Before the season started, Lansdowne High School boys lacrosse coach Tyler Martin was looking for a balanced effort. “I hope we can score some goals, and I hope we can keep some goals out of our net," Martin said.
Through four games, the second part of that statement has come true. The Vikings (3-1) have allowed just 14 goals in victories over Patapsco, Carver and Randallstown.
The 6-2 victory over Randallstown Monday was the most impressive. Senior goalie Kevin Williams (71 percent save rate) continued his strong start after also turning in clutch performances in the season-opening 6-5 win over Patapsco and an 8-7 triumph over Carver.
Lansdowne's only loss was a 9-5 decision to Sparrows Point.
Senior attackman Collin Murphy leads the Vikings with 12 goals and junior midfielder Ahmaad Muhammed (23 ground balls) and senior attacker Bobby Peterson (21 ground balls) have had strong starts.
If they continue to show veteran leadership the Vikings could make another strong statement in the postseason, one year after they won their first regional playoff game in seven years.
The victory over Digital Harbor assured them of a .500 season, but the playoff dream run ended in the second round with a 21-3 loss to Hereford, the state finalist who came up short in its bid for seventh straight state title.
Murphy, Peterson and sophomore Noah Condon lead the attack this season.
Murphy had 44 goals and 23 assists last season and Condon scored 15 goals as a freshman. Peterson (18 goals) played in the midfield in 2014.
“Those two (Murphy and Peterson) really feed well off each other,” Martin said. “A lot of our offense is going to run through Collin and Bobby.”
But Condon is a strong finisher and versatile junior Kyndell Overton should help in the scoring department.
“He (Overton) is going to be interchangeable between the midfield and attack which is nice,” Martin said.
Several other candidates should help in the midfield.
"It’s a midfield by committee,” Martin said. “We’ve got some good athletes, we’ve got dodgers and cutters and finishers, so it’s kind of who can fill the role that is needed at the time and everybody jumps in an is ready to go so it is great.”
Frank Jankiewicz is the only senior midfielder, but juniors Muhammed, DeShaun Banks, Ethan Markle, Antoine Jones, Usama Ali, Chris Flores and John Dettler will be competing for playing time.
Markle, a natural left-hander, was an attackman on junior varsity last year, while Banks, Jones and Ali were promoted from JV mid-season.
Ali should help on faceoffs.
“He’s a pretty good faceoff guy and he’s a very smart intelligent kid and he picks up things quickly,” Martin said.
Banks, Jankiewicz and Overton are other faceoff candidates.
Although the numbers are down from last season, the versatility of his players makes them stronger.
“Last year we had the blessing of bodies, but the curse of numbers and not depth. This year, we don’t have a lot of numbers (19 players), but we have guys that can play,” Martin said.
Senior Justin Fish, juniors Aaron Fair and William Halstead, Mario Garcia-Reyes and sophomore Seth Hughes, a returning varsity starter, comprise the defense.
Next up for the Vikings is Pikesville at home on April 1 (5:15 p.m.).