Men's Lacrosse Blog: Familiar Foes

Patrick Fischer, Dir. of Digital Media & Website Management
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Welcome to the third edition of the Maryland men’s lacrosse blog for 2014 and it finds the Terps sitting at 3-0 for the third straight season after their 16-8 victory over No. 2 Syracuse last Saturday. But up next for the Terps will be No. 1 Duke at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium, so we will give to a look at this year’s Blue Devils, as well as the recent history between the two teams. We will also get into Maryland’s history in No. 2 vs. No. 1 games, as well as in playing back-to-back games against top 5 teams. Finally, we will look at some of the highest scoring quarters for the Terps in recent years. Let’s get to it …

Let’s get to it …

Duke Preview
The Blue Devils coming into Saturday’s meeting at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium with a perfect 4-0 record and the No. 1 ranking in the Inside Lacrosse media poll and the USILA coaches poll.

Saturday will not only be the conference opener for the Blue Devils, but will also be the first road game of the season for the defending NCAA champions. Duke has earned home victories over Jacksonville (16-10 on Feb. 8), No. 4 Denver (14-10 on Feb. 15), No. 16 Penn (9-6 on Feb. 21) and Stony Brook (14-6 on Feb. 23).

The Blue Devils are led on offense by senior attackman Jordan Wolf. The 2013 second team All-American has totaled 19 points on 10 goals and nine assists so far in 2014 and has now totaled 220 points for his career on 130 goals and 90 assists. He is joined on attack by senior Josh Dionne, who also has 10 goals this season to go along with two assists, and sophomore Case Matheis, who has 10 points on six goals and four assists in three games since missing the opener vs. Jacksonville.

Duke has depth in the midfield with its first line being led by sophomore Deemer Class (6 goals and 6 assists) and senior Christian Walsh (4 goals, 2 assists). They are joined by freshman Jack Bruckner, who has yet to tally a point in the Blue Devils’ four games. Duke’s second line of junior Kyle Keenan, sophomore Myles Jones and freshman Thomas Zenker has been nearly as productive, chipping in with 11 goals and four assists combined.

Defensively, the Blue Devils have been buoyed by the return of redshirt senior Casey Carroll, a 2007 first team All-American who served with the 3rd BN 75th Ranger Regiment of the U.S. Army from 2007-12. Since returning, Carroll has led the Blue Devils with 10 caused turnovers and leads all non-faceoff men with 17 groundballs. He is joined on the Blue Devils’ backline by four-year starter and 2014 team captain Chris Hipps and sophomore Jamie Ikeda.

Sophomore Luke Aaron has started the last two games in net for Duke after relieving junior Kyle Turri in cage after the first quarter vs. Denver. Aaron has seen action in all four games this season and boasts a 5.73 goals-against average.

Senior Brendan Fowler was a first team All-American in 2013 and earned Most Outstanding Player honors at the NCAA championships after setting an NCAA record for faceoff wins in a season with 339 victories. So far this season Fowler has won 57 of 89 faceoffs (.640) with 38 groundballs.

Familiar Foes
Maryland and Duke are playing for the 82nd time when the two teams meet on Saturday on the turf at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

That’s the fourth-most games against any opponent in the Terps’ first 88 years of men’s lacrosse. The only opponents Maryland has played more often since 1924 are Johns Hopkins (103 times), Virginia (90) and Navy (87).

Of the previous 81 meetings, Maryland has won 61 times, which is the most victories against any opponent in the Terrapins’ history.

Maryland and Duke have played 55 times since the NCAA began recognizing men’s lacrosse as an official sport in 1971 with the Terps winning 38 of those contests. The only two opponents Maryland has played more often since then are Virginia (64 times) and Johns Hopkins (56).

If you narrow the time frame down a bit more the Blue Devils are an even more common opponent. Since 2000, Maryland and Duke have played 25 times (with Maryland holding a 14-11 advantage). The only opponent the Terps have played more is Virginia (26 times).

But taking things down to an even more relevant period for the teams taking the field on Saturday, Maryland and Duke have played each other seven times in the past three seasons – three times each in 2011 and 2012 and just once last season.

Think of it this way – Niko Amato has played in just over 3,051 minutes for the Terps. More than 417 of those have been against the Blue Devils, which means that nearly 15 percent of Amato’s career at Maryland has been playing against Duke.

No. 2 vs. No. 1
Following its win at then-No. 2 Syracuse last Saturday, Maryland has vaulted into the No. 2 spot in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll, which sets up a No. 1 vs. No. 2 showdown on Saturday when No. 1 Duke comes to College Park.

Since rankings were first kept in the Maryland record book in 1978, Saturday’s game will be just the sixth time the Terps will play a No. 1 team as the No. 2 team.

