In his first year as a full-time starter, John Duffy ranks fourth on the No. 6 Loyola Maryland men’s lacrosse team in goals (24) and fifth in points (33) – both of which are already career highs. The junior midfielder had a career-best five points in the Greyhounds’ 15-8 victory over Lehigh in Sunday’s Patriot League tournament final at Ridley Athletic Complex. Duffy discussed his performance Sunday, his success this season and a certain Tewaaraton Award winner from his high school who was his role model.
John, you had a career-high five points – three goals and two assists. What was working for you today?
I think just playing off of what the defense was giving us. I knew they were going to be, as the game wore on, they were keying on [junior attackman] Pat [Spencer] a little bit, and so I just tried to make myself available up top. I know [senior midfielder] Jay [Drapeau] was getting the long pole today. So Guv [junior midfielder Alex McGovern] and I were getting the shorties. So just trying to make sure that we were keeping our space up top like we see in film every day and just finding those outlets for Pat to find us when he did get the ball and just trying to put them in the back of the net when I could. Thankfully, a few fell today. I know that’s one day out of a bunch, but it’s just kind of how it went and just trying to get better moving forward as an offense and just keep working off of each other like we’ve been doing this entire year.
I think you rank fourth on the team in goals. Is that what you anticipated from yourself this year?
I didn’t really think about anything like that too much going in. I knew I was going to be stepping up into a position where I was going to be playing a little bit more and obviously having guys like Brian Sherlock and Romar [Dennis] in front of me for the past two years, I just kind of learned off of what they were doing. As of right now, I’m just kind of enjoying the moment as it is, and I know that right now, it’s win or go home, and thankfully you have two weeks to kind of get moving and get going forward and taking care of ourselves. But as of right now, I’m just kind of enjoying the moment and not really paying too much attention about that and just trying to help the team any way that I can.
How meaningful is it to have the kind of success that you’re having in your first year as a full-time starter?
It’s good. I’m taking it as it is. I know that there are a lot of people that are in the same position as I am, and I know that there are a lot of people that are wishing they could be in the position, and I’m not trying to say that I’m doing anything special. But at the same time, I know that I’m doing well with Pat at X and with [freshman attackmen] Aidan [Olmstead] and Kevin [Lindley] there, and I’m just playing off of them and playing with my linemates in Jay and Guv, and those guys are helping me and setting me up to get to where I need to be to be successful, and I’m trying to do the same for them. So just trying to help each other out and work for each other.
You played at Lincoln High School in Oregon, which is where Peter Baum is from. How much of a role model was he for you?
Pete was a huge role model for me. I’m good friends with Pete, I’ve known him a long time. Just watching him in high school, it was just something else, and then obviously, playing at Colgate and just being so dominant for four years and winning the Tewaaraton his junior year, that was definitely something that inspired me to want to play college lacrosse and play at the highest level that I could. Just watching Pete, I was actually watching his highlights a couple weeks ago and just watching how much of an athlete he was and how quick and fast he was and how that set up his game and how it still continues to revolve around his game, it’s just something that’s pretty special. I definitely looked up to Pete and a lot of what he’s done. So I’m just trying to kind of cement that Oregon blue-collar work just as much as he did.
You’re the first player from Portland, Ore., on Loyola’s roster. What’s the one thing that your teammates don’t know about Portland, Ore.?
They don’t know about Portland, Ore.? I don’t know. It’s a pretty weird place. But that’s what I love about it, that’s what everyone loves about it. Everybody knows the motto: “Keep Portland weird.” So just going to try to keep that going, and they know that I’m a huge Ducks fan. So it’s always, “Go Ducks,” with those guys.