Men's Lacrosse Blog: The 2014 Season Starts Here!

Patrick Fischer, Dir. of Digital Media & Website Management
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COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Welcome to the first edition of the Maryland Men’s Lacrosse Blog for the 2014 season. This is the seventh season for the Blog and there is sure to be plenty to cover as the Terps embark on their 89th season of men’s lacrosse in College Park.

So, without further adieu, lets get to it …

Preseason Polls
Take the preseason polls for what they are. They're a fun place to start discussion and debate of which are the perceived top teams prior to the season, but it's so hard to know much at all at this point.  

It’s also hard to know what voters are voting for in a preseason poll. Are they voting for which team they think is the best team at the moment or the team they think will be the best by the end of the season? If that’s the case then even the voters are torn, because three different teams each received four first-place votes in the USILA poll.

But, let’s use the IL Media Poll since it has a larger voting block and take a look at what’s coming up for the Terps in 2014 based on the preseason poll.

Maryland checks in at No. 6 and the Terps will have the opportunity to rise from there throughout the season through its results on the field. Maryland plays four of the teams (three of those games will be on the road) ranked above it in the poll (#1 Duke, at #2 Syracuse, at #3 North Carolina and at #5 Notre Dame).

The Terps will also host No. 8 Virginia and No. 20 Villanova this season and will play at No. 13 Johns Hopkins, which gives Maryland seven games vs. teams ranked in the preseason.

A road game at Stony Brook, which also received votes, is another quality game on the Terps’ 2014 schedule.

Media Slate
ESPN recently announced that its family of networks – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and, plus additional availability on the WatchESPN app – will broadcast 29 regular season men’s lacrosse games in 2014, which is down from 46 a year ago.

Maryland will be featured on the ESPN family of networks four times during the regular season.
The Terps won’t appear on ESPNU until March 22 when it plays at No. 3 North Carolina at Kenan Stadium.

The lone ESPNU home game for the Terps is March 30 when Maryland hosts No. 8 Virginia at noon at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.

Maryland’s game at No. 13 Johns Hopkins on April 12 is the first game of a men’s lacrosse double-header beginning at 2 p.m.

The final ESPNU game on the schedule is the Terps’ first regular-season trip to No. 5 Notre Dame since 2003 on April 19.

ESPNU will also broadcast the semifinals and finals of the ACC tournament in Chester, Pa., which could push the Terps’ ESPNU dates to six in 2014.

Syracuse has already announced that the game between the Terps and the Orange on Feb. 22 in the Carrier Dome will be broadcast on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.

If that’s not enough Maryland men’s lacrosse for you then we have some good news for you. The remaining six games on the Terps’ home schedule will be streamed on TerpsTV . To make things even better is that fans can subscribe to TerpsTV with a four-month package, which will last from the Feb. 8 opener vs. Mount St. Mary’s to the regular season finale vs. Navy on May 3, for just $29.95. That’s less than $5 per game and a subscription also includes access to select live-streamed women’s lacrosse, baseball and softball games this spring. Click here to purchase your subscription today!

That’s a total of 11, and potentially 13, Maryland men’s lacrosse games for fans to watch in 2014.

It’s also great to announce that the Maryland Sports Radio Network will also be broadcasting five Terps games on the radio this season – Duke, Virginia, Robert Morris, at Johns Hopkins and Navy.

Early Starts
Saturday’s season opener vs. Mount St. Mary’s is the earliest opener in the 89-year history of Maryland men’s lacrosse.

You don’t have to go far back to find the previous earliest game since it was last season’s game vs. Mount St. Mary’s on Feb. 12. Prior to that it was 2009’s Feb. 13 opener when the Terps played Presbyterian in Jacksonville, Fla., prior to playing Air Force in a fundraiser for the Wounded Warrior Project.

While this year’s opener is a bit earlier than some previous years it’s not out of line with the Division I schedule overall. Six teams – Delaware, High Point, Furhman, Lehigh, Virginia and Loyola – will have already opened their seasons by Feb. 8 and a total of 12 games will be played on Feb. 8.

February lacrosse is a relatively new concept when looking at the Terps’ program as a whole, but this season will mark the 22nd year that the scheduled season opener is in February.