The most recent occurrence came just last season when No. 2 Maryland traveled to Baltimore to face No. 1 Loyola on Feb. 23, 2013. The Terps jumped out to a six-goal lead early in the third quarter before the Greyhounds climbed back into the game, but in the end Maryland emerged with a 12-10 victory.

Before that was the epic overtime victory for the No. 2 Terps when they played No. 1 Duke in Durham on March 4, 2006. Senior midfielder/attackman Xander Ritz (pictured below from that game vs. the Blue Devils) scored five goals, but it was the final one, which came with 2:46 left in the first overtime, that gave Maryland the 8-7 victory.

Xander Ritz vs. Duke in 2006

You have to go back to 1987 for the time a No. 2 Maryland team played a No. 1 squad. That season saw the second-ranked Terrapins host No. 1 North Carolina on March 28 at Byrd Stadium and the Terps earned a 10-goal victory over the Tar Heels, 16-6.

The No. 2 vs. No. 1 matchup happened twice in 1979 with No. 2 Maryland dropping both games to No. 1 Johns Hopkins.

While this will be the sixth time the Terps have played a No. 1 team while holding the No. 2 ranking, Maryland has never played a No. 2-ranked team while it has held the No. 1 ranking.

Back To Back vs. Top 5
In the past 20 seasons, dating back to 1995, Maryland has played opponents ranked among the top 5 in consecutive games 16 times (including NCAA tournament seeding). This week will mark the 17th time as the Terps played No. 2 Syracuse last weekend and will play No. 1 Duke on Saturday.

Of those 16 previous consecutive games against top 5 teams, the only time the Terps have played a No. 2 and No. 1 team back-to-back was in 2010 when Maryland played at No. 2 North Carolina and then hosted No. 1 Virginia. The Terrapins dropped both of those games, losing 9-7 at the Tar Heels and then coming up one goal shy of the Cavaliers, 11-10.

The last time Maryland faced off against top 5 teams in consecutive games was the 2012 NCAA tournament when the Terps defeated No. 3 Duke, 16-10, in the semifinals before falling to No. 1 Loyola in the title game, 9-3.

Maryland has won the first game of the top 5 back-to-back games 13 times, including last Saturday’s 16-8 win at No. 2 Syracuse. The Terps have completed the top 5 back-to-back sweep four times, including the most recent occurrence in 2008 when Maryland defeated No. 5 UNC, 13-8, in Chapel Hill and then topped No. 1 Virginia, 13-7, in College Park.

high-scoring quarters
Trying to research statistics can be a bit tricky. Especially since detailed statistics are not really available prior to 1998, so that is as far back as we could go in looking up where Maryland’s 10-goal output in the second quarter last Saturday at Syracuse.

That being said … the Terps’ 10-goal scoring burst vs. the Orange was the single highest scoring quarter in the past 17 seasons.

In fact, only twice since 1998 has a Terrapin team even scored nine goals in a quarter. Eight goals in a quarter has only been reached seven times and seven goals have been put up 20 times. Including the three games this season, Maryland has played 260 games since the start of the 1998 season. That totals 1,040 quarters (not counting OT since only one goal can be scored). Seven goals or more in a quarter has been put up by the Terps 30 times, so that’s less than three percent of all the quarters played since 1998.

Here’s a look at the 10 instances of the Terps scoring eight or more goals in a quarter since 1998:

10 (2nd) – at #2 Syracuse, 2/22/14
9 (4th) – Army, 5/15/04 (NCAA 1st Round)
9 (3rd) – Butler, 3/25/03
8 (1st) – Mount St. Mary’s, 2/12/13
8 (1st) – vs. Colgate, 5/8/10
8 (4th) – Vermont, 2/20/07
8 (4th) – at Penn, 5/7/05
8 (2nd) – Mount St. Mary’s, 2/26/02
8 (1st) – #16 Towson, 3/7/98
8 (3rd) – #14 Navy, 4/4/98

Wrapping Up
That’s it for this week. We hope you enjoyed a closer look at the history of Maryland vs. Duke and the family ties that rivalry has entwined recently.

We look forward to seeing you at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium on Saturday at noon when the Terps host the Blue Devils. We encourage fans to purchase their tickets in advance to avoid any lines at the ticket windows on Saturday. Tickets can be purchased online by clicking here or by visiting the Maryland Ticket Office in Comcast Center.

Saturday’s game vs. the Blue Devils is not being televised as it was not among the games selected by ESPN as part of its 2014 spring sport coverage of the ACC on any of its media outlets. It will however be streamed live on TerpsTV and will be broadcast locally on radio on CBS Sports Radio 1300 AM in Baltimore. Steve Stofberg returns for his ninth season as the voice of Maryland men’s lacrosse and will handle the play-by-play.

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.

As always – Be The Best!