The Blog was off last week with the midweek game on the schedule (yes all of the work was done to get ready for it even if it wasn't played), so that means there's a whole heck of a lot to get to this week.
We will preview this Saturday's game at Villanova and the impact the Philadelphia area has had on Maryland lacrosse, rewind the wins at Duke and over Stony Brook and give an update on your chance to own a special piece of Terp memorabilia.
This is another game that shouldn't be judged by the opponent's record. The Wildcats are 1-4 on the season, but have played four games vs. ranked opponents, which have all been close losses.
Villanova opened the season with an 11-9 loss at home to Lehigh, which was ranked No. 10 at the time and is still ranked No. 15 in the latest Inside Lacrosse media poll. The Wildcats then had a two-goal lead in the fourth quarter, but gave of four straight to No. 14 Drexel and lost 12-10 in a torrential downpour on the road.
The Cats then earned their lone win of 2013 with a 14-9 home victory over Delaware in a game that Villanova never trailed.
Nova then played at No. 5 Princeton and had a 10-7 lead late in the third quarter, but couldn't hold off the Tigers, who outscored the Wildcats 6-1 in the fourth for a 14-11 win.
Villanova's latest close call came this past Saturday at the inaugural Independence Classic at PPL Park vs. No. 18 Penn. The game was tied at 7-7 at the half, but the Wildcats faltered down the stretch again, giving up six second-half goals to lose by a final of 13-9.
A change in goal could be coming for Villanova as freshman Greg Stamatov, who started all five games for the Cats, was lifted near the end of the first half in favor of senior Billy Hurley, who was Nova's starter in 2010 and 2011 before losing the job to Dan Gutierrez last season. Hurley made 12 saves and allowed just five goals in his 33:27 of work vs. the Quakers.
Villanova also has some capable scorers in senior attackman Jack Rice, who has 11 goals in 2013 and 104 for his career, and senior midfielder Max Hart, who has eight goals this season and 34 for his career.
One thing that stands out is that Villanova has only registered 23 assists on 53 goals. That means that the Wildcats are only assisting on 43.4% of their scores. Here's a look at how that stacks up against some of the other top programs:
- Johns Hopkins - 56 assists, 84 goals = 66.7%
- North Carolina - 38 assists, 62 goals = 61.3%
- Virginia - 56 assists, 93 goals = 60.2%
- Syracuse - 25 assists, 43 goals = 58.1%
- Duke - 44 assists, 78 goals = 56.4%
- Princeton - 28 assists, 50 goals = 56.0%
- Denver - 44 assists, 80 goals = 55.0%
- Loyola - 36 assists, 70 goals = 51.4%
- Cornell - 39 assists, 79 goals = 49.4%
- Notre Dame - 19 assists, 40 goals = 47.5%
Philadelphia doesn't have deep lacrosse roots, but they have grown very strong, very quickly.
As far as our records can show (and that's all I have to go on, so I apologize if I missed anyone), Maryland first tapped into the Philadelphia area way back in 1951 when midfielder Tom Lillis came to College Park. There was a bit of a gap until the next Philly-area product showed up in the form of goalie Rich Shassian in 1977.
Then came 1993 when a 6-foot-1, 185-pound goalie named Brian Dougherty came to Maryland as a two-time All-American from Episcopal Academy. All Doc did in his tenure as a Terp was be a three-time All-American, be named the 1995 national player of the year, be named the nation's top goalie twice and be named the 1995 NCAA tournament's most outstanding player after stopping 23 shots against both Johns Hopkins and Syracuse in the Final Four. Dougherty would go on to win two gold medals at the FIL World Championships and was inducted into the Lacrosse Hall of Fame last fall.
The mid-to-late 1990s also saw James Bickey and Mike Morsell come to Maryland out of the Philadelphia area.
The current trend of Philadelphia-area recruits dates back to 2002 when T.C. Behm arrived from Villanova, Pa. He only stayed for a couple of seasons, but 2003 saw then Terps' next star from Philly arrive in the form of Bill McGlone, who was a two-time first team All-American from Swarthmore, Pa. (I'll never forget showing up at the McGlone house in the Terp bus in 2005 when the Final Four was in Philadelphia as his younger sister Jill was getting ready to go to her senior prom.)
From there the proverbial flood gates opened from the Philly area as Xander Ritz and Ryne Adolph arrived in 2004 and Max Ritz and Matt Rankin followed in 2005. Brett Schmidt and Justin Blye came to College Park in 2008.
