Loyola defenseman Reid Acton

Loyola defenseman Reid Acton grew up playing in Canada with Denver star attackman Mark Matthews, whom Acton shut down last week. (Loyola University Athletics / February 18, 2012)

Each week, The Baltimore Sun publishes a Q&A with an area college lacrosse player to get you more acquainted with the player and his/her team. Today's guest is Loyola junior defenseman Reid Acton, who ended Denver senior attackman Mark Matthews' streak of 39 straight games with a goal in the Greyhounds' 12-9 victory Saturday night.

How would you assess your play against Matthews?

Mark's a really good player. I actually grew up playing with Mark and covering him. [Both Acton and Matthews are Ontario natives.] So that wasn't the first time. But [junior short-stick defensive midfielder] Josh Hawkins and [junior long-stick midfielder] Scott Ratliff deserve some credit, too, because our team defense was drawn up so that if I did slide up, they would help. So it wasn't just me following him around the field. We were able to move off of him and recover and play him as a unit.

How long have you guys known each other?

Since the eighth grade. We played on the Edge travel team together and the Canadian under-19 team together. We also played against each other in our normal league play.

Did that familiarity help you against Matthews?

Yeah, I think so. I'm good friends with him, so I know him real well, and I know how he plays. I've watched him play and I've played against him for years. So I kind of had a good idea of what I wanted to do going into the game.

What was your strategy against Matthews?

He's a fantastic player off-ball. He kind of tries to lull you into sleep by walking around like he's not really into the game and then all of a sudden, he just cuts really fast. So we were trying to be aware of where he was off-ball, and everyone helped out.

What was your reaction to the coaches' asking you to shadow Matthews?

I kind of knew that this was going to be my matchup. So we started to prepare early. We have a kid on our team by the name of Brian Schultz, and he tried to play how Mark plays all week. So I was practicing against his style of play. Mark is 6-4, 220 and probably has the best hands in Division I lacrosse, but I think Brian Schultz did a great job of giving me a look. He watched a lot of tape on Mark and tried to mirror him and be as close to him as he could.

Is there a sense of pride that you were able to snap his streak?

Not really. It was nice to hold him to no goals, but at the end of the day, it's just another regular-season game. We're probably going to see them in another couple of weeks down the road. So we're trying to move forward and concentrate on the next game.

edward.lee@baltsun.com

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