The last time the Terps didn’t open a season in February was 2003, but that was due to weather not the schedule. Maryland was slated to open the season on Feb. 22 at home vs. Georgetown, but inclement weather throughout the week rendered the Field Hockey and Lacrosse Complex unplayable. That meant the Terps’ game vs. Duke on March 1 would be the season opener, but even that game had to be pushed back a day to March 2.

The 1993 opener was scheduled to be on Feb. 26 vs. Franklin & Marshall, but that game was cancelled and the Terps ended up opening the season vs. Duke on March 6. The Blue Devils topped

Maryland, 9-5, marking the last time the Terps have dropped a season opener. Since then Maryland has gone on to win 20 straight season openers.

The last time the season opener was in March was 1991 when the Terps opened up with Franklin & Marshall on March 1, which happened to be a Friday. The last time the Terps opened a season on a Saturday in March was 1989 when the Terps topped Duke, 9-6, on March 11.

Season Opener Streak
As mentioned above the Terps haven’t dropped a season-opening game since 1993 and that wasn’t even the scheduled season opener. The Terps’ streak of 20 years with a season-opening win sounds impressive, but how does it stack up against other programs?

Using this season’s IL Media Top 20 as a guide, only three other teams have double-digit season-opening winning streaks. North Carolina has won its season opener every year since 1999 – a streak of 15 years. Notre Dame has a current streak of 11 years, dating back to 2003, while Cornell is at 10 years, starting in 2004.

After that, Johns Hopkins and Virginia have each won six straight season openers, while Ohio State and St. John’s have five-game winning streaks to open seasons. Lehigh and Loyola have won four straight season openers.

Princeton has won two consecutive season openers, while Syracuse, Denver, Penn State, Albany, Bucknell and Penn each won its 2013 opener after dropping its first game of 2012.

Duke, Yale and Villanova are all starting from square one with each having lost its 2013 opener.

Current Season-Opener Winning Streaks
(among preseason Top 20)
Team Streak Started
Maryland 20 1994
North Carolina 15 1999
Notre Dame 11 2003
Cornell 10 2004
Johns Hopkins 6 2008
Virginia 6 2008
Ohio State 5 2009
St. John's 5 2009
Lehigh 4 2010
Loyola 4 2010
Princeton 2 2012
Albany 1 2013
Bucknell 1 2013
Denver 1 2013
Penn 1 2013
Penn State 1 2013
Syracuse 1 2013
Duke 0 --
Villanova 0 --
Yale 0 --

Mount St. Mary’s Preview
This will be the 11th all-time meeting between the two schools, with Maryland winning all 10 of the previous contests. This is the second straight season these two teams will open the season against each other and the fourth time since 2000 that they have opened a season as opponents.

Last season saw the Terps roll to a 23-6 victory behind four goals from a returning Jake Bernhardt, who saw his first game action since suffering an injury in the preseason scrimmage at Loyola in 2012. The game also featured the first start at attack for Kevin Cooper and all he did was score three goals and add three assists for a career-best six points. All in all, 14 different Terps scored goals in the win.

The Mount will be a different team from a year ago as only three players who scored at least one goal in 2013 returns led by junior midfielder Clayton Wainer, who had four goals.

As a team the Mount scored 155 goals in 2013 and returning players accounted for just seven of those. That’s a loss of 95.5 percent of the Mount’s goal-scoring production.

Another key figure the Mount will have to replace is at the faceoff X. Jon Marsalese took 345 of the team’s 385 draws last season and had 108 groundballs, which is more than 21 percent of the team’s total of 502 groundballs.

The Mount will have a name Terps fans are familiar with on its sidelines in Joe Cinosky, who was a four-year starting close defender and second team All-American in 2008 as a senior. Cinosky, who won a gold medal as a member of Team USA at the 2010 FIL World Championships, was a volunteer assistant at Duke last season before joining Tom Gravante’s staff this spring.

Wrapping Up
That’s it for the first week and there’s plenty more to get into as the season progresses.

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.

Make sure to check back to on Friday, Feb. 7 for a special video preview of the 2014 team courtesy of TerpsTV.

We look forward to seeing you at Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium throughout the season, starting with the 2014 opener this Saturday vs. Mount St. Mary’s at noon. If you haven't purchased your season tickets yet you can do so by clicking here! The season ticket is a great deal that can save fans some money even if they're only planning on coming out to Capital One Field at Byrd Season a few times this season.

As always – Be The Best!