The Terps' current crop of Philly talent started to arrive in 2009 when Owen Blye came in and redshirted his freshman season. The redshirt trend continued in 2010 when Niko Amato on campus, but didn't take the field until 2011.
Casey Ikeda also redshirted his freshman season after coming in from Conestoga High School in 2011, but injuries limited him even in 2012, but he's healthy now and has started all five games so far this season.
A pair of Philly kids came in last season and made an immediate impact. Goran Murray was named the ACC Freshman of the Year and earned All-America honors after making the switch from long pole to close defense last spring. Kevin Forster came is as a highly regarded attackman, but a preseason injury put him on the shelf for a while and he made the move to midfield when he was healthy. All he did there was score two goals and add an assist in the Terps' win over Duke in the Final Four.
This season added another four Terps from the Philadelphia area in Tyler Brook, Jon Garino, Jr., Ryan Lehman and Bradlee Lord.
Here's a list of Maryland's All-American's from the Philadelphia area:
- Tom Lillis, M - 1952 (HM)
- Brian "Doc" Dougherty, G - 1995 (1st), 1996 (1st)
- Bill McGlone, M - 2004 (3rd), 2005 (1st), 2006 (1st)
- Xander Ritz, A/M - 2006 (HM)
- Brett Schmidt, D - 2010 (3rd), 2011 (2nd)
- Niko Amato, G - 2012 (HM)
- Goran Murray, D - 2012 (HM)
Philadelphia will always have a special place in the hearts of Terps fans simply because that's where Maryland won its first NCAA title in 1973.
Maryland capped off an undefeated season thanks in large part to freshman midfielder Frank Urso. The Long Island, N.Y., native bounced a 15-yard shot off of Blue Jay defender Bob Barbera past Hopkins goalie Les Matthews, who was screened on the play, at 1:18 of overtime to gibe the Terps their first NCAA Championship.
Urso told Sports Illustrated at the time, "I figured if I couldn't see him, then he couldn't see me."
Urso wasn't the only hero for Maryland in overtime. Terp goalie Bill O'Donnell came out of the goal on a missed shot by Hopkins, but Blue Jay attackman Jack Thomas caught up with the ball and flipped it blindly over his shoulder to the crease. Dale Kohler caught the pass and fired a shot at what normally would have been an empty net. But Maryland defender Ed Glatzel stepped into the crease and knocked the potential game-ender away.
History wasn't on the Terps side heading into this one. Figure these numbers:
- Duke was 23-5 in March since 2009
- The Blue Devils had only lost one home game in the month of March since 2009
- Duke was 5-2 against No. 1-ranked teams since 2007
But none of that mattered to Maryland on Saturday as the Terps never trailed and rolled the Blue Devils in a 16-7 win. The closest Duke got to Maryland was two one-goal deficits (1-0 & 2-1 Maryland leads in the first quarter).
Some fans have been wondering when Mike Chanenchuk would step up and take over a game. Those fans may not have paid attention to last May when Chanenchuk was terrific, but he was overshadowed by the play of Drew Snider and Joe Cummings. Well, those fans don't have to wonder any longer because Chanenchuk was unstoppable vs. the Blue Devils. Duke overplayed Chanenchuk's right hand, forcing him to go left and he burned them for two lefty scores. When he finally did get his right hand free, he scored another two goals. And even when he wasn't scoring he was finding his teammates with pinpoint passes for another two Terrapin goals. Overall, Chanenchuk shot the ball five times with all five shots being on goal.
As good as Chanenchuk was, he wasn't alone in standing out for the Terps.
The starting close defense of Michael Ehrhardt, Casey Ikeda and Goran Murray put on a clinic against the Duke starting attack. The Blue Devils attack was held without a goal while the Terps' starters were on the field and didn't find the net until 15 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.
Some people think that the only way to judge who had a good game is to look at the stat sheet, but Murray's afternoon proves that thought process false. He finished the game with no groundballs and didn't cause a single turnover. All he did was limit Duke's leading scorer - Jordan Wolf, who came into the game with 21 points on 15 goals and six assists - to 0-for-5 shooting and just a pair of assists when the game was out of reach.
The other great thing coming from the Duke game was the production of the Terps' reserves. Maryland got five goals and three assists from second-line midfielders Joe LoCascio (1-1) and Bradlee Lord (1-1) and reserve attackmen Jay Carlson (2-0) and Brendan Saylor (1-1).
