maryland has played in a total of 589 games (including Saturday’s win over Mount St. Mary’s). The Terps have held opponents to three or fewer goals in a game only 38 times. That’s just above six percent of Maryland’s total games.

The 1971 season marks the high-water mark for seasons with three-goals or fewer games with five. That year the Terps win at Princeton, 19-3, at Baltimore, 15-2, at North Carolina, 15-3, at East Carolina, 22-2 and vs. Air Force, 10-1, in the program’s first-ever NCAA tournament game.

Overall, Maryland has limited 23 different programs to three or fewer goals in a game at least once since 1971. Of those 23, six no longer have Division I programs (Univ. of Baltimore, East Carolina, South Florida, Hamden Sydney, Radford and Presbyterian).

Team USA
Five Maryland men’s lacrosse alumni were named to the 30-man roster for the U.S. National Team that will compete at the 2014 FIL World Championships from July 10-19 in Denver.

Jesse Bernhardt (2013), Dan Burns (2011), Jeff Reynolds (2009), Drew Snider (2012) and Lee Zink (2004) made the team, which was selected from an original pool of 98 players through a seven-month selection process.

That total ties the Terps with Johns Hopkins for the most alums on the 30-man roster with five.

As far as international competitions go, the lacrosse world championship is still in its infancy. The first IFL (not a typo – it was the IFL World Championships until being renamed the FIL World Championships prior to the 2010 tournament) championship was held in 1967. It took seven years for the championships to return in 1974, but the tournament has been held every four years since.

Maryland has been represented on every Team USA roster with the exceptions of 1990 and 1994. Jim Kappler, Gene Reckner and Abraham Tiedeman were the Terps’ first members of Team USA, helping the red, white and blue bring home the gold from Toronto in 1967.

The five Terps on the current national team is the most all-time with the previous high coming in 1974 when four Terps – Rich Avena, Doug Schreiber, Mike Thearle and Frank Urso – won the gold medal in Melbourne, Australia. That 1974 team was also coached by legendary Terp Bud Beardmore.

Richie Moran, who was the head coach at Cornell at the time but played at Maryland from 1958-60, coached the 1978 team, which featured Doug Radebaugh.

Radebaugh became the first Terp to appear on multiple US national teams when he helped the U.S. win the gold in Baltimore in 1982.

John Lamon was the lone Terrapin on the 1986 team that won the gold in Toronto.

A 12-year drought came to an end when Brian Dougherty was named to the team in 1998, but he was a reserve goalie behind the legendary Sal LoCascio (uncle of current Terp Joe LoCascio), who made 32 saves in the gold medal game vs. Canada.

Michael Howley was the only Terp on the 2002 squad, as was Joe Walters in 2006. Walters was the lone collegian to earn a spot on that 2006 team.

After not competing for a variety of reasons in 2002 or 2006, Doc came back in 2010 to try to do the one thing he hadn’t accomplished in his remarkable career – win a gold medal as the starting goalie of Team USA. Along with fellow Terp alum Joe Cinosky, Dougherty did just that, finishing a run to the gold with a 12-10 win over Canada in the championship final.

Overall, the five on this year’s U.S. national team will bring the total number of Terps to don the red, white and blue to 18 with Radebaugh and Dougherty making two appearances each.

Additionally the Terps have been represented on the U.S. U-19 team at the world championships in every tournament since the event’s inception in 1988. Fourteen Maryland players played in the U-19 tournament, beginning with Craig Bullen and Chris Dail in 1988 and most recently with Charlie Raffa in 2012.

UMBC Preview
This will be the 35th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Maryland winning 26 of the previous 34 contests.

Maryland has won 10 of the last 14 games, but the Retrievers have taken four of the last six. Prior to that, UMBC had not defeated the Terps since taking back-to-back games in 1998 and 1999.

Maryland and UMBC were scheduled to meet in College Park on March 6, 2013 in College Park, but inclement weather forced the game to be cancelled. It was the first season the two teams didn't play since 1981.

Head coach Don Zimmerman is one of the most highly respected coaches in lacrosse and fans can be sure he will have his Retrievers ready for their 2014 opener. He will have some veteran options on the offensive side of the field in senior attackman Matt Gregoire (28-4=32), sophomore attackman Nate Lewnes (14-1=15) and sophomore midfielder Pat Young (32-7=39), who was the 2013 America East Rookie of the Year and a first team all-conference selection.

Defensively the Retrievers will have a new net-minder this season after junior Wes DiRito, who started 11 games last season, was injured prior to the season. That leaves Freshmen Connor Gordon and Rustin Souder and junior James Maxwell competing for the starting goalie spot.

The battle at the faceoff X could be critical as Phil Poe returns for his senior season at UMBC after winning 58.8% of his draws in 2013 with 99 groundballs and three goals.

TerpsTV update
We would like to thank everyone who signed up for a subscription to TerpsTV watch the Terps vs. Mount St. Mary’s last Saturday. Unfortunately a network problem at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium forced the cancellation of the live stream. We apologize for the inconvenience.

The good news is that the network issues have been solved and this Saturday’s game vs. UMBC will be streamed live on TerpsTV.

In addition to Saturday’s game vs. the Retrievers four more games will be streamed live on TerpsTV this season – Duke (Mar. 1), Villanova (Mar. 14), Robert Morris (Apr. 2) and Navy (May 3).

If you purchased a subscription to TerpsTV solely for the Mount St. Mary’s, you can request a refund, please contact our network service provider Neulion and select Refund – MLax MSM with a brief explanation it will gladly oblige.

Wrapping Up
That’s it for this week and there’s sure to be plenty more interesting facts and figures to delve into as the season unfolds.

Fans are encouraged to follow us on social media throughout the season. Follow us on Twitter and Like us on Facebook to stay up to date with the Terps.

We look forward to seeing you at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Saturday at noon when the Terps host the Retrievers. Season tickets are still a terrific bargain and can be purchased online by clicking here!

As always – Be The Best!