There was no bigger celebration on the sidelines than at that 11:21 mark of the second quarter. Saylor came around the back of the cage and curled around right goal line extended and beat Duke goalie Kyle Turri for his first goal since Feb. 26, 2011. The Terps know what Saylor has gone through for this program and for his teammates. He didn't see action in any games last season due to a back injury. There were times when he could only give 20-30 minutes on the field at practice and he saved that time for playing on the scout team in order to give the defense its best look. The significance of Saylor's goal and the journey he's taken to get there wasn't lost on anyone on the Terrapin sideline, which made the celebration in the Mosh Pit that much sweeter.
I'd be remiss not to mention the play of Niko Amato vs. the Blue Devils. The numbers weren't as gaudy as his 19-save performance at Duke in 2011, but Amato is making the phrase "quality over quantity" a cliché this year as he continued to make big saves in key moments.
One last thing - some were saying the win over Duke didn't mean that much because the Blue Devils had a 2-4 record after the game. Well, that argument went out the window a bit with Duke's 9-8 win over Loyola on Friday night. Heck, the results of the past several weeks have shown that any team can win or lose on any given day. No team can, or should be counted out.
Rewind: Stony Brook
This one ended as a six-goal win for the Terps, but it really was never that close. Maryland opened up a 4-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
After the first goal, which was a really nice hard shot by Joe LoCascio off of a feed from Bradlee Lord, the Terps' next six scores were unassisted. And, none of those six were the same. There was an inside roll, going around the left side of the cage, a transition goal, a roll back to a right-handed rip, a right-alley dodge with a dip under a defender and finally a faceoff win by Charlie Raffa that ended with a dodge around the right side of the cage and the early nomine for Maryland's goal of the year.
After that six-goal run of unassisted goals, the Terps then scored their next four with assists. The ways this team has been scoring goals is just as impressive as the amount of goals being scored, which is saying something.
One of the big reasons for Maryland's success was the play of Raffa, who had one of the great days at the X for a Terp. He won 15-of-18 draws with a career-high 11 groundballs (which also ties him for the most by an ACC player this season). But he wasn't just content to get the ball and pass it along and get off the field. Even with Stony Brook crashing down to prevent him from pushing forward he still got through to score one and assist on another (a great on-the-money pass to Owen Blye at the point right off the opening faceoff of the third quarter). I hope no one is serious if they're calling Raffa a FOGO, because he's anything but.
The close defense was terrific once again, allowing Stony Brook's starting attack just one goal and that was a weird deflection off of Canadian freshman Brody Eastwood that happened to bounce just right to go into the goal. The Seawolves' starting attack didn't even get another point until the 6:52 mark of the third when the score was already 11-2.
Michael Ehrhardt showed once again why he deserves to be near the top of anyone's All-America list with five groundballs and three caused turnovers.
But the best defensive performance was turned in by (surprise, surprise) Jesse Bernhardt. The senior long pole was charged with covering Stony Brook's Jeff Tundo, who came into the game with 15 goals and 11 assists and was shooting 41.7%. Tundo had registered multiple points in all of Stony Brook's first five games, including a nine-point performance and three four-point outings. With Bernhardt on him most of the afternoon, Tundo only managed one goal on 1-of-6 shooting (.167) and only two of the six shots were on goal. Defense is a team effort and it takes all seven on that end of the field working together to shutdown a good player (and Bernhardt was quick to give credit to his teammates in postgame interviews), but Bernhardt was certainly responsible for a lot of Tundo's woes on Sunday.
Your Turn For Black Ops
The Black Ops uniforms were so well received and so popular when the Terps debuted them at Loyola that we decided to give you a chance to own a piece of the Black Ops.
A one-of-a-kind signed Black Ops helmet is up for bid at
umterps.com, but you need to hurry to have a chance to make this yours. The
bidding ends at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 13. Click
here to get all of the info and place your bid now!
That does it for this week's Maryland Men's Lacrosse Blog.
We hope to see a great turnout from Maryland alums, friends, fans and family this Saturday night at Villanova Stadium. Faceoff is set for 7 p.m., so you'll have time to get some things done around the house and still get there if you're close. If it's a little bit of travelling for you then head out early and see some of Philadelphia, which is a great city to explore, before heading to the game.
There figures to be a good turnout for the game, so I encourage Terp fans to get your tickets early either by calling the Villanova ticket office (610-519-4100) or online by clicking here.
If you can't get to the game, it is being streamed online via Nova Nation All-Access, which is a subscription-based service.
As always - Be The